Can Seagrass Help Fight Ocean Acidification?

Seagrass meadows could play a limited, localized role in alleviating ocean acidification in coastal ecosystems, according to new work led by Carnegie’s David Koweek and including Carnegie’s Ken Caldeira and published in Ecological Applications.

When coal, oil, or gas is burned, the resulting carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere where it is the driving force behind global climate change. But this atmospheric carbon dioxide is also absorbed into the ocean where chemical reactions with the seawater produce carbonic acid, which is corrosive to marine life, particularly to organisms like mussels and oysters that construct their shells and exoskeletons out of calcium carbonate.

Seagrasses provide an important source of food and shelter for marine animals, help fight erosion of the sediments that form the sea bed, and filter bacterial pathogens from the water. They also take up carbon dioxide as part of their daytime photosynthetic activity.

The paper’s other co-authors are: Richard Zimmerman of Old Dominion University; Kathryn Hewett, Brian Gaylord, and John. J. Stachowicz of University of California Davis; Sarah Giddings of University of California San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Kerry Nickols of California State University Northridge; Jennifer Ruesink of University of Washington; and Yuichiro Takeshita of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.

Read the article here.


NOAA Announces 2018 Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Recipients

NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries has selected three graduate students as recipients of the Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship, representing graduate-level areas of study such as marine biology, oceanography and maritime archaeology. The scholarship recognizes outstanding graduate students and encourages independent research, particularly by female and minority students.

Two of the three recipients this year are UC Davis / Bodega Marine Laboratory / Coastal and Marine Sciences Institute graduate students!  Congratulations to Kathryn Hewett and Carina Fish!

“This highly competitive scholarship program allows the next generation of NOAA scientists to grow intellectually while promoting the work and mission of the National Marine Sanctuary System,” said John Armor, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries director. “It presents an unmatched opportunity to provide these young scholars with guidance in the very beginning of their careers.”

Click here for the details on the NOAA website; and here to read the UC Davis CBS article.


UC Davis is helping to grow food with aquaponics

Aquaponic facilities can grow fresh food year-round.  To listen to The Washington Post video, featuring Jackson Gross, UC Davis aquaculture specialist, click here.

To read the story, click here.


Dr. Susan Lynn Williams

Dr. Susan Williams obituary was published in the Press Democrat.  Please view this PDF, or visit their site here to read...

A Memorial Fund has been established in her honor.  Any donations given in her name will be used to build an endowment to support graduate students working on coastal research that focuses on marine ecology.  Information on this Memorial Fund is available here.


If El Niños Happen Twice as Often in the Future, What Happens to Seabirds?

A modeling study, from UC Davis researchers in the Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology, addresses the impacts of more frequent El Niño events on seabirds and some fish species. Specifically chosen as a model due to its sensitivity to environmental changes, scientists noticed unanticipated changes in the Brandt’s cormorant population with increasing and decreasing the frequency of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon. 

Click here to read the UC Davis News article. 

Link to the journal article here.  


Tracking Marine Life on the Edge of the Pacific

A reporter describes research at the Bodega Marine Laboratory during a time when the stakes are high for marine life in an era of climate change, and where scientists are weighing the impacts as warming oceans acifify.

To read more, click here.


UC Davis mourns the loss of marine biologist and ocean health advocate

Faculty, staff and students gathered at UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory today not for their weekly seminar, but to remember their colleague Susan Williams who died in a car crash Tuesday (April 24) while en route to the Davis campus to teach.

She had made the trip countless times, devoted to her teaching as much as her research. But this day, she would not make it — killed in the early morning on Lakeville Highway in Petaluma. Police said a pickup crossed the double-yellow line and struck Williams’ car head-on, setting off a six-vehicle pileup. Three other people were injured.

Read the entire release here; and an In Memoriam here.

Read her Spotlight here.


Stand up for science: More researchers now see engagement as a crucial part of their job

As the first anniversary of the March for Science approaches, researchers continue to reflect on the relationship between science and society. A recent survey of 2017 marchers indicated that nearly all were also actively participating in other types of science advocacy. In the past year, inspired by the call to stand up for science, scientists have written editorials, contacted members of Congress, attended public protests, initiated runs for political office, and organized new groups to support diversity, inclusion and justice.

How are today's scientists rethinking public engagement?  Four scientists spanning multiple academic career stages – Priya Shukla, University of California Davis - entering Ph.D. student; Chelsea Rochman, University of Toronto - early career; Tessa M. Hill, University of California Davis - midcareer; and Susan Williams, University of California Davis - senior scientist – discuss whether society is witnessing a fundamental change in how scientific researchers perceive their interaction with the public and policymakers.

Read the entire article here, or at this link.


Northern California Divers Battle to Save Abalone - With a Giant Sea-Urchin Vacuum

Usually, the first weekend of April is when abalone divers pack up their wetsuits and fins and head off to campsites along the Sonoma and Mendocino coast. However, this year’s recreational abalone season is closed due to a population on the brink of collapse, so the diving community has rechanneled its efforts in a seemingly mad scheme to save the abalone, involving underwater vacuums, hookahs and purple sea urchins.

Read the article here.


Carbon dioxide addition to coral reef waters suppresses net community calcification

Coral reefs feed millions of people worldwide, provide coastal protection and generate billions of dollars annually in tourism revenue.  The underlying architecture of a reef is a biogenic carbonate structure that accretes over many years of active biomineralization by calcifying organisms, including corals and algae.  Ocean acidification poses a chronic threat to coral reefs by reducing the saturation state of the aragonite mineral of which coral skeletons are primarily composed, and lowering the concentration of carbonate ions required to maintain the carbonate reef. Reduced calcification, coupled with increased bioerosion and dissolution, may drive reefs into a state of net loss this century.

UC Davis PhD student, Aaron Ninokawa, coauthored a study on the effects of ocean acidification on coral reefs that was recently published in Nature.  Learn more here.


Measuring Ocean Acidification in San Francisco Bay 

UC Davis researchers are part of the first long-term monitoring of ocean acidity and carbon dioxide in the San Francisco Bay. How is this possible? The researchers are collecting data from the newly deployed Bay Ocean Buoy (BOB) and a mooring for Marine Acidification Research Inquiry (MARI). Both carry sensors for measuring carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and water, dissolved oxygen, pH, microscopic algae, water clarity, temperature and salinity. With this data, scientists can track chemical changes over long periods of time and create a better picture for how climate change is interacting with local habitats. 

Click here to view to UC Davis News press release. 

To view the original press release by San Francisco State University, click here.


When Every Fish Counts - Genetic Tools Can Ensure Accuracy of Identification

Genetic tools can be a powerful complement to visual identification of endangered fish, indicates a study from the University of California, Davis.

In the study, published in the journal Conservation Genetics, researchers conducted genetic analysis on fin clips from endangered delta smelt, threatened longfin smelt and invasive wakasagi smelt. The fin clips were among those collected as part of the Yolo Bypass Fish Monitoring program. 

