Curriculum vitae

 

JOHN ANGELO COMMITO

Environmental Studies Department
Gettysburg College
Gettysburg, PA 17325 USA

Phone: 301- 694‑7975
E-mail:   jcommito@gettysburg.edu
Website: johncommito.org

EDUCATION

Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.
Ph.D. in Zoology, 1976.
Minor in Forestry Statistics.
Thesis: Predation, competition, life‑history strategies, and the regulation of estuarine soft‑bottom community structure.
Honors: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Graduate Research Award, Federal Predoctoral Research Work‑Study Award, Duke University Graduate Research Award.

Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.
A.B. in Biological Sciences, 1971.
Minor in Art History.
Honors: Cornell National Scholar, Kiwanis Scholarship, Qualter Fund Scholarship, Dean’s List.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Gettysburg College, Environmental Studies Department and Department of Biology, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
Professor Emeritus of Environmental Studies and Biology, 2015-present.
Professor of Environmental Studies and Biology, 1993-2015.
Founding Chair, Environmental Studies Department, 2000-2003.
Coordinator, Environmental Studies Program, 1993-2000.
Honors: Pennsylvania Professor of the Year, awarded by Carnegie Foundation and Council for Advancement and Support of Education, Washington, DC (2007). Student Senate Faculty Appreciation Award (twice), Order of Omega Outstanding Natural Science Professor Award (three times), Most Outstanding Faculty Member Award, Gettysburg College Distinguished Teaching Award.

University of Pisa, Department of Environmental Science, Pisa, Italy.
Visiting Research Scientist, 2001, 2008, 2015.

Hood College, Department of Biology, Frederick, Maryland.
Co-chair, 1992-1993.
Director, Environmental Studies Program (undergraduate) and Environmental Biology Program (master’s degree level), 1980‑1993.
Professor of Biology, 1990-1993.
Associate Professor of Biology, 1984-1990.
Assistant Professor of Biology, 1980‑1984.
Honors: Maryland Professor of the Year, awarded by Carnegie Foundation and Council for Advancement and Support of Education, Washington, DC (1991).

New Zealand National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, Water Quality Centre, Hamilton, New Zealand.
Visiting Research Scientist, 1992.

University of Oslo, Institute of Biology, Department of Marine Zoology and Marine Chemistry, Oslo, Norway.
Visiting Research Scientist, academic year 1984‑1985.

University of Maine at Machias, Division of Science and Mathematics, Machias, Maine.
Assistant Professor of Biology, 1976‑1980.

Duke University Marine Laboratory, Departments of Chemistry, Geology, and Zoology, Beaufort, North Carolina.
Teaching Assistant, 1972‑1976.

Duke University, Department of Zoology, Durham, North Carolina.
Teaching Assistant, 1971‑1973.

PROFESSIONAL SOCIETIES

Current or recent membership:
American Association for the Advancement of Science
American Association of University Professors
American Institute of Biological Sciences
American Society of Naturalists
Atlantic Estuarine Research Society
Ecological Society of America
Estuarine and Coastal Sciences Association (United Kingdom)
Estuarine Research Federation
New England Estuarine Research Society
Pennsylvania Academy of Science
Society of Sigma Xi

PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES

Doctoral thesis committees:
Auburn University
Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle de France
University of Delaware
University of Maine
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Université du Québec
Université de Rennes
University of Sydney

Panel member:
European Commission Seventh Framework Program: Marie Curie Fellowships
Fulbright Fellowship Program: Australia and New Zealand National Screening Committees
Italian Ministry for Education, Universities, and Research: Projects of National Interest;
Future in Research for Younger Investigators
National Science Foundation: Presidential Faculty Fellows Awards Program
National Undersea Research Program

Proposal reviewer:
California Sea Grant Program
European Union Doctoral Grants Program
Maine Marine Infrastructure and Technology Fund
Maine Sea Grant Program
National Geographic Society
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: Coastal Ocean Program and Cooperative Marine Education and Research Program
National Science Foundation: Biological Oceanography, Chemical Oceanography, Ecology, and Organisms and Ecosystems Sections
National Sea Grant Program
National Undersea Research Program
Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research: Earth and Life Sciences Division
New Zealand Foundation for Research, Science and Technology: Antarctica Program, Public Good Science Fund
Regional Marine Research Program for the Gulf of Maine
Smithsonian Institution Office of Fellowships and Grants
South Carolina Sea Grant Program
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program

