Margot Hessing-Lewis is working in Dr. Sally Hacker's lab and is co-advised by Dr. Bruce Menge. Hessing-Lewis studies the seagrass species Zostera marina that grows in Oregon Coast estuaries, and she specifically analyzes how blooms of green macroalgae affect this species. In systems where land-based nutrient run-off fuels blooms of macroalgae, seagrass is often negatively affected. However, using a comparative experimental approach, Hessing-Lewis has found that macroalgal blooms in Oregon, which are primarily driven by upwelled nutrients from the adjacent ocean, can have context-dependent effects on seagrass. For instance, in the marine zones of estuaries, where the largest blooms often occur, they do not negatively affect eelgrass. These findings have implications for the management of this critical benthic habitat and show how the bio-physical environment can change the outcome of species interactions.