The scientists were looking for signs of hybridization, which they found is not a significant threat for this population of delta smelt. But the genetic analysis detected something they had not expected: About 27 percent of the fish originally thought to be native delta smelt in the Yolo Bypass were actually nonnative wakasagi. Overall, roughly a third of the samples were misidentified.

Find out more here.


The Lowly Seagrass That Could Save Your Oysters From Climate Change

The impacts of climate change aren’t a distant threat for the Pacific shellfish industry. Acidifying seawater is already causing problems for oyster farms along the West Coast and it’s only expected to get worse.

That has one Bay Area oyster farm looking for ways to adapt by teaming up with scientists, who are studying how the local ecosystem could lend a helping hand.

“We need help,” says Terry Sawyer of Hog Island Oyster Company. “That ‘canary in a coalmine’ analogy drives me crazy, but that’s what we are.”

By that, he means that oysters are an "indicator species" on the frying edge of a changing climate.

Sawyer found some help by opening up his oyster farm to a team of scientists. Equipment monitors the water’s acidity in real time, part of a network run by UC Davis’s Bodega Marine Lab.

Read the article here.


Economic Value of Ecological Information in Ecosystem-Based Natural Resource Management  Depends on Exploitation History

Natural resource management is evolving toward a more holistic approach that acknowledges ecological connections among species. To date, there has been no demonstration of where or when this approach provides economic benefits. Here we find only modest economic benefits from having detailed knowledge of ecological linkages between species. However, the costs of incomplete or incorrect knowledge are unevenly distributed across user groups and are greater after historical overfishing. The ecosystem approach to natural resource management might therefore provide the greatest benefit by defining safe zones where management is robust to our limited understanding of ecological systems.

UC Davis Researchers, Jim Sanchirico and Marissa Baskett, working alongside Dr. Timothy Essington, demonstrated that the economic value of ecological information in resource management may be more modest than previously expected in some situations.  Read the study here.


Chancellor's Fellows: 'Stellar' In Every Way

They are prolific scholars, strong teachers, effective mentors and dedicated contributors to campus. Their work is novel, unique and cutting-edge, groundbreaking and pathbreaking. These are among the superlatives in UC Davis letters of nomination for the university’s newest class of Chancellor’s Fellows in a program begun 18 years ago to provide philanthropic support to early career faculty members. This year’s fellows, 12 of them, are all associate professors.

Marissa L. Baskett, a CMSI faculty member, was nominated as a UC Davis Chancellor's Fellow. 

Click here to read the article.


Coping With Climate Stress in Antarctica - Some Polar Fish Can Cope With Warming or Ocean Acidification, but Not Both Together

Some Antarctic fish living in the planet’s coldest waters are able to cope with the stress of rising carbon dioxide levels in the ocean. They can even tolerate slightly warmer waters. But they can’t deal with both stressors at the same time, according to a study from the University of California, Davis.

The study, published recently in the journal Global Change Biology, of emerald rock cod is the first to show that Antarctic fishes may make trade-offs in their physiology and behavior to cope with ocean acidification and warming waters. 

“In dealing with climate stress, these fish are really bad multitaskers,” said senior author Anne Todgham, an associate professor with the UC Davis Department of Animal Science. “They seem quite capable of coping with increases in CO2, and they can compensate for some warming. But they can’t deal with both stressors at the same time. That’s a problem because those things happen together — you don’t get CO2 dissolving in the ocean independent of warming.”

The study’s authors include lead author and Ph.D. student Brittany Davis, Erin Flynn and Nann Fangue of UC Davis, Frederick Nelson of UC Davis and Howard University; and Nathan Miller from San Francisco State University.

To read the article, click here.


It's good to be rare, for some species. Rarity can be key to survival, not just extinction

UC Davis professors Rick Grosberg and Geerat Vermeij have studied how some key traits enable some species to be rare and may also hold the ticket to their survival.  Their perspective paper is published in the journal Ecology Letters and can help conservationists better manage both rare and common species. 

UC Davis News wrote about the paper here

Click here to be directly linked to the article. 


Species may appear deceptively resilient to climate change

Nature itself can be the best defense against climate change for many species — at least in the short term­ — according to a study published today (Nov. 22) in the journal Ecology Letters from the University of California, Davis.

The study found that natural habitats play a vital role in helping other plants and animals resist heat stresses ramping up with climate change — at least until the species they depend on to form those habitats become imperiled. This suggests a need to re-evaluate climate change predictions for many species, including predictions that species in the south will move north with global warming.

“We might take for granted some of the resilience of our ecosystems because we don’t realize how much they depend on these habitats,” said lead author Laura Jurgens, who was a Ph.D. candidate at the UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory at the time of the study and is currently a postdoctoral researcher with Temple University and Smithsonian Institution.  The study’s second author is Brian Gaylord, a UC Davis professor of evolution and ecology at Bodega Marine Laboratory.

Read the article here.


Can corals adapt to climate change? 

Rachael Bay, a postdoctoral scholar at UC Davis, investigated the likelyhood of coral continuing to adapt to global greenhouse emissions. Unfortunately, the corals can only withstand so much. Bay discusses how some corals are genetically predisposed to tolerate heat, which could help them adapt. Ultimately, there still needs to be a reduction in emissions as the coral can not adapt fast enough to outpace more severe future climate-change scenarios.  

Read the full article written by UC Davis News here


Species richness accelerates marine ecosystem restoration in the Coral Triangle

Coral Triangle is a marine area located in the western Pacific Ocean with exceptional species diversity in coral reefs, seagrass meadows, and mangrove forests. Caring for these at-risk areas is crucial for preserving the numerous ecological functions and benefits these habitats provide. Dr. Susan Williams, Fulbright Specialist and UC Davis professor, has been working on improving seagrass meadow restoration in Indonesia. She found that by "planting mixtures of diverse seagrass species improves their overall survival and growth.” This is bodes well for future restoration efforts.

Click here to be directed to the full article. 


The Last Stop: When There's Nowhere Colder to Go - How Climate Change Is Affecting Polar Fish at the Tip of a Warming World

Fish have been migrating to cooler water over the last several decades as the ocean warms. But in Antarctica, the coldest place on the planet, polar species have nowhere to go.

Marine life in Antarctica is especially vulnerable to climate change, which is warming oceans throughout the world. Anne Todgham, an animal scientist at the University of California, Davis, is studying how — and whether — polar fish will adapt to the changing conditions.

Preliminary results indicate that the polar fish have been able to acclimate to warm water or to higher levels of carbon dioxide, but not both together.

“They have evolved to live in very cold, stable conditions and they already live in the coldest, most stable ecosystem on Earth,” said Todgham, an associate professor in the UC Davis Department of Animal Science who specializes in how aquatic life copes with changing environments.

The research sheds light on the possible fate of many sea creatures, including ones we depend on for food.

The full version of this story, with additional photos and video, is at the UC Davis Science & Climate website.


California - North Bay Fire Relief Fund

100% of Donations to Directly Aid Victims of North Bay Fires.   