Manuscript reviewer:
Acta Oecologia
American Naturalist
Animal Behaviour
Aquatic Biology
Aquatic Botany
Biodiversity and Conservation
Biological Invasions
Bulletin of Marine Science
Continental Shelf Research
Ecological Monographs
Ecology
Écoscience (in French)
Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Estuaries and Coasts
Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science
Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Helgoland Marine Research
Hydrobiologia
Journal of Animal Ecology
Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology
Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
Journal of Sea Research
Journal of Shellfish Research
Limnology and Oceanography
Limnology and Oceanography: Methods
Marine Biology
Marine Biology Records
Marine Ecology
Marine Ecology Progress Series
Marine Pollution Bulletin
Oecologia
PLOS ONE
Restoration Ecology
Scientia Marina
Shore and Beach
Vie et Milieu

RESEARCH GRANTS

Department of Biology, Marine Biology and Ecology Unit, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy: Predation threat cues, spatial pattern formation, and mussel bed legacy effects. $20,000. 2015.

Gettysburg College Research and Professional Development Grant Program:

  • Legacy effects of climate change on seafloor assemblages and ecosystem processes in the Gulf of Maine. $7,500. 2014.
  • Chemical cues as agents in the spatial organization of seafloor bivalves: a student-oriented research collaboration. $5,100. 2009.
  • Spatial dynamics of seafloor animal populations: marine ecology research at the University of Pisa, sabbatical support for spring semester, 2008. $7,000. 2008.
  • Larval and juvenile aggregation behavior in a seafloor bivalve as mechanisms of self-organized criticality. $6,600. 2007.
  • Request for special page charges in Landscape Ecology. $480. 2006.
  • Hierarchical spatial complexity and biodiversity in the New England coastal zone. $8,000. 2004.
  • Marine ecology research at the Laboratoire Maritime, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, in Dinard, France, sabbatical support for spring semester, 2001. $5,000. 2001.
  • Genetic structure of benthic bivalve populations across spatial scales using mitochondrial DNA sequencing: implications for coastal management. With K. A. Holland, Gettysburg College. $5,000. 1998.
  • Integrating molecular biology and marine ecology: can DNA fingerprinting be used to monitor marine pollution? $3,500. 1996.
  • A landscape ecology approach to understanding complex spatial distributions in marine ecosystems. $2,800. 1995.
  • The analysis of spatial pattern in a fractal environment: a new approach to the study of a marine bivalve population in Maine. $6,000. 1994.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Engaged Learning Opportunities Fund: Chemical cues as agents in the spatial organization of seafloor bivalves: a student-oriented research collaboration. $4,300. 2009.

Department of Biology, Marine Biology and Ecology Unit, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy: Spatial dynamics of seafloor animal populations. $40,000. 2008.

Presidential Research Fellowship, Gettysburg College: Spatial analysis of coupled natural and human systems in coastal Maine. With T. W. Crawford and R. K. Wilson, Gettysburg College. $10,000. 2002.

Department of Environmental Science, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy: Ecology and population genetics of marine benthic bivalves across spatial scales in Europe and North America. $25,000. 2001.

The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, Jacksonville, Florida: Technology, training, and support for Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Sponsoring department at Gettysburg College. $200,000. 2000-2002.

New Zealand Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, Hamilton, New Zealand: Marine infauna dispersal: the influence of bioturbation events and near-bed sediment transport. $20,000. 1992.

Beneficial-Hodson Fellowship Program, Beneficial Corporation, Peapack, New Jersey: Marine soft-bottom community dynamics in Manukau Harbour, Auckland, New Zealand. $37,600. 1992.

Whitaker Foundation, Camp Hill, Pennsylvania: A Whitaker Foundation science initiative for Hood College. Co-director for Department of  Biology and Department of Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy. $225,000. 1989-1992.

National Science Foundation: Alabama Marine Studies Program. Sub‑contract EP05. An experimental analysis of predator‑prey relationships in Ruppia maritima seagrass beds. With A. H. Williams, Auburn University. $5,000 (not spent). 1988‑1989.

Potomac Edison Company, Hagerstown, Maryland: Computer‑assisted instruction in environmental science. $1,800. 1986.

Norwegian Institute for Water Research and British Petroleum, Ltd., Oslo, Norway: Mesocosm analysis of infaunal predator‑prey interactions in the Oslofjord. $25,000. 1984‑1985.

Hood College Board of Associates Faculty Development Program: Marine science initiatives for Hood College. $14,600. 1982-1992.

University of Maine/University of New Hampshire Sea Grant Program:

  • The ecology of Mya arenaria in the tidal flat environment (with co‑principal investigators from University of Maine and University of New Hampshire). R/LRF‑45. $100,000. 1980.
  • The regulation of intertidal soft‑bottom community structure and the population dynamics of Mya arenaria, Nereis virens, and Glycera dibranchiata in Maine. Part II. R/LRF‑11. $21,000. 1979.
  • The regulation of intertidal soft‑bottom community structure and the population dynamics of Mya arenaria, Nereis virens, and Glycera dibranchiata in Maine. Part I. R/11‑1. $18,000. 1978.

