I am interested in the mechanisms that structure populations and shape species. Are the distribution and abundance of species and populations a result of chance; i.e. neutral theory suggesting demographic stochasticity? Or are populations structured by a combination of hydrodynamic features and species-specific ecological differences; i.e. differences in fecundity, reproductive mode, dispersal capabilities of larvae, larval behavior, niche, etc.? How are common species maintained across their range and what allows rare species to persist? To begin to delve deeper into these questions my dissertation focuses on corals in the genus Pocillopora.