The UC Davis Coastal and Marine Sciences Institute and the Bodega Marine Laboratory have aligned with the Redwood Credit Union in support of coordinating financial donations to the North Bay Fire Relief Fund.  

The Redwood Credit Union is accepting donations to assist those impacted by the North Bay fires. Anyone can make a secure online donation or at any of RCU’s North Bay and San Francisco locations.

RCU’s North Bay Fire Relief Fund has been established by RCU Community Fund, in partnership with Redwood Credit Union, Senator Mike McGuire, and The Press Democrat.  RCU is paying all administrative costs, so 100% of your tax deductible donations will aid fire victims and relief efforts. Donors can choose to designate their support to all four counties impacted (Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino or Lake), or they can choose to support an individual impacted county.

Contributions to the fund may be made securely online via credit card at:


Checks can be dropped off at RCU locations and made payable to the RCU Community Fund (with “2017 North Bay Fire Relief” in the memo line along with a note of “All” or the designated affected county the donation will support).  Checks may also be mailed to RCU Community Fund, P.O. Box 6104, Santa Rosa, CA 95406.

“This will be an enormous challenge,” according to Rick Grosberg, Founding Director of the UC Davis Coastal and Marine Sciences Institute, “and though it will be a long road to recovery, we are in awe of the resilience, compassion and generosity of our marine sciences community.” 


Will climate change ruin the white abalone's last chance at survival?

UC Davis' very own Kristin Aquilino, a project scientist at Bodega Marine Laboratory,  is in charge of the largest population of endangered white abalone that exists in the world. Her work focuses on a long-term goal is to build the population in captivity, then outplant them into the wild and hope to increase a stable population. However, is there even a chance for them to survive back in the wild with dramatic changes in ocean chemistry due to climate change? 

Read the full article here


Study Reveals Evolutionary History of Imperiled Salmon Stocks

A study led led by the University of California, Davis, shows that there is a new technology that can help to transform how imperiled species are considered and managed for conservation protection. These technologies can be applied to a wide range of species around the world — from mushrooms to walruses — but the study focuses on two iconic species of Pacific salmon: steelhead and chinook. With the help of these new genetic technologies, there can be used to improve conservation strategies and determinine how to prioritize populations for protection under the Endangered Species Act.

Visit the UC Davis News website here for the full article. 


Marine Reserves a Solution to Bycatch Problem in Oceans Protected Areas Help Fishermen Catch the Fish They Want and Protect the Ones They Don’t

Commercial fishermen may be able to catch more of the profitable fish they want with marine reserves than without them, according to a study in the journal PNAS led by the University of California, Davis. Using marine reserves as a management tool could also help the recently rebounded West Coast groundfish fishery sustain itself, the study notes.

Marine reserves are a subset of Marine Protected Areas. Some MPAs allow fishing, but marine reserves are areas of the ocean closed to fishing and other extractive activities.

While it may sound counterintuitive, the study shows that marine reserves can help avoid reductions of allowable catch. The end result is fishermen catch more of the fish they target while protecting the weaker fish that can be caught inadvertently by indiscriminate fishing gear. These untargeted fish are called bycatch, which is one of the most crippling challenges facing global fisheries.

“With marine reserves, our models show it’s a win-win situation,” said lead author Alan Hastings, a theoretical ecologist and professor in the UC Davis Department of Environmental Science and Policy. “You can have the harvest you would like from your target species while at the same time benefiting the weak stocks.”

Read the entire article here.


$3M Program to Integrate Science and Policymaking in Ocean Research

The University of California, Davis is set to receive nearly $3 million dollars from the National Science Foundation to  train the next generation of marine scientists with an emphasis and  focus on policy at the front end of research. The research traineeship, called "Sustainable Oceans: From Policy to Science to Decesions", will begin to accept applications Fall 2018. The program’s creators envision a future where researchers, policymakers and educators seamlessly integrate natural and socioeconomic information, and improve the scientific basis of decision-making in managing coastal natural resources.

To read the entire UC Davis News article, click here

To visit the Sustainable Oceans website for more information abou the traineeship, click here


Estuary Scholar Honored 

Kathryn (Kate) Hewett is the 2017 recipient of the Neal Van Alfen and James MacDonald Graduate Student Support Fund award for her exemplary research and leadership on the science of estuaries. Kate is a Ph.D. student in the Hydrologic Sciences Graduate Group. She works with her major professor, John Largier, an oceanographer in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy who is stationed at the Bodega Marine Laboratory. Hewett has been building on her master’s studies on the role of hypoxia, a lack of oxygen, in the Russian River estuary.

To read the full article, click here. 


Tiny Shells Indicate Big Changes to Global Carbon Cycle 

UC Davis scientists at Bodega Marine Laboratory have found that under high CO2 conditions, foraminifera had trouble building shells, repairing spines and were physiologically stressed. Without being able to properly form their shelves, their ability to neutralize acidity also lessens, making the deep ocean more acidic. The study’s other co-authors include Emily Rivest from UC Davis and Virginia Institute of Marine Science, UC Davis professors Brian Gaylord and Eric Sanford, and UC Davis associate research scientist Ann Russell.

To read the full article by UC Davis News click here


Postdoc Mike Gil Named TEDGlobal Fellow 

Postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy, Mike Gil, has been named one of twenty 2017 TEDGlobal Fellows. Gil’s work on ocean ecology and coral reefs has taken him around the world, from Thailand to French Polynesia, to cruising through the North Pacific “garbage patch.” He is also deeply committed to talking to the public about science. He started blogging in 2011 and launched a YouTube channel in 2012.

To read more, click here for UCDavis News article. 


Major Leopard Shark Die-off in San Francisco Bay 

One of the friendlier apex predators, the leopard shark, is showing up dead all along our northern California coastlines. Scientists suspect the sharks are being killed by a fatal brain infection linked to a fungus that may have been spread by the huge amounts of rain California received this year. Learn what Jim Hobbs, UC Davis research scientist, has to say about this discovery here.  


Bringing White Abalone Back From The Brink 

Dr. Kristin Aquilino and Professor Gary Cherr at UC Davis hope hope to save the species by reintroducing their captive-bred population back into the wild. While once thriving in kelp forests in Southern California and Mexico, the white abalone are now being threatening by overfishing and are close to extinction. By breeding them in captivity, there is hope that there may be a chance for the populations to recover. 

Read the ful article by Scientia here.  


Peter Wainwright Explores Fish Evolution and Feeding 

One of the world's leading experts in fish morphology, Peter Wainwright has begun to tie together how the 700 families of fish are related to one another and how they have evolved in their environments. His work focuses on biomechanics of how fish feed and how this has led to their ecology. 

On Tuesday May 9th, 2017, Peter Wainwright will present at the annual Faculty Research Lecture, the highest award presented by the faculty of UC Davis to one of their colleagues. The award ceremony begins at 5:30 pm followed by a reception and Wainwright’s lecture, “Wrasses, Cichlids and Honeycreepers: Will the Real Adaptive Radiation Please Stand."