 

INVITED SEMINARS

1978
Marine community structure and regulation in North Carolina and Maine: a comparative approach. Cobscook Bay Laboratory, Edmunds, Maine.

1979
Bivalve and polychaete population dynamics in Maine. Cobscook Bay Laboratory, Edmunds, Maine.

1980
The effects of snail predation on the population dynamics and life‑history parameters of Mya and Macoma. University of North Carolina Institute of Marine Science, Morehead City, North Carolina.

The ecology of clams and worms and their management in Downeast Maine. Maine Audubon Society, Harrington Chapter, Harrington, Maine.

The effects of size‑selective predation by Lunatia heros on the population dynamics and life‑history strategies of Mya arenaria and Macoma balthica. University of Maryland Horn Point Environmental Laboratories, Cambridge, Maryland.

1982
Predator‑prey interactions in soft‑bottom benthic systems in Maine. Smithsonian Institution Chesapeake Bay Center for Environmental Studies, Edgewater, Maryland.

Naticid snail predation in New England: the effects of Lunatia heros on the population dynamics of Mya arenaria and Macoma balthica. Plenary address, National Shellfisheries Association Annual Convention, Baltimore, Maryland.

Human population dynamics: a world view. Frederick Community Commons, Frederick, Maryland.

The environmental effects of nuclear war. Nuclear Convocation, Hood College, Frederick, Maryland.

1983
Nuclear power plants and nuclear war. Department of Sociology, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland.

1984
Resource allocation in marine molluscs. Department of Biological Sciences, University of Maryland‑Baltimore County, Catonsville, Maryland.

1985
Dispersal and patch utilization in a marine benthic community. Institute of Biology, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.

Species interactions in North American soft‑bottom communities. Department of Zoology, University of Stockholm, Stockholm, Sweden.

The potential for field studies in the Potomac Piedmont. Potomac River Basin Consortium, Sugarloaf Mountain, Maryland.

1986
Problems in the Chesapeake. Summer Meeting, Maryland Press Women and Capital Press Women, Annapolis, Maryland.

Siphon length and the evolution of predator avoidance mechanisms in bivalves. Marine Sciences Institute, University of Connecticut, Groton, Connecticut.

Predator‑prey interactions in New England soft‑bottom marine communities. Williams College/Mystic Seaport Program in American Maritime Studies, Mystic, Connecticut.

1987
Analysis of predatory infauna and multiple trophic levels in soft‑bottom communities: the use of the field experimental approach. West Indies Laboratory, St. Croix, U.S.V.I.

1988
Experimental marine ecology along the east coast of the United States. Society of Sigma Xi, Chesapeake Chapter, Frederick, Maryland.

1989
Disturbance and dispersal: an emerging paradigm for soft-bottom marine communities. Eagle Hill Wildlife Research Station, Steuben, Maine.

1991
Bible to baby boom: the roots of our environmental crisis. Professional Development Conference, Frederick Community College, Frederick, Maryland.

Population regulation in marine soft-bottom communities: the interactive roles of predation and dispersal. Département d’Océanographie, Université du Québec, Rimouski, Québec, Canada.

1992
Animal dispersal in Manukau Harbour, New Zealand: control by geological and biological processes. Water Quality Centre, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, Hamilton, New Zealand.

1994
The fractal geometry of mussel beds. Sutherland Memorial Symposium, University of Connecticut, Groton, Connecticut.

Mathematics in ecological research. National Science Foundation Program in Science Education, Department of Mathematics, Mount Saint Mary’s College, Emmitsburg, Maryland.

1995
Applying fractal geometry to the analysis of marine benthic populations. Symposium on Visual Thinking in Chaotic Dynamics, National Science Foundation and University of Maryland, Largo, Maryland.

Complex spatial patterns and fractal geometry. Symposium on Geometry in Nature: Forging the Connections in Mathematics, Eisenhower Mathematics and Science Program, Shepherd College, Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

Lessons from chaos theory: using fractal geometry to understand seafloor spatial patterns. Chaos Theory Colloquium, Phi Beta Kappa Society, Manassas, Virginia.

Population dynamics of benthic organisms in Chesapeake Bay. Workshop discussion, Benedict Estuarine Research Center, St. Leonard, Maryland.

1996
Interactions between mathematics and ecology: fractal geometry of bivalve populations in Maine. Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Hood College, Frederick, Maryland.

1997
Analysis of seafloor bivalve population structure. National Science Foundation Program in Science Education, Department of Mathematics, Mount Saint Mary’s College, Emmitsburg, Maryland.

