Graduate Students & Postdoctoral Researchers

Casey Sheridan

Taylor White

Wendy Bragg

Calvin Munson

Frankie Gerraty


Mark Morales - PhD 2023

Dissertation: Physical-Biological Drivers of Population Replenishment for an Ecologically Important Fish Species of the California Current

Post grad affiliation: Postdoctoral Scholar, Global Change Research Group, UCSC

Mallarie Yeager - Postdoc  2021-2023

Project: California MPA Network Connectivity

Post-postdoc affiliation: Resource Specialist, NOAA Fisheries, Juneau Alaska.

Rachel Pausch - PhD 2023

Dissertation: Compensatory mitigation and habitat restoration in coastal California

Post grad affiliation: Ecologist, CA Coastal Commission 

Ellen Willis-Norton - PhD 2022

Dissertation: Impacts of Global Environmental Change on Fish and Fisheries of the Northeastern Pacific Ocean

Post-grad affiliation: Postdoctoral researcher, UC Santa Barbara 

Dr. Barbara Spiecker-Postdoc 2022

Project: Kelp forest ecosystem responses to California MLPA Network

Post postdoc affiliation: Postdoctoral researcher, University of New Hampshire

Sara Gonzalez - PhD 2022

Dissertation: Ecological and evolutionary drivers of morphology and alginate content in Giant Kelp

Post-grad affiliation: Postdoctoral researcher, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute 

Joshua Smith - PhD 2021

Dissertation: Patch dynamics, behavioral responses, and kelp forest stability across a mosaic of ecosystem states

Post grad affiliation: Conservation Research Fellow, Monterey Bay Aquarium

Kathryn (Kat) Beheshti - PhD 2021

Dissertation: Loss and Recovery of Coastal Foundation Species: Salt Marsh and Seagrass Dynamics in a Central California Estuary

Post-grad affiliation: Assistant Researcher, UC Santa Barbara

Gina Contolini - PhD 2019

Dissertation: Ecology of Population-level Trait Variation in Predators of Foundational Intertidal Mussels

Post-grad affiliation: Kelp Restoration Specialist, Greater Farallones Association

Roy Qi - MA 2019

Thesis: Delineating appropriate boundaries for regional management of California nearshore reef-associated fish species as a coupled social-ecological system 

Rachel Zuercher - PhD 2018

 Dissertation: Social and Ecological Connectivity in Kelp Forest Ecosystems

Post-grad affiliation: Postdoctoral researcher, University of Rhode Island

Monica Moritsch - PhD 2018

Dissertation:  Ecological causes and consequences of sea star wasting syndrome on the Pacific Coast

Post-grad affiliation: Blue Carbon Scientist, Environmental Defense Fund.

Kate Melanson -PhD 2018

Dissertation: Between a rock and a hard place: an assessment of black abalone in the California Channel Islands and the policy implications of protected species interactions

Post-grad affiliation: Ecologist, AECOM

Sarah Tepler-Drobnitch - PhD 2016

(co-advised Jarmila Pittermann) 

Dissertation: Kelp and Carbon: Pathways and Barriers to Acquisition and Transport

Kristin de Nesnera - PhD 2016

Dissertation: Linking ecology, restoration science, and mitigation policy to guide management of rocky intertidal habitats affected by oil spills

Post-grad affiliation: Lecturer, Loyola University of Chicago.

Brent Hughes - PhD 2014

Dissertation: Food webs, resilience, and functioning of an estuary under multiple threats: Lessons learned from Elkhorn Slough

Post-grad affiliation:  Associate Professor, Sonoma State University

Kim Brewitt - PhD 2014

Dissertation: Environmental heterogeneity mediates juvenile salmonid use of thermal refuges

Post-grad affiliation: Lecturer, University of South Carolina 

Rodrigo Beas-Luna - PhD 2014

Dissertation:  Development and application of mass-balanced ecological network models for kelp forest ecosystems

Post-grad affiliation: Associate Professor,  Universidad Autónoma de Baja California 

Megan Sabal - MA 2014

Thesis: Interactive Effects Of Non-Native Predators And Anthropogenic Habitat Alterations On Native Juvenile Salmon 

Post-grad affiliation: Fish Conservation Scientist, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

Ann-Marie Osterback - PhD 2014

(co-advised with Jonathan Moore)

Dissertation: Subsidized predators and imperiled prey: the impact of avian predators on salmonids

Post-grad affiliation: Associate Project Scientist, NOAA Fisheries and UC Santa Cruz

Mary Young - PhD 2014

Dissertation: A landscape ecology approach to informing the ecology and management of coastal marine species and ecosystems

Post grad affiliation: Research Fellow, Deakin University

Brenda Mahoney - PhD 2014

Dissertation: Life in a patchy world: species-habitat relationships link macroalgal communities to higher trophic levels in temperate rocky reef.