Read the UC Davis News article discussing this event and Wainwright's work here.  


Bay Area Scientists Saving Abalone From the Future

Scientists predict the world’s oceans will become vastly more acidic in the next 40 years due to pollution — with the impact already affecting oysters, sea urchins and coral. Researchers have seen red abalone that have suffered in areas where acid levels are already elevated.  Scientists at the Bodega Marine Laboratory said red abalone are most vulnerable to ocean conditions in the first three months of life. “There is reason to be concerned,” said BML researcher Daniel Swezey. “In addition to kind of mortality, we’re seeing they’re smaller, they’re developing more slowly.”

Read the article and watch a video here.


Close to Home: Why I chose to March for science on Earth Day 

UC Davis Environmental Science Professor John Largier took a stand for science this past weekend. Largier is an oceanographer and researcher at Bodega Marine Laboratory. While his work focuses on coastal oceanography focusing on ecological and environmental issues, his passion for science extend outside of the classroom and laboratory as well. He was featured in The Press Democrat detailing why he chose to March for Science this past weekend. 

Additionally, he was featured in a short video discussing climate change and the effects on Crab fisheries that we can see here along the California Coast. 

To read full article from The Press Democrat, click here

For the link to the video discussing climate change effects on Dungeness crab, click here


Canary in the Kelp Forest: Sea Creature Dissolves in Today’s Warming, Acidic Waters

In the study, published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, researchers at the UC Davis BML, including Daniel Swezey, Jessica Bean, Aaron Ninokawa, Eric Sanford, Tessa Hill and Brian Gaylord, raised bryozoans, also known as “moss animals,” in seawater tanks to witness intense changes in body morphology and behavior. The study emphasized the challenges faced by marine life with respect to ocean acidification and global warming, bringing to light how quickly such organisms can show signs of impact.

Read full article from UC Davis News here.

Also, you may read the article from the local Press Democrat here; and from the Sacramento Bee here.

To listen to an interview by Daniel Swezey on Oregon Public Radio, click here.


El Niño’s Gone, But Some Unusual Southern Visitors Remain on the North Coast

Investigating El Niño weather pattern and the effects it has on redistribution of species, BML research coordinator Jackie Sones and ecology professor Eric Sanford have discovered red pelagic crabs on the Californian Northern Coastline. Because they are usually found off Baja California, Sones and Sanford suggest that the finding is indicative of how strong the most recent El Nino was. 

To read the ful article published by BayNature click here.

Also published in SFGate and can be viewed here


The Extraordinary Effort to Save the White Abalone 

Bodega Marine Laboratory team member Kristin Aquilino has been featured on KQED Science regarding her efforts to study and protect white abalone. Aquilino reflects on her time at BML researching abalone and the path to species revival.

Read the KQED Science article here


Genetic Key to Salt-Tolerance Discovered in Tilapia Fish

UC Davis Faculty member and professor, Dietmar Kueltz and his team of collaborators have published research regarding ave now identified short DNA segments in tilapia that influence the expression of the genes that regulate the fish’s internal body chemistry in response to salinity stress. This discovery may help in the species conservation efforts, and help to identify what other fish species might share same trait.

Click here to read the article from UC Davis News. 


Melting Sea Ice May Be Speeding Nature’s Clock in the Arctic

UC Davis Faculty member Eric Post's article on Arctic Warming addresses the correlation between warming temperatures and when inland plants bloom. The article focuses on how this change in "nature's clock" will affect the ecology of the Arctic region. 

To read the article from UC Davis News click here


Sea urchins and seawater acidification; how are genes helping to cope with this environmental stress? 

Eric Sanford and colleagues have published imperative research regarding seawater acidification and how it affects sea urchin populations in the surrounding area. Sanford and team discuss how long-term ocean acidification and change in pH have affected sea urchin populations and overall marine ecosystem health. 

Read abstract here


Chancellor's Fellows Working to Improve the World 

11 associate professors or recently promoted full professors have be named recipients of the 2016-2017 Chancellor's Fellows. This fellow is Among the 11 was associate professor of the Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology, Nann Fangue. 

Read full article from UC Davis News here


Reef Fish That Conquer Fear Of Sharks May Help Control Excess Algae 

The study, published January 12 in the journal Ecology, found that coral reef fish, like some land-baed animals, experience “landscapes of fear”. The term describes how fish and other organisms perceive the safety of their environment based on where and how much shelter from predators is available. Mike Gil, UC Davis Postdoc, discuses why coral reef conservation is important and why understanding how fish behave should be further studied. 

Full article available from UCDavis News here.


12. 26. 16 

USF to study how commerical fisherman were affected by BP oil spill 

Six years ago, when the Deepwater Horizon disaster forced the federal government to close off vast tracts of the Gulf of Mexico to fishing, some commercial fisherman weighed anchor and tried their luck elsewhere. Others quit fishing to work for BP on the cleanup. 

UC Davis Professor and Associate Director of CMSI Jim Sanchirico is working on the Gulf Research Program (GRP) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The recipients of three synthesis grants, totaling over $2.1 million, are working to support projects that apply scientific synthesis to connect environmental, social, and/or health data to advance understanding of the short- and long-term impacts of offshore oil and gas operations on human communities in coastal regions adjacent to the U.S. outer continental shelf.

Read here about the grant from the project team of Steven Murawski, Claire B. Paris, and Jim Sanchirico.  The project team plans to synthesize data to explore and quantify how oil spills like Deepwater Horizon affect fishing communities.

Click here to read the article from Tampa Bay Times. 


Year in Review:  Ocean changes upend North Coast fisheries

BODEGA BAY — In any other year, the large bins of Dungeness crab that are loaded dockside in this busy fishing village and rolled out by truck to be sold and served during the holidays would seem like no big deal.

But after an unprecedented delay in the 2015-16 commercial season forced local crabbers to leave their boats tied up through winter and on into spring, the tons of meaty crustaceans landed in port this month have been a welcome sign of normalcy restored, if only for a moment.

For here on the edge of the Pacific, where commercial fishing remains a way of life, once reliable ocean rhythms have been seriously unsettled of late, confounding those who depend on predictable, seasonal cycles and highlighting future uncertainties.

Click here to read the article.


Mass Oyster Die-Off in S.F. Bay Related to Atmospheric Rivers

Study First to Show Biological Impact of Atmospheric Rivers

Amospheric rivers contributed to a mass die-off of wild Olympia oysters in north San Francisco Bay in 2011, according to a study led by the University of California, Davis and the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, or NERR.

The study, published Dec. 14 in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, is the first to document biological impacts of atmospheric rivers, which are predicted to increase in frequency and intensity under future climate change.

“This shows us one way in which extreme events might affect coastal ecosystems,” said lead author Brian Cheng, a UC Davis doctoral candidate and NERR graduate research fellow at the time of the study. “Oysters can help buffer shorelines and enhance biodiversity, but this is one facet of climate change that might be a hurdle for oyster restoration efforts in San Francisco Bay.”