1998
The ecology of spatially complex soft-bottom mussel beds in Maine. Darling Marine Center, University of Maine, Walpole, Maine.

1999
Benthic dispersal dynamics in shallow coastal systems. Dauphin Island Sea Lab, Mobile, Alabama.

Local-scale dispersal dynamics in patchy seafloor systems: intertidal examples from Maine, Virginia, and New Zealand. Department of Biology, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware.

Dynamics of spatial and temporal complexity in European and North American soft-bottom mussel beds. Biologische Anstalt Helgoland, Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Sylt, Germany.

2000
Self-organization and the control of spatial and temporal complexity in European and North American bivalve populations. Plenary address, Tenth National Congress, Italian Society of Ecology, Pisa, Italy.

2001
Power laws and self-organized criticality: a marine bivalve example. Center for the Study of Biological Complexity, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.

Complexity and power laws in marine systems: a mussel bed example from Maine, USA. Department of Environmental Science, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.

A cellular automata approach to modeling spatial dynamics in marine bivalve populations. Department of Zoology and Biological Anthropology, University of Sassari, Sassari (Sardinia), Italy.

Fractal spatial patterns in marine bivalve populations. Department of Animal Biology, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.

Postlarval dispersal dynamics in patchy seafloor systems of North America and New Zealand. Department of Animal Biology, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.

Four-part lecture series:

  • Univariate and multivariate analysis of meiofaunal dispersal in the intertidal zone.
  • Adult-larval interactions in suspension-feeder assemblages: Mytilus edulis beds as a model experimental system.
  • Postlarval dispersal in soft-bottom intertidal communities.
  • A cellular automata approach to modeling seafloor spatial dynamics.

Environmental Science Center, University of Bologna, Ravenna, Italy.

Power-law evidence for scale-invariant spatial structure and dispersal dynamics in dense assemblages of marine suspension-feeders. Marine Laboratory, French National Museum of Natural History, Dinard, France.

2003
Spatial complexity and scales of variability in soft-bottom mussel beds: power-law evidence of self-organization. Coastal Ecology Branch, Western Ecology Division, US Environmental Protection Agency, Newport, Oregon.

2004
Self-organized criticality in ecological systems: evidence from Maine mussel beds. Department of Biology, Bates College, Lewiston, Maine.

2005
Spatial complexity, power-laws, and issues of scale in marine benthic landscapes. Position paper, Landscape Scale Biodiversity Assessment: the Problem of Scaling, European Platform for Biodiversity Research Strategy (EPBRS), Budapest, Hungary.

“What’s a nice bivalve like you doing in a place like this?” Hierarchical spatial structure in soft-bottom mussel beds. Special Session in honor of Richard Warwick, Benthic Ecology Meetings, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia.

2007
Hierarchical spatial complexity in soft-bottom mussel beds: evidence for self-organization in the New England intertidal zone. The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

2008
Do mussels self-organize into power-law clusters? Evidence from Maine, USA. Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Naples, Italy.

Do mussels self-organize into power-law clusters? Evidence from Maine, USA. Ecology and Marine Biology Unit, Department of Biology, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.

2009
Self-organization and power-law clustering in seafloor animals: the spatial ecology of mussel beds in Maine. Departments of Biology, Computer Science, Geography and the Environment, and Mathematics, Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania.

2010
Positive recruitment feedback and self-organization in soft-bottom mussel beds. National Science Foundation Conference on Dynamics of Layering in Biological Systems, California Institute of Technology and California State University – Los Angeles, Pasadena, California.

2015
Spatial ecology of an ecosystem engineer: the mussel Mytilus edulis in Maine, USA. Ecology and Marine Biology Unit, Department of Biology, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.

2016
“Safety in numbers!” Self-organization and the fascinating spatial ecology of seafloor animals on the coast of Maine. Department of Biology, Hood College, Frederick, Maryland.

CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS (student names in italics)

1974
Field experiments on benthic communities at Beaufort, North Carolina. Benthic Ecology Meeting, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland.

1975
Population structure of annual, perennial, and fugitive species in an estuarine community. Benthic Ecology Meeting, Duke University, Beaufort, North Carolina.

Predation, competition, and the regulation of estuarine soft‑bottom community structure. Annual Meeting of the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

1976
Life‑history strategies in marine benthic polychaetes and bivalves. Benthic Ecology Meeting, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland.

1979
The effects of size‑selective predation by Lunatia heros on the population dynamics of Mya arenaria and Macoma balthica. Benthic Ecology Meeting, University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire.

1980
Nereis predation controls soft‑bottom community structure. Benthic Ecology Meeting, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia.

