Stephanie Archer

Assistant Professor
Archer Lab website

Education · Research Interests · Current Projects · Selected Publications


  • Ph.D., 2015, Zoology, NC State University
    M.S., 2009, Ecology, Utah State University
    B.S., 2004, Ecology, University of Georgia


I am an ecologist with a research program focused on exploring the fundamental principles that underpin the structure and function of biogenic habitats (e.g. sponge grounds, coral reels, oyster reefs, seagrass beds). I use a combination of observational and experimental approaches to elucidate the role that habitat forming species play in maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem function in the Anthropocene. I apply the findings of my research to tackle pressing issues in marine conservation by working directly with fisheries and resource managers to identify habitats in need of protection and developing monitoring methods grounded in cutting edge research. To this end my research is focused in three broad areas: 1) revealing the factors that maintain biodiversity and ecosystem function, 2) identifying drivers of decline in biogenic habitats, and 3) developing monitoring and restoration techniques for biogenic habitats.


  • Ecology of Glass Sponge Reefs: determining the drivers of ecosystem status and identifying species and methods for monitoring
  • Developing passive acoustic methods to monitor fish species in British Columbia
  • Determining the prevalence of anthropogenic noise on deep-water Glass Sponge Reefs
  • Managing for ecosystem integrity of Marine Protected Areas: Linking applied conservation tools (back) to ecological principles
  • Determining how ignoring detection probability impacts biodiversity discovery and conservation in the ocean
  • Assessing the impacts of Hurricane Dorian on the coastal ecosystems of the Northwestern Bahamas


*see website for full list

  • Loh, TL, SK Archer, and A Dunham. 2019. Monitoring program design for data‐limited marine biogenic habitats: A structured approach. Ecology and Evolution. 9:7346-7359. DOI:10.1002/ece3.5261
  •  Grant, N., E. Matveev, A. S. Kahn, S. K. Archer, A. Dunham, R. J. Bannister, D. Eerkes-Medrano, and S. P.  Leys. 2019. Effect of suspended sediments on the pumping rates of three species of glass sponge in  situ. Marine Ecology Progress Series 615:79-100. DOI: 10.3354/meps12939
  • Archer, SK, WD Halliday, A Riera, X. Mouy, JWF Chu, MK Pine, A Dunham, and F Juanes. 2018. The first description of a glass sponge reef soundscape reveals fish calls and elevated sound pressure levels. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 595:245-252 DOI:10.3354/meps12572
  • Archer, SK, AS Kahn, SP Leys, T Norgard, F Girard, CP Du Preez, and A Dunham. 2018. Pyrosome  consumption by benthic organisms during blooms in the NE Pacific and Gulf of Mexico. Ecology    99:981-984. DOI: 10.1002/ecy.2097
  • Archer, SK, JL Stevens, RE Rossi, KO Matterson, and CA Layman. 2017. Abiotic conditions drive significant variability in microbial activity and nutrient processing in a common Caribbean sponge,  Ircinia felix. Limnology and Oceanography 62: 1783–1793. DOI:10.1002/lno.10533
  • Archer, SK, JE Allgeier, BX Semmens, SA Heppell, CV Pattengill-Semmens, AD Rosemond, PG Bush, CM McCoy, BC Johnson, and CA Layman. 2015. Hot moments in spawning aggregations: Implications for ecosystem-scale nutrient cycling. Coral Reefs 34(1):19-23. DOI: 10.1007/s00338-014-1208-4