Read the story here.


Against the Tide: A Fish Adapts Quickly to Lethal Levels of Pollution

While environmental change is outpacing the rate of evolution for many other species, Atlantic killifish living in four polluted East Coast estuaries turn out to be remarkably resilient. What makes Atlantic killifish so special?

Find out from UC Davis News here


Ocean Acidificaiton study offers warnings for marine life 

The work by biodiversity researchers from the University of British Columbia (UBC) and colleagues in the U.S., Europe, Australia, Japan and China, combines dozens of existing studies to paint a more nuanced picture of the impact of ocean acidification.

While most research in the field focuses on the impact of ocean acidification on individual species, the new work predicts how acidification will affect the living habitats, such as corals, seagrasses, and kelp forests, that form the homes of other ocean species.

To read full online article from UBC news click here.

To view published version online through Nature click here


Study Resolves Persistent “Conserve or Catch” Conflict in Marine Reserve Network Design

Former UC Davis Postdoc Iliana Chollett, now at the Smithsonian, was published in the journal Conservation Letters on November 16th, 2016. The paper focused on the managment of the prized spiny lobster in the Caribbean, which is crucial to the local economy.

Read the full paper here

For the press release from Smithsonian click here. 


UC President tours Bodega Marine Lab and Reserve

The president, Janet Napolitano, was joined by lab and reserve staff, as well as UC Davis faculty and students, for a tour of the lab and the surrounding 362 acres of Bodega Marine Reserve. Along the way, the UC chief learned how the wildlands of the reserve complement the indoor lab facilities, and that this synergy fuels research into conservation, ocean processes, climate change adaptation, and other fundamental scientific questions. 

View full article here. 


Why Do Seabirds Eat Plastic? The Answer Stinks 

If it smells like food, and looks like food, it must be food right?

Not in the case of ocean-faring birds that are sometimes found with bellies full of plastic. But very little research examines why birds make the mistake of eating plastic in the first place.

To learn exactly what marine plastic debris smells like, the scientists put beads made of the three most common types of plastics debris --- high-desnty polyethylene, low-density polyethylene, and poly-propylene--- into the ocean at Monterey Bay and Bodega Bay, off the California coast. 

Read full article from UC Davis News here. 


Survey Shows Impact of Sea Star Wasting Disease in Salish Sea

Sea star wasting disease has devastated intertidal populations of these animals on the West coast from Mexico to Alaska. But what about sea stars that live below the low tide line, mostly out of sight? An analysis of data collected by divers in the Salish Sea shows severe impacts on some species, especially the sunflower sea star, Pycnopodia helianthoides.

“Sunflower stars are major predators. This is probably going to change the shape of the ecosystem,” said Joe Gaydos, wildlife veterinarian and chief scientist with the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine's SeaDoc Society, which carried out the analysis with colleagues from Cornell University. The findings, published Oct. 26, 2016, in the journal PLOS One, reflect anecdotal reports from elsewhere on the West coast, he said.

Read this sea star wasting disease paper on the UC Davis news site, and as published in PLOS One.


Atom-by-Atom Growth Chart for Shells Helps Decode Past Climate

For the first time scientists can see how the shells of tiny marine organisms grow atom-by-atom, a new study reports. The advance provides new insights into the mechanisms of biomineralization and will improve our understanding of environmental change in Earth's past.

Led by researchers from the University of California, Davis and the University of Washington, with key support from the U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the team examined an organic-mineral interface where the first calcium carbonate crystals start to appear in the shells of foraminifera, a type of plankton.

"We've gotten the first glimpse of the biological event horizon," said Howard Spero, a study co-author and UC Davis geochemistry professor. The findings were published Monday, Oct. 24, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Read the full article for details about how the shells of tiny marine organisms grow atom-by-atom.


How Did An International Team Save Two Sea Lions? 

Earlier this month, an International team carried out the first disentanglement by remote immobilization in Washington state. The team of veterinarians, wildlife officials and biologists saved two adult male California sea lions, who were entangled in discarded packing straps. 

Ghost fishing, along with other marine debris, poses a huge threat to both California and Stellar sea lions. 

To read the full article, click here.  


Climate Change May Benefit Native Oysters, But There's a Catch

Amid efforts to restore native oyster populations on the West Coast, how are oysters expected to fare under climate change in the decades and centuries to come? Not too badly, according to a study from the University of California, Davis. But there’s a big “if” involved.

In the study, published Oct. 10 in the journal Functional Ecology, researchers investigated oysters in the lab and in oyster beds at California’s Tomales Bay and San Francisco Bay. They found that certain components of climate change may actually benefit oysters in California in the long term, provided they have enough food, because they tend to grow faster at warmer temperatures. Good news? Not so fast.

To read the UC Davis article, click here.

To read the Davis Enterprise article, click here.


On Ocean Plastic Instead of Turtle Shells, Crabs Abandon Monogamy

The oceanic crab Planes minutus lives far from land. The crabs find a refuge between the upper shell and tail of loggerhead sea turtles, where they are nearly always found as a monogamous pair, one male and one female. But floating plastic trash in the ocean provides many new places for these crabs to live — and more space opens up many different ways for crabs to live and find partners.

“What’s really interesting is that the morphology of sea turtles seems to promote a particular mating system for the crabs,” said Mike Gil, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Davis. Gil is co-author on the study, published Sept. 21 in the journal Biology Letters, with Joseph Pfaller of the University of Florida.

To read more, click here.


Bodega Marine Laboratory turns 50!

The Bodega Marine Laboratory celebrated its 50th Anniversary over the course of two days this month.  The September 16-17 festivities includes an alumni reunion that welcomed hundreds of former students, staff and donors since the 1960s. They were hosted by more than 100 resident BML faculty, graduate students and staff representing current research activities. Seven speakers representing different decades spoke on how BML influenced their lives. The repeating theme was how their BML experience was inspiring and challenging in a close-knit family setting, and where young aspirants were transformed into budding and accomplished scientists.

See the full story with photos and video here.


Science Friday

Roughly 1,600 people attended the Science Friday radio show at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts last weekend, and soon the whole world can hear a recording of the show.

UC Davis scientists are featured in the episode titled “Life Without Water,” to be presented on Capital Public Radio (90.5 FM) from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 9 to 11 p.m. this Friday (Sept. 30). Ira Flatow’s show also plays on more than 375 other National Public Radio-affiliated stations.

The show, recorded Sept. 24, included:

Click here to see the article.


Robot Larvae Deployed at Sea - 'Minion'-like Robots Reveal Surprising Ways Marine Larvae Move, and What That Means for the Ocean

Scientists from the University of California, Davis, are deploying “robot larvae” into the ocean at Bodega Bay, just north of San Francisco.  These robots mimic clouds of microscopic marine larvae, such as baby crabs, mussels, clams and rockfish. The data the bots bring back provide some of the first direct confirmation of a decades-old and surprisingly contentious scientific mystery: Where do marine larvae go, how do they get there and back, and what allows them to do this?