1981
A dense assemblage of suspension‑feeding bivalves: apparent absence of adult‑larval interactions. Benthic Ecology Meeting, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.

1982
(with Patricia Shrader) Nereis revisited: surprising results from an infaunal predation experiment. Benthic Ecology Meeting, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

1983
The role of infaunal predation in controlling community structure: evidence of a NereisNephtys interaction? Benthic Ecology Meeting, Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Florida.

1984
(with Irene Ulm) Patch utilization by infaunal organisms at Tom’s Cove, Virginia. Benthic Ecology Meeting, Goucher College, Towson, Maryland.

(with William Ambrose) Predatory infauna and trophic complexity in soft‑bottom communities. European Marine Biology Symposium, Plymouth, England.

1986
(with Laura Kane and Kathleen Reinsel) Gemma gemma dispersal and patch utilization at Tom’s Cove, Virginia. Benthic Ecology Meeting, University of Massachusetts, Boston, Massachusetts.

1987
(with E. Maxine Boncavage) Experimental analysis of suspension‑feeding bivalve effects on soft‑bottom community structure: more mussels means more worms. Benthic Ecology Meeting, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina.

1989
(with Carol Anne Currier and Ann Commito) Field test of a simple dispersal model of the bivalve Gemma gemma. Benthic Ecology Meeting, Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, Solomons, Maryland.

1990
(with Carol Anne Currier) Estimating bedload transport: surprising results from a field test of sediment traps with different aspect ratios. Benthic Ecology Meeting, Alabama Marine Environmental Sciences Consortium, Mobile, Alabama.

1993
(with Simon Thrush, Richard Pridmore, Judi Hewitt, and Vonda Cummings) Benthic dispersal dynamics in Manukau Harbour, New Zealand. Benthic Ecology Meeting, Alabama Marine Environmental Sciences Consortium, Mobile, Alabama.

1995
(with Jill Abrahamson and Derek Risso) Benthic dispersal in a low-energy, soft-bottom environment. Benthic Ecology Meeting, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey.

1996
(with Leslie Hornung) Depth refuge allometry in the bivalves Mya arenaria and Macoma balthica. Benthic Ecology Meeting, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina.

(with James Manning) Postlarval dispersal dynamics in a soft-bottom habitat. Benthic Ecology Meeting, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina.

1997
(with Yvonne Werzinsky) Passive bedload transport of harpacticoid copepods in a Maine coastal embayment. Benthic Ecology Meeting, University of Maine, Portland, Maine.

(with John Badger and Koren Holland) Use of mitochondrial DNA sequencing to determine genetic structure across spatial scales in the brooding bivalve Gemma gemma. Benthic Ecology Meeting, University of Maine, Portland, Maine.

1998
(with Holly Celico) Differential Mytilus edulis recruitment to artificial substrate in patches of bare sediment and mussels. Benthic Ecology Meeting, Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Florida.

(with Craig Johnson) Meiofauna dispersal rates in bedload over a patchy mosaic of bare sediment and mussels. Benthic Ecology Meeting, Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Florida.

(with Brian Rusignuolo) Structural complexity in mussel beds: is three-dimensional topography fractal? Benthic Ecology Meeting, Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Florida.

(with Amy Dickerson and Koren Holland) Genetic structure across spatial scales in the brooding bivalve Gemma gemma. Benthic Ecology Meeting, Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Florida.

(with Taryn Losch and Koren Holland) Is Gemma gemma mtDNA inheritance strictly maternal? Benthic Ecology Meeting, Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Florida.

1999
(with Christopher Wahlers and Koren Holland) Genetic structure of Gemma gemma across spatial scales revealed by mtDNA sequencing. Benthic Ecology Meeting, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

(with Koren Holland) Genetic structure of seafloor bivalve populations across spatial scales using mitochondrial DNA sequencing. American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, San Francisco, California.

2000
(with Emily Celano) Postlarval macrofauna dispersal in a two-habitat mosaic of bare sediment and mussels. Benthic Ecology Meeting, University of North Carolina, Wilmington, North Carolina.

(with Koren Holland, Mark Beckler, Carla Colicigno, and James Gallagher) Sequencing beyond the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I gene in Gemma gemma. Benthic Ecology Meeting, University of North Carolina, Wilmington, North Carolina.

2002
(with Emily Celano, Holly Celico, and Craig Johnson) Ecosystem engineers alter benthic processes: power law transport of sediment, larvae, and postlarvae in a spatially complex mussel bed. Benthic Ecology Meeting, Florida State University, Orlando, Florida.

2003
(with Piero Cossu, Marco Casu, Tiziana Lai, Ferruccio Maltagliata, and Alberto Castelli) Small-scale analysis of genetic structure in Gemma gemma (Eulamellibranchia: Veneridae) from Maine and Virginia as revealed by inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers. Benthic Ecology Meeting, University of Connecticut, Groton, Connecticut.

