During this three year project, the PI will bring US students to the Lough Hyne Marine Reserve in County Cork, Ireland to conduct ecological research. This reserve is Europe?s first statutory marine reserve and is among the world?s most studied protected shores with more than 70 years of ecological study. This sea lough, known for extremely rich habitats and high species diversity, is faced with imminent change due to a recent series of large-scale alterations in the lough data. Each year two undergraduate and two graduate students will participate in the project. The Irish collaborators are Colin Little (University of Bristol) and Rob McAllen (University College Cork). Lough Hyne is an ideal field model system and the location has many logistical scientific and educational advantages. The unifying research theme is understanding the marine benthic ecology of the Lough Hyne primarily by recording species abundance and distributions and comparing these over time and over different spatial scales. The students? participation in long-term monitoring of historical sites will allow for detection of long term changes that are otherwise difficult to assess. Working in a marine protected area with local scientists is an invaluable experience for students that will translate well into their futures in marine sciences.