“How can you effectively manage something if you do not know where it goes, how it got there, and how it gets back?” said project lead scientist Steven Morgan, a professor of marine ecology with the UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory and the Department of Environmental Science and Policy. “The fate of larvae has been a mystery since they were discovered. If you think about yourself, you always know where your kids are and exactly how many are alive, right? It’s really fundamental information.” 

Read the entire article here.

Read the San Francisco Chronicle article here.


Quoting from a recent NPR story entitled, "Your Gut's Gone Viral, And That Might Be Good For Your Health"...  Everywhere you turn, it seems, there's news about the human microbiome. And, more specifically, about the bacteria that live in your gut and help keep you healthy.

Those bacteria, it turns out, are hiding a big secret: their own microbiome.

A study published Monday suggests some viruses in your gut could be beneficial. And these viruses don't just hang out in your intestines naked and homeless. They live inside the bacteria that make their home in your gut.

CMSI faculty member Jonathan Eisen is quoted in this NPR story.  Read the entire story here.


Paving the Way for Pathogens - Increases in Coastal Development and Precipitation Push a Parasite From Land to Sea

Coastal waters near heavy human development are more likely to receive land-based “pathogen pollution,” which can include viruses, bacteria and parasites, according to a recent study from the University of California, Davis. The study said higher levels of rainfall and development increase the risk of disease-causing organisms flowing to the ocean.

Read the article here.


Sea Urchin Research Sheds Light on Settlement Patterns

Bodega Marine Laboratory professor Brian Gaylord was recently quoted in a KQED Science article regarding sea urchin larval settlement. According to Gaylord, urchins prefer to settle in regions of turbulent flow. In addition, there is evidence that sea urchins will settle in the same region from which they spawned when they were larvae. To learn more, read the KQED article here


New Research Shows Whales Evolved to their Massive Size Only Recently

Whales are the largest animals on Earth, but they havent always been that way. Fifty million years ago, most whales were only about the size of a hippopotamus. Scientists have known that whales have increased in size over time, but surprisingly, it seems that this increase has been very uneven. Filter feeding whales only inflated in size during the last 2.5 million years. This comes as a surprise to researchers, including Geerat Vermeij, a distinguised professor of paleontology at UC Davis, and one of the authors of the research. Read more in the UC Davis Egghead article here


New paper on the combined effects of biodiversity and habitat heterogeneity on rocky shore intertidal algal sucession

BML affiliates PhD student Matt Whalen, research scientist Kristin Aquilino, and Professor Jay Stachowicz just published the piece in Ecology, one of the nation's leading ecological publications. The paper, Grazer Diversity Interacts With Biogenic Habitat Heterogeneity to Accelerate Intertidal Algal Scuccession, looks at complex interactions between the hetergeneity of the rocky shore shore substrate, the biodiversity of algal grazers, and the resultant algal succession. Read the full piecehere.


UC Davis faculty in the Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology ranked #1 in the nation

In a recent study published in PLOS ONE on productivity and impact of Wildlife and Fish programs across 33 research intensive universities in the United States, UC Davis faculty ranked first. Davis had the highest median ranking across the 8 metrics analyzed, and scored high in all categories. The study examined nine professors (including multiple CMSI affiliates): Louis Botsford, John Eadie, Nann Fangue, Doug Kelt, Peter Moyle, Andrea Townsend, Brian Todd, and Dirk Van Vuren. Read more in the Egghead article by Kat Kerlin here.


Piasaster may not truly reign supreme as keystone predator

In 1969, research by Robert Paine on P. ochraceus (ochre star) lead to the development of the famous keystone hypothesis- that some organisms have a disproportionately large affect on their ecosystem relative to their abundance. However, an recent article in Hakai Magazine featuring UCD graduate Sarah Gravem puts the keystone status of Pisaster ochraceus, the posterchild of the keystone hypothesis, into question. Through her research in the intertidal at the Bodega Marine Laboratory, Gravem learned that the much more modest Leptasterias sea stars had a far more significant impact onthe population of Tengula funebralis (black turban snail) than did Pisaster. Gravem points to this as evidence that keystone predation is rarely a hard and fast rule.

Read the article here.


New research challenges past understanding of larval dispersal

A new study written by UCD/BML affiliates/alumni Sarah Hameed, Will White, Seth Miller, Kerry Nickols, and Steven Morgan reports that dispersal of flat porcelain crab (Petrolisthes cinctipes) larvae has a much smaller range than previously believed. Using extensive field data and modeling, the researchers determined that P. cinctipes larvae only disperse  6.9 km (±25.0 km s.d.) as opposed to the previously believed 153.9 km distance. The study sets the framework for future similar studies on larval settlement and dispersal, a key element in marine ecosystems.

Read the paper here.


Study Finds Intertidal Predator-Prey Response May Be Subject to pH

Black turban snails will often attempt to evade ochre stars (their common predator) by crawling up and out of the tidepool because ochre stars rarely leave the water. However, according to a recent paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, this response may dissapear when the snails are subjected to lower pH (more acidic) waters. As ocean acidification intensifies, the extent of the ecological consequences of the finding may be severe. The paper was written entirely by CMSI/BML affiliates, including lead author Ph.D. student Brittany Jellison and co-authors graduate student Aaron Ninokawa, professor Tessa Hill, professor Eric Sanford, and professor Brian Gaylord, and was featured in an article in Baynature.

Read the paper here.

Read the Baynature article here.


Mussel shells are significantly thinner than in the past, study finds

In a paper co-authored by Bodega Marine Laboratory Professor Eric Sanford, researchers report a dramatic decrease in the thickness of mussel shells as compared to 50 years ago. The suspected culprit: ocean acidification. Low ocean pH makes it difficult for marine invertebrates to form their calcium carbonate shells, so this is a likely cause of the decrease in mussel shell thickness. Ocean acidification occurs from the massive absorbtion of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by the ocean- carbon dioxide generated from the burning of fossil fuels. Read the full press release here.


An article published today on the UC Davis website featured a recent paper on ocean recovery after the Permian- Triassic extinction event, which took place about 250 million years ago. The paper was written by CMSI affiliates doctoral studentWanlan Fu, paleobiology professor Ryosuke Motani, and geochemistry professor Isabel Montañez. The researchers found that, after the Permian- Triassic extinction event, it took only 3.35 million years for ocean ecosystems to recover- much faster than previously expected. It was at this time that giant reptiles began to colonize the oceans. The researchers attribute the speedy recovery to the breakdown of ocean stratification that was a major cause of the extinction in the first place. Read the full article on the UC Davis website, here.


Twitter Team and #CMSInTheField

Summer is heating up and folks are starting to embark on their yearly fieldwork journeys.  The Twitter Team is capitalizing on the fact that coastal and marine research happens in some of the most beautiful and interesting places around by creating a #CMSInTheField image sharing series.  Here's how it works:

1. You take a photo of your study site/data collection equipment/beaming face, whatever you'd like to share with your colleagues and other people interested in ocean science.