(with Wendy Dow) From cores to counties: hierarchical analysis of soft-bottom mussel bed spatial structure across scales in Maine, USA. Benthic Ecology Meeting, University of Connecticut, Groton, Connecticut.

(with Benjamin Grupe) Ecosystem engineer effects across spatial scales on infauna and epifauna in an exploited soft-bottom system: preliminary results from Maine mussel beds. Benthic Ecology Meeting, University of Connecticut, Groton, Connecticut.

(with Piero Cossu, Marco Casu, Tiziana Lai, Ferruccio Maltagliata, and Alberto Castelli) Analisi della diversità genetica in Gemma gemma (Eulamellibranchia: Veneridae) del Maine e della Virginia (U.S.A.) mediante marcatori ISSR (Inter-Simple Sequence Repeat). Congresso Nazionale, Società Italiana di Ecologia, Como, Italy.

2004
(with Ann Commito) Regulation of hierarchical spatial pattern in mussel beds: empirical and cellular automaton evidence for self-organized criticality. Benthic Ecology Meeting, Dauphin Island Sea Lab, Mobile, Alabama.

2005
(with Stanislas Dubois, Frédéric Olivier, and Christian Retière) Effect of shellfish farming on a unique biogenic habitat: oysters alter Sabellariid reefs in the Bay of Mont Saint-Michel, France. International Conference on Shellfish Restoration, Brest, France.

2006
(with Stanislas Dubois, Frédéric Olivier, and Christian Retière) Anthropogenic threats to a biogenic habitat: oysters and algae alter Sabellariid reefs in the Bay of Mont Saint-Michel. Benthic Ecology Meeting, Université Laval, Québec City, Canada.

(with Wendy Dow, Benjamin Grupe, and Rutherford Platt) Multi-level modeling of nested benthic samples: species relationships in mussel beds, a contested natural resource in Maine. Benthic Ecology Meeting, Université Laval, Québec City, Canada.

(with Ann Commito, Rutherford Platt, Benjamin Grupe, and Wendy Dow) Species relationships across spatial scales in spatially complex soft-bottom mussel beds, an intertidal resource contested by draggers and diggers. European Marine Biology Symposium, Cork, Ireland.

2007
Substrate-specific attachment in soft-bottom mussel beds: an explanation for spatial persistence? Benthic Ecology Meeting, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia.

2008
(with Natasha Gownaris) Are mussel beds selfish herds? Mussels self-organize into fractal aggregations. Benthic Ecology Meeting, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island.

(with Kyle Reeves) Foundation species effects on substrate selection: epifaunal and infaunal amphipods respond differentially to mussel bed biogenic structure and terrestrially-derived sediment. Benthic Ecology Meeting, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island.

(with Allison Vissichelli) Positive feedback and self-organization in a soft-bottom system: mussel recruitment is greater to live mussels and mussel shell hash than to terrestrially-derived gravel and muddy sand. Benthic Ecology Meeting, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island.

(with Ann Commito) A simple complexity: the self-organization of mussel beds. American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges Annual Conference, Washington, DC.

2009
(with Ann Commito, Rutherford Platt, Benjamin Grupe, Wendy Dow, Natasha Gownaris, Kyle Reeves, and Allison Vissichelli) Positive recruitment feedback and self-organization in soft-bottom mussel beds. Benthic Ecology Meeting, Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi, Texas.

(with Christine Urbanowicz and Thomas Crawford) Does wind-generated wave exposure predict soft-bottom mussel bed (Mytilus edulis) occurrence in Maine? Benthic Ecology Meeting, Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi, Texas.

2010
(with Danielle Bates, Sara Coleman, and Natasha Gownaris) Predator chemical cues alter mussel self-organizing aggregation rates and patch metrics. But so do non-predator cues! Benthic Ecology Meeting, University of North Carolina, Wilmington, North Carolina.

(with Sara Coleman, Danielle Bates, and Natasha Gownaris) Predator and non-predator chemical cues alter mussel self-organization into power-law clusters. Benthic Ecology Meeting, University of North Carolina, Wilmington, North Carolina.

2011
(with Danielle Bates, Sara Coleman, and Natasha Gownaris) Chemical cues, selfish herds, and power-law spatial structure in Maine mussel beds. Benthic Ecology Meeting, Dauphin Island Sea Lab, Mobile, Alabama.

2012
(with Brittany Jones and Mitchell Jones) Go with the flow: Biogenic structure types alter bedload transport and dispersal dynamics of macrofauna and meiofauna in Maine mussel beds. Benthic Ecology Meeting, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia.

