Matt Schuler, PhD
I am an Assistant Professor at Montclair State University in New Jersey. As a community ecologist, the goal of my research group is to understand how anthropogenic factors alter ecological communities, given expected patterns of assembly, coexistence, and diversity from fundamental ecological theories. For the past few years, I have been investigating how anthropogenic stressors such as salinization, climate change, and invasive species affect freshwater environments. I also study how urban developments and environmental modifications such as roads alter the chemistry and distribution of species in ponds, lakes, and streams. This fall and winter I will be investigating if road salts increase the risk of heavy metal contamination in private drinking wells in New Jersey.
I am currently a bioinformatician at the Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics at the American Museum of Natural History. My current research includes estimating error rates of next-generation sequencing, tracking bacterial haplogroups in a ringtail lemur troops in Madagascar, determining how microbial communities change with freshwater salinization or pollution by human activity, and building gene annotation pipelines for use on non-model organisms. I build scalable and reusable pipelines to identify and QC genomic variants and annotations from high-throughput sequencing data on distributed computing systems. I trained at Ramapo College of New Jersey and Johns Hopkins University, and previously was a bioinformatician at the Department of Ecology and Evolution at Stony Brook University and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
I’m currently a graduate student at Montclair State University pursuing a Masters Degree in Biology with a concentration in Ecology and Evolution. Most of my academic career has focused on organismal biology. Broadly, my research interests are focused on the species-area relationships formed in tide pools along rocky intertidal zones and island biogeography. With the onset of climate change, different sized tidepools may experience altered community structures based on increasing temperatures, pH, salinity, or nutrient availability. Once I have completed my degree, I plan on focusing on the sustainability and conservation of vulnerable ecosystems.