2. Email the photo along with a short (125 character!) caption so we know what we are seeing to Mateo Robbins, the Twitter Team coordinator: mateorobbins@gmail.com 

3. CMSI will tweet the photo, tagged with #CMSInTheField, beaming it out to our followers and creating a compilation of attractive images.

That's right, all you have to do is take a picture of what you're up to out in the field, caption it, and send it to Mateo Robbins. 

Alternately, you can tweet the photo yourself, making sure to tag @ucd_cmsi and #CMSInTheField and we'll retweet.


In honor of World Oceans Day that will happen on June 8th, an article was published on the UC Davis website highlighting much of the exciting CMSI based research that has occurred in the past year. The article, "9 Ways UC Davis is Rescuing Oceans", features work by a slough of CMSI researchers on a variety of topics, from ocean acidification to the banning of plastic microbeads in health and beauty products. 

Read the full article here.


Report releases annual public health grades of California Beaches

CMSI Associate Director John Largier was quoted in a San Francisco Chronicle article today on the annual report of public health at California beaches.

The report analyzes the concentration of fecal coliform bacteria, which is thought to be a good indicator for the concentration of human harming pathogens. The higher the concentration of fecal coliform bacteria, the worse the rating, and this years biggest loser was Cowell Beach in Santa Cruz. 

The Santa Cruz County health department advises against any type of swimming or surfing in the waters at Cowell due to the risk to public safety. For the full article, click here. 


Santa Cruz Sentinel article features White Abalone Captive Breeding Program

The Bodega Marine Laboratory's White Abalone Captive Breeding Program works to restore the population of the endangered white abalone. The species was heavily commecially harvested in the 1970's, and then the population was further decimated by a disease called Withering Foot Syndrome. Now, scientists at BML are hoping to restore the species by breeding individuals in captivity and releasing the offspring into the wild.

Read the article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel, featuring the White Abalone Captive Breeding Program's Manager, Kristin Aquilinohere.


New paper analyzes the effect of a combination of environmental factors on mussel growth and predation vulnerability

Interacting Environmental Mosaics Drive Geographic Variation in Mussel Performance and Predation Vulnerability, a paper published May 6th in Ecology Letters, features new research on the combined effect of niche parameters on species performance. In the study, the different mussel samples experienced varying levels of pH, temperature, and food availability, and as a response, their growth and predation vulnerability was measured. The researchers, who included former CMSI/BML affiliate Kristy Kroeker (UC Santa Cruz assistant professor), current CMSI/BML affiliates Eric Sanford,Brian GaylordTessa Hill, and Ann Russel, and others, found that mussels experienced the greatest growth rate and lowest predation vulnerability in areas with low pH water and consistent food availability.

Read the full paper here.


Thank You Ocean podcast with Kristin Aquilino

White abalone are highly endangered species— but the White Abalone Captive Breeding Program at the Bodega Marine Lab is trying to save this important species. In today's Thank You Ocean podcast, Kristin Aquilino, manager of the program, explains why the species is so endangered and what the program is doing to help.

Listen to the podcast here.


Research on the combined effects of estuary acidification and hypoxia by UC Davis Ecology Graduate Group PhD alumnus Seth Miller was featured in an article in Bay Journal. Miller and other researchers at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, Maryland found that estuarine acidification can make silversides (ther name for two common species of fish in the Chesapeake Bay) more sensitive to low oxygen levels. According to Miller, silversides are an important cog in the Chesapeake Bay food web and that many economically important fish rely on silversides as part of their diet.

Read the article in Bay Journal here.


Historically, widespread hypoxia has been a harbinger of some of Earth’s largest mass extinctions. Today, as hypoxia spreads in our oceans, there is much concern over another mass extinction lurking just over the horizon. In an article published today in Pacific Standard, UC Davis Ecology Graduate Group PhD alumna Sarah Myhre and CMSI associate director John Largier are quoted with their thoughts on the growing hypoxia problem.

Read the article published in Pacific Standard here.


In a new paper published in PLOS ONE, Oregon State University researchers, including Bodega Marine Laboratory alumna Sarah Gravem, found that sea stars along the Northern Pacific Coast are recovering from their recent massive population collapse.

Beginning in April of 2014, the sea star population was decimated by Sea Star Wasting Disease (SSWD). According to the paper, by August 2014, up to 90% of sea star individuals displayed sympoms of SSWD. Individuals infected suffered twisted/loss of limbs, lesions, deflation, and finally disentegration. 

However, Results now indicate that sea star populations are recovering. From fall 2014 to spring 2015, larval recruitment of sea stars increased 7-300x that of early 2014. Since sea stars are a keystone predator, their recovery is expected to have significant impacts on intertidal ecosystems all along the Northern Pacfic Coast.

Read the full paper published in PLOS ONE here.


Kelp Forests along Northern California at All Time Lows

According to a new Press Democrat article, the population of Bull KelpNereocystis luetkeana, has been decimated in Northern California. California Department of Fish and Wildlife environmental scientist Cynthia Catton cites a "perfect storm" of factors responsible for the decline, including sea star wasting disease, the 2014 "warm blob" of water, and this years El Niño conditions. These conditions have lead to both a reduction in kelp nutrients and an increase in kelp predation by the purple sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus.

In addition to its significance as a foundation species for an entire ecosystem, Bull Kelp is an integral species for California fisheries management, as it makes up the diet of abalone and provides shelter for many fish species, including rockfish. 

To read the full article on The Press Democrat, click here!

To read Cynthia Catton's original blog post about the state of Bull Kelp on the CFDW website, click here!


Egghead, a UC Davis Research Blog, just featured the findings in the final report of the West Coast Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Panel of which CSMI Associate Directors Tessa Hill and John Largier are members. In the report, the 20- member panel warns of increasing effects of ocean acidification on the West Coast caused by carbon dioxide emmissions, and of potentially serious ecological consequences related to ocean acidification. 

To read the blog post, written by Kat Kerlin, click here!

To read the press release for the final report, click here!

To read the final report by the West Coast Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Panel, click here!


Two UC Davis Graduate Students, Aaron Ninokawa, and Melissa Kardish, recieved awards from the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program! Learn more about the program here!


Orca Whales to Have Own Personal Health Records

In a landmark decision made by panelists at the Seattle Seadoc Society Symposium in May, killer (orca) whales in Puget Sound, Washington, will get personal health records to better coordinate research efforts on orcas among scientits. CMSI affiliates Joe Gaydos and Kirstin Gilardi were panelists at the event. Read more here.


UC Davis Doctoral Students Named Delta Science Fellows

Out of the twelve new early-career scientists named by California Sea Grant as Delta Science Fellows, eight are UC Davis doctoral students! Read the full list of award winners here!


Limiting catch of one type of fish could help save coral reefs, research finds.

Limiting the take of just one type of fish could protect coral reefs around the world from the most serious immediate impacts of climate change, researchers have found.