(with Mitchell Jones and Brittany Jones) Mussel beds are mostly…mud and shells, not mussels! Ecosystem engineer cover types alter sediment, macrofauna, and meiofauna in Maine, USA. Benthic Ecology Meeting, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia.

(with Alyse Yeager, Andrew Wilson, and Lin Schwarzkopf) Catching cane toads: Determining biological differences in cane toad (Rhinella marinus) trappability and assessing the effect of acoustic attractant position on cane toad capture rates. Organization of Fish and Wildlife Information Managers Annual Conference, Austin, Texas.

(with Ann Commito) Slip-sliding away: The mathematics of slide rule calculation. American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges Annual Conference, Jacksonville, Florida.

2013
(with Ann Commito) Slide rules rule! Association of Faculties for Advancement of Community College Teaching Annual Conference: Flipped, blended, mobile, collaborative, and flexible approaches to learning. Frederick, Maryland.

(with Brittany Jones, Mitchell Jones, and Sondra Winders) Reefer madness: Shell hash expands spatial extent of bivalve reef impacts on ecosystem processes. Benthic Ecology Meeting, Georgia Southern University, Savannah, Georgia.

(with Brittany Jones, Mitchell Jones, and Sondra Winders) Live mussels and shell hash alter sediment flux and macrofauna and meiofauna dispersal. Benthic Ecology Meeting, Georgia Southern University, Savannah, Georgia.

(with Sondra Winders, Brittany Jones, Mitchell Jones, and Serena Como) Wind forcing of sediment flux and post-larval transport in a patchy, biogenically structured intertidal system. Benthic Ecology Meeting, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, Florida.

(with Sondra Winders, Brittany Jones, Mitchell Jones, and Serena Como) “Gone, gone, gone”: Legacy effects of mussel biogenic material on soft-bottom assemblages and ecosystem processes. Benthic Ecology Meeting, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, Florida.

PUBLICATIONS (student names in italics)

Commito, J. A. 1982. Importance of predation by infaunal polychaetes in controlling the structure of a soft‑bottom community in Maine, USA. Marine Biology 68: 77‑81.

Commito, J. A. 1982. Effects of Lunatia heros predation on the population dynamics of Mya arenaria and Macoma balthica in Maine, USA. Marine Biology 69:187‑193.

Commito, J. A., and W. G. Ambrose, Jr. 1985. Predatory infauna and trophic complexity in soft‑bottom communities. In: Proceedings of the Nineteenth European Marine Biology Symposium, pp. 323‑333. Ed. by P. E. Gibbs. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England.

Commito, J. A., and W. G. Ambrose, Jr. 1985. Multiple trophic levels in soft‑bottom communities. Marine Ecology Progress Series 26: 289‑293.

Commito, J. A., and P. B. Shrader. 1985. Benthic community response to experimental additions of the polychaete Nereis virens. Marine Biology 86: 101‑107.

Commito, J. A. 1987. Polinices predation patterns and Mercenaria morphology models. American Naturalist l29: 449‑45l.

Commito, J. A. 1987. Adult‑larval interactions: predictions, mussels, and cocoons. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 25: 599‑606.

Commito, J. A., and A. E. Commito. 1987. ENCOMPASSED: ENvironmental COMPuter‑ASSisted EDucation. Statistics for field biologists. Software package and manual published by Potomac Edison Company, Hagerstown, Maryland.

Commito, J. A., and E. M. Boncavage. 1989. Suspension feeders and coexisting infauna: an enhancement counterexample. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 125: 33-42.

Gerhart, D. J., M. E. Bondura, and J. A. Commito. 1991. Inhibition of sunfish feeding by defensive steroids from aquatic beetles: structure-activity relationships. Journal of Chemical Ecology 17: 1363-1370.

Commito, J. A., C. A. Currier, L. R. Kane, K. A. Reinsel, and I. M. Ulm. 1995. Dispersal dynamics of the bivalve Gemma gemma in a patchy environment. Ecological Monographs 65: 1-20.

Commito, J. A., S. F. Thrush, R. D. Pridmore, J. E. Hewitt, and V. J. Cummings. 1995. Dispersal dynamics in a wind-driven benthic system. Limnology and Oceanography 40: 1513-1518.

Snover, M. L., and J. A. Commito. 1998. The fractal geometry of Mytilus edulis L. spatial distribution in a soft-bottom system. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 223: 53-64.

Commito, J. A., and B. R. Rusignuolo. 2000. Structural complexity in mussel beds: the fractal geometry of surface topography. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 255: 133-152.

