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Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment

PhD Students - Jerry H. Moxley

Please note: Jerry has left the "Marine Laboratory" group at Duke University; some info here might not be up to date.

Areas of Interest:

  • Spatial Ecology
    Animal Movement and Tracking
    Search and Foraging Theory
    Ecosystem Conservation


  • BAPrinceton University2008


With a broad background in various fields of ecology and natural systems worldwide, Jerry is currently focusing on aspects of marine animal movement ecology for his PhD at Duke. His research focuses on improved understanding of how searching, foraging, and breeding behavior governs observed movements of marine vertebrates. Of particular interest is testing predictions of optimal foraging theory in the wild using multi-sensor tags that more directly observe foraging events. Extending beyond raw description of dispersal behavior, he searches for bridges between movement pattern and community-wide impacts (both through reproduction & alteration of the nearby environment).

Curriculum Vitae


Old-time music, Fiddle, Adventure Sports, Bicycles, Volleyball


Prior to Duke, Jerry researched a broad range of topics with collaborators at Princeton University, Environmental Defense Fund, and Scripps Institute of Oceanography. He has extensive diving experience (300+ dives) and monitors the rocky reef fish communities in the Gulf of California annually. Here with a regional focus and properly set baselines, our community ecology perspective elucidates the degradation of rocky reef assemblages and highlights management pathways towards near-pristine, high biomass states. At EDF, his research focused on fisheries management reform and how principles of resilience theory could be interpreted and integrated into management controls. At Princeton, his undergraduate thesis uncovered various search strategies in the movement of Neotropical antbirds in search of profitable (in terms of forage) army ant swarms. This thesis was awarded the department’s top prize, the Charles M. Canon Thesis Award.


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Contact Jerry H. Moxley at:

135 Duke Marine Lab Road Beaufort, NC 28516
Cell Phone: 804-380-6852