Studying Caribbean coral reefs, Peter Mumby and colleagues, including CMSI Postdoctoral Research Fellow Shay O'Farrell, from the University of Queensland found that enforcing a rule limiting the fishing of a single type of herbivorous fish – parrotfish – would allow coral reefs there to continue to grow, despite bleaching and other impacts associated with climate change.

Click here to read the article.

The research was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Today, Kristin Aquilino was featured on KWMR's Ocean Currents Program to talk about White Abalone! KWMR is a community radio station in West Marin. You can find the recording of her radio piece here!


NBC Bay Area Features BML 

NBC Bay Area recently featured a TV broadcast of Bodega Marine Laboratory's spawning efforts to save the critically endangered white abalone. Watch the news feature here!


Eric Sanford, UC Davis and Bodega Marine Laboratory associate professor, has been awarded the Distinguished Teaching Award for Undergraduates by the Academic Senate! Sanford teaches Biology of Invertebrates (EVE 112) and Introduction to Ecology (EVE 101) on the UC Davis campus, along with teaching Experimental Invertebrate Biology (EVE 114), Marine Environmental Issues (EVE 111), and Coastal Marine Research (BIS 124) out at the Bodega Marine Lab.

Sanford's teaching ability is not lost on his colleagues, as one described him as “perhaps the best instructor and mentor BML has ever experienced over its many years of in-residence courses.” In addition, Sanford has recieved a perfect instructor rating (5.0) an impressive 13 out of his last 18 classes taught.

In addition to teaching, Sanford researches local adaptation among marine invertebrates. 

To see the other award winners, read the official Academic Senate article here!


Congratulations to Don Strong who was awarded the UC Davis Academic Senate award for Distinguished Faculty Research Lecture. The lecture award, the senate’s highest accolade, goes to Professor Donald Strong of the Department of Evolution and Ecology and the Bodega Marine Laboratory. He is widely regarded for his work on biodiversity, competition and food webs, with a particular emphasis on interactions between plants and insects that feed on them.

He is perhaps the world’s leading expert on Atlantic cordgrass, or Spartina, which is invading bays and estuaries of the West Coast of the U.S. and other locations around the world.

“Over three decades, he has produced original and innovative work that has changed the way researchers think about the field,” said Professor Pamela Lein, who chaired the Senate committee that made the selection. Indeed, she said, Strong’s work has “changed the textbooks.”

As the recipient of the Faculty Research Lecture Award, he will give a lecture, of course, in conjunction with a reception to be held this spring for all award recipients. Details will be announced at a later date.


Thank You Ocean Podcast with Dr. Tessa Hill

What is ocean acidification? What about hypoxia? How serious are these issues? Dr. Tessa M. Hill, Associate Professor at the University of California-Davis, was recently featured in a Thank You Ocean podcast to discuss to tell the audience what the changes in ocean chemistry mean to the health of the ocean and to all of us. Find out more about ocean acidification and some possible solutions.

Listen to the podcast here!

For more information, please visit:

NOAA Ocean Acidification Program: 

Bodega Ocean Acidification Research: 

West Coast Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Science Panel: 


San Francisco Chronicle Article on White Abalone Spawning at BML

The San Francisco Chronicle published an article on the current spawning efforts that are currently being conducted at Bodega Marine Laboratory. Scientists and researchers at BML are revivin the white abalone from extinctinction by matching female abalone with male abalone. Read more about these spawning efforts here!


Davis Enterprise article on Tessa Hill's Early Career Scientist Presidential Award

The Davis Entreprise recently published an article on UC Davis' and BML's Tessa Hill as she was recently named a recipient of a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers by President Obama.

Read the article here!


 UC Davis Releases Article on Lost Crab Gear

"Amid Crab Season Delay, Fishermen Retrieve Lost Crab Gear" is the title of the article recently released by UC Davis. Despite the current slow season for Dungeness crab fishermen due to biotoxin domoic acid detected in crabs, a group of fishermen are instead retrieving lost crab gear from the ocean. Read more about the efforts to collect the lost and abandoned gear that impacts the oceans here!


President Obama Honors Dr. Tessa Hill as Extraordinary Early-Career Scientist

President Obama named UC Davis' Tessa Hill a recipient of a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.  The award is the highest honor given by the government to science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.  "These early-career scientists are leading the way in our efforts to confront and understand challenges from climate change to our health and wellness," Obama said.  Awardees are selected for their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science anad technology and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education or community outreach.

Read the article here!


In research that incorporates food, sex and danger, scientists at the University of California, Davis, Bodega Marine Laboratory recently achieved the first successful captive spawning of the endangered white abalone in nearly a decade. The work may be the white abalone’s last chance at avoiding extinction.

Read the news release here!


Professors Steven Morgan and John Largier are one of 10 projects selected by California Sea Grant to receive2016-2018 Standard Core Awards. The projects will collectively receive $2.64 million in federal funding, designated by Congress through the National Sea Grant College Program. Their project "Behavioral-physical regulation of nearshore retention and cross-shelf transport of fish larvae in a network of marine reserveswill determine the extent to which interspecific differences in larval behavior affect cross-shelf transport of a diverse assemblage of ecologically, commercially and recreationally important fishes across an upwelling cell (Point Arena).

Read more about the award here!


Bay Nature recently published an article featuring Dr. Largier's work with Matt Robart and Steve Neil. The article discusses the effects of upwelling in the San Francisco Bay and how recent lower levels of oxygen at the bottom of the ocean may harm marine life. 

Read the full article here!


California Sea Grant article features UC Davis and CMSI research

California Sea Grant recently posted a story on El Niño impacts that includes a project by UC Davis & CMSI-affiliated professors Ted Grosholz and Ann Russell. In order to prepare for climate change, California Sea Grant has allocated funds for emergency research on El Niño storms. Since 2014, researchers Ted Grosholz and Ann Russell of UC Davis have been watching native and commercial oysters in Tomales Bay weather a historic drought. This winter, a Program Development Award has extended their existing project to track the impact of a historic El Niño event.

Read the full article here!


Dr. Tessa Hill named a Public Engagement Fellow in climate science

Tessa Hill, associate professor of earth and planetary sciences, is among the first 15 Public Engagement Fellows named by the Leshner Leadership Institute at the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Hill studies the response of marine species — such as oysters — to environmental disturbance. She’s a member of the Bodega Ocean Acidification Research group at the UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory.

Read more her award here!


Article Quotes BML and UC Davis Professor and Graduate Student

Bay Nature recently published an article on the recent weather patterns of El Niño and the effects on the food web. The article quotes UC Davis and Bodega Marine Laboratory professor John Largier as well as UC Davis graduate student Catherine Davis. 

Read the article here!


Davis Enterprise Article features BML and UC Davis professors

The Davis Enterprise recently published an article "Climate Warming is a Bad Acid Trip for Marine Species," featuring BML and UCD professors Eric Sanford, Tessa Hill, and Brian Gaylord as well as graduate student Daniel Swezey.

The article discusses how acidic ocean conditions, due to burning fossil fuels, dissolve organisms that are crucial to the ocean food web. 

Read the article here