Commito, J. A., and N. Dankers. 2001. Dynamics of spatial and temporal complexity in European and North American soft-bottom mussel beds. In: Ecological Comparisons of Sedimentary Shores, pp. 39‑59. Ed. by K. Reise. Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg, Germany.

Commito, J. A., and G. Tita. 2002. Differential dispersal rates in an intertidal meiofauna assemblage. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 268: 237-256.

Commito, J. A., E. A. Celano, H. J. Celico, S. Como, and C. P. Johnson. 2005. Mussels matter: postlarval dispersal dynamics altered by a spatially complex ecosystem engineer. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 316: 133-147.

Casu, M., F. Maltagliata, P. Cossu, T. Lai, M. Curini Galletti, A. Castelli, and J. A. Commito. 2005. Fine-grained spatial genetic structure in the bivalve Gemma gemma from Maine and Virginia (USA), as revealed by Inter-Simple Sequence Repeat markers. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 325: 46-54.

Commito, J. A., W. E. Dow, and B. M. Grupe. 2006. Hierarchical spatial structure in soft-bottom mussel beds. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 330: 27-37.

Dubois, S., J. A. Commito, F. Olivier, and C. Retière. 2006. Effects of epibionts on Sabellaria alveolata (L.) biogenic reefs and their associated fauna in the Bay of Mont Saint-Michel. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 68: 635-646.

Crawford, T. W., J. A. Commito, and A. B. Borowik. 2006. Fractal characterization of Mytilus edulis L. spatial structure in intertidal landscapes using GIS methods. Landscape Ecology 21: 1033-1044.

Commito, J. A., S. Como, B. M. Grupe, and W. E. Dow. 2008. Species diversity in the soft-bottom intertidal zone: biogenic structure, sediment, and macrofauna across mussel bed spatial scales. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 366: 70-81.

Gutiérrez, J. L., C. G. Jones, J. E. Byers, K. K. Arkema, K. Berkenbusch, J. A. Commito, C. M. Duarte, S. D. Hacker, I. E. Hendriks, P. J. Hogarth, J. G. Lambrinos, M. G. Palomo, and C. Wild. 2011. Physical ecosystem engineers and the functioning of estuaries and coasts, Chapter 5, Volume 7: Functioning of Estuaries and Coastal Ecosystems. Ed. by C. H. R. Heip, C. J. M., Philippart, and J. J. Middelburg), Treatise on Estuarine and Coastal Science (Series eds., E. Wolanski and D. McLusky). pp. 53-81. Elsevier, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Yeager, A. D., J. A. Commito, A. Wilson, L. Schwarzkopf, and D. Bower. 2014. Sex, light, and sound: Location and combination of multiple attractants affect probability of cane toad (Rhinella marina) capture. Journal of Pest Science 87: 323-329.

Commito, J. A., A. E. Commito, R. V. Platt, B. M. Grupe, W. E. Dow, N. J. Gownaris, K. A. Reeves, and A. M. Vissichelli. 2014. Recruitment facilitation and spatial pattern formation in soft-bottom mussel beds. Ecosphere 5: 1-26. art160. http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/ES14-00200.1

Commito, J. A., N. J. Gownaris, D. E. Bates, S. E. Coleman, and Brian F. Beal. 2016. Separation anxiety: Mussels self-organize into similar power-law clusters regardless of predation threat cues. Marine Ecology Progress Series 547: 107-119.

Commito, J. A., M. A. Jones, B. R. Jones, S. E. Winders, and S. Como. 2016. After the fall: Legacy effects of a former mussel bed on soft-bottom sediment and community structure. In preparation.

Commito, J. A., B. R. Jones, M. A. Jones, S. E. Winders, and S. Como. 2016. Ecosystem processes altered by biogenic cover types after mussel bed collapse: Legacy effects on sediment flux and bottom fauna transport in bedload. In preparation.

PERSONAL

Born: 23 April 1949, Everett, Massachusetts.
Married: 1971, two daughters.
Interests: cooking, winter sports, sculpting, painting, collecting slide rules.
Civic Service: Carteret County Help‑Line Crisis Counselor, Carteret County Migrant Worker Council (President), Catoctin Land Trust Advisory Board, College Park Historic District Committee, Cornell University Secondary Schools Admissions Committee, Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America Walkathon Organizer, Frederick Community College Task Force on the Environment, Frederick Community Commons Advisory Board, Frederick Peace Resource Center Board of Directors, Frederick Soup Kitchen Volunteer, Gettysburg-Adams County Environmental Committee, Maine State Legislative Select Committee on Marine Research, Marshallberg Volunteer Fire Department, Montgomery County Public Schools Global Ecology Studies Program Advisory Committee, Montgomery County Technology Council, Parkway Elementary School PTA (President), West Frederick Middle School PTA (President).