Kristen Kusic Heady - PhD 2012

Dissertation: Latitudinal Gradients of Rocky Intertidal Community Structure Along The Northeast Pacific Coast: Patterns of Distributions, Abundance and Diversity 

Post-grad affiliation: Lecturer, UC Santa Cruz

Walter Heady - PhD 2012

Dissertation: Relationships among environment, movement, growth and survival of coastal rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) 

Post-grad affiliation: Senior Scientist, The Nature Conservancy

Kendra Karr - PhD 2011

Dissertation: Patterns, mechanisms and community consequences of variation in kelp forest canopies

Post-grad affiliation: Senior Scientist, Environmental Defense Fund

Jared Figurski - PhD 2011

Dissertation: Patterns and sources of variation in drift algae and the ecological consequences for kelp forests

Post grad affiliation: Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Lindsay Woodson - MA 2010

Thesis: Using Comparative Otolith and Seawater Microchemistry to Determine the Role of Coastal Upwelling in Recruitment Variability of Marine Fishes

Post grad affiliation:  Harvard University

Jan Freiwald - PhD 2010

Dissertation: Causes and Consequences of the Movement of Temperate Reef Fishes

Post grad affiliation: Executive Director, Reef Check Foundation

Katy Kunkel-Muenter - MA 2009

Thesis: Disentangling Effects of Algal Habitat Structure on Invertebrate Abundance and Diversity

Amanda Jensen - 2009

(co-advised with Giacomo Bernardi)

Dissertation: Genetic Variation of the Mugil in the Northern Gulf of California

Melissa Foley - PhD 2009

Dissertation: Investigating the influence of allochthonous subsidies on nearshore giant kelp forests in Big Sur, California

Post grad affiliation: San Francisco Estuary Institute

Jennifer O'Leary - PhD 2009

Dissertation: Effects of fishing and trophic interactions on tropical reef builders: Coralline algae and corals

Post grad affiliation: Cal Poly

Rikke Eriksen (Preisler) - PhD 2009

Dissertation: Biogeographic variation in abundance, habitat, and behavior of the European green crab, Carcinus maenas 

Post grad affiliation: Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve

Tish Conway-Cranos - PhD 2009

Dissertation: Recovery dynamics in rocky intertidal communities: Patterns, mechanisms and simulations.  

Post grad affiliation: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife 

Dawn Hart (Jeck) - PhD 2008

Dissertation: Generality and consequences of keystone predation in rocky intertidal habitats of central California

Post grad affiliation: Santa Clara University

Chad Hanson - MA 2008

(co-advised with Bruce McFarlane)

Thesis: Influence of lagoon habitat on steelhead life history variation

Post grad affiliation: Oregon State University

Nina D'Amore - PhD 2008

Dissertation: The ecology and recovery of the federally threatened California red-legged frog 

Post grad affiliation: Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve 

Katie Alt (Griffith) - PhD 2008

Dissertation: The ecology of a parasitic plant and its host plant in a central California salt marsh 

Post grad affiliation: Wellesley Natural Resources Commission 

Martha Burford - PhD 2007

(co-advised with Giacomo Bernardi)

Dissertation: Speciation and Genetic Structure in a Marine Fish with an Extended Pelagic Larval Phase: an Analysis of Both the Juvenile and Adult Populations of Blue Rockfish (Sebastes mystinus

Post grad affiliation: North Carolina State University

Rachel Barnett-Johnson - PhD 2007

(co-advised with Bruce McFarlane)

Dissertation: Spatial scales of mixing and natal source contributions of salmon populations in the coastal ocean detected by otolith and genetic signatures of origin

Post grad affiliation: NOAA

Cynthia Hays - PhD 2006

 Dissertation: Ecological consequences of dispersal and gene flow in an intertidal alga

Post grad affiliation: Keene State University 

Yuri Springer - PhD 2006

(co-advised with Greg Gilbert)

Dissertation: Epidemiology, resistance structure, and the effects of soil calcium on a serpentine plant-pathogen interaction

Post grad affiliation: University of Alaska

Kristan Blackhart - MA 2006

Thesis: Linking Coastal Oceanography and the Settlement Dynamics of Temperate Reef Fishes

Post grad affiliation: NOAA

Morgan Bond - MA 2006

(co-advised with Bruce McFarlane)

Thesis: Estuaries as steelhead nursery habitat: growth and survival of coastal California steelhead and the estuary life history stage 

Post grad affiliation: NOAA

Irene Tetreault - PhD 2006

(co-advised with Rich Ambrose)

Dissertation: The Effects of Marine Protected Areas on Densities and Movement Patterns of Rocky Reef Fish in Southern California

Post grad affiliation: UC Los Angeles

Amy Ritter -  PhD 2005

Dissertation: The influence of processes at different scales on the population dynamics of intertidal fishes 

Post grad affiliation: UC Santa Cruz

Darren Johnson - MA 2005

Post grad affiliation: CSU Long Beach

Mark Readdie - PhD 2003

Dissertation: Facilitation in the rocky intertidal and its effects on vertical zonation  

Post grad affiliation: UC Natural Reserve System 

Jennifer Brown - PhD 2002

Dissertation: An evaluation of the nursery role of estuaries for flatfish populations in central California

Post grad affiliation: Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Samantha Forde -  PhD 2002

Dissertation: Evaluation of a standard monitoring unit for the recruitment of fish in central California

Post grad affiliation: UC Santa Cruz 

Diana Steller - PhD 2002

Dissertation: Rhodoliths in the Gulf of California: growth, demography, disturbance and effects on population dynamics of catarina scallops 

Post grad affiliation: Research Faculty, Moss Landing Marine Labs

Arnold Ammann -  MA 2001

Thesis: Evaluation of a standard monitoring unit for the recruitment of fish in central California

Post grad affiliation: NOAA