William J. Sydeman, Ph.D.
Bill’s career spans nearly three decades of ecological research. Starting as an intern marine ornithologist working on the Farallon Islands in 1981, Bill spent the last 15 years as the Director of Marine Ecology at PRBO Conservation Science before establishing the Farallon Institute. Bill obtained his Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of California, Davis. Bill has conducted a number of "plankton to predator" studies in the California Current large marine ecosystem, and has written about seabirds, marine mammals and various fish species. In a recent paper, Bill described dramatic and abrupt ecosystem changes to climate variability (Sydeman et al. 2006). Bill serves on many scientific panels, notably as the Chair of the Advisory Panel for Marine Birds and Mammals for the North Pacific Marine Science Organization and Scientific Advisory Committee for implementation of the State of California’s Marine Life Protection Act. Bill has presented to state and federal policy-makers on the effects of climate change on marine ecosystems, and how to best design and use the nation’s new ocean observing systems.
Alec D. MacCall, Ph.D.
Board of Directors
A resident of Santa Cruz, California, Alec is a quantitative fisheries population biologist. Alec has studied fish and fisheries in the California Current for his entire career, first working for the California Department of Fish and Game before moving to the National Marine Fisheries Service. Currently a Senior Scientist at NOAA Fisheries, Alec has completed stock assessments for many depleted rockfish species along the west coast of the United States (MacCall 2005). Early in his career, Alec studied forage fishes and developed the theory of dynamic geography for northern anchovies.
Nathan Mantua, Ph.D.
Board of Directors
A native of Bodega Bay, California, Nate is currently a Research Professor with the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences and a Research Scientist with the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Oceans (JISAO) at the University of Washington in Seattle. As a climate scientist Nate’s varied work includes collaborating on seminal studies on decadal-scale climate variability and effects of changing ocean climate on salmonid production and related ecosystem regime shifts in the North Pacific (Mantua et al. 1997, Hare and Mantua 2000). As an expert climatologist, Nate has testified before the U.S. Congress on environmental change and its effects on fish populations and fisheries.
Mike Litzow, M.Sc
Farallon Institute Scientist
Mike has conducted research in Alaskan marine ecosystems for the past twelve years. He began his career studying the implications of changing prey availability for the recovery of seabird populations harmed by the Exxon Valdez oil spill. More recently his work has focused on links between climate change and ecosystem status, with a focus on commercially important groundfish and crustacean populations. His recent papers have included documentation of climate-forced trophic oscillations in the Gulf of Alaska (Litzow and Ciannelli 2007) and the effects of retreating sea ice on the biogeography of sea-floor communities in the Bering Sea (Mueter and Litzow 2008). A resident of Alaska for fifteen years, Mike is currently in the middle of a two-year stay in Australia.
Jarrod A. Santora, Ph.D.
Jarrod completed his Ph.D. in zooplankton patch dynamics and predator-prey interactions at the City University of New York, in 2007. Jarrod’s research concerns the spatial ecology of predators and prey at relatively small scales, comparative analyses of the foraging behavior of top predators relative to krill patches in the Antarctic and California Current, and management of Southern Ocean krill fisheries.
Julie A. Thayer, Ph.D.
Farallon Institute Scientist
Julie has worked in the California Current marine ecosystem for the past seventeen years. She did undergraduate work in Marine Biology at the University of California at Santa Cruz and Long Marine Lab, and obtained a Ph.D. in Marine Ecology from the University of California at Davis. Julie has conducted research on a variety of top marine predators and their prey in relation to ocean climate. Recently she organized a group of researchers from around the North Pacific Rim (Canada, Japan, United States) for a comparative study of forage fishes eaten by a seabird, rhinoceros auklet, focusing on spatio-temporal synchronicity in connection with local to basin-scale marine variability (Thayer et al. 2008). Julie has also led a Collaborative Fisheries Research Project in which scientific data on the diet of salmon are collected in partnership with local recreational and commercial fishers. A resident of Berkeley, California, Julie is currently on a Fulbright grant studying tropical reef food webs and development of marine reserves off the northeast coast of Brazil.
Sarah Ann Thompson, M.Sc.
Sarah Ann began her marine science career at Oregon State University, where as a research technician she conducted large-scale rocky intertidal biodiversity surveys along the entirety of the west coast of the U.S. She earned a Master of Science degree at Sonoma State University, where she studied the effects of commercial collection on the sea palm kelp, Postelsia palmaeformis (Thompson et al. 2010). At the Farallon Institute, Sarah Ann’s research focuses on Integrated Ecosystem Assessments (IEAs) as well as studies of climate effects on top predators. These studies include linking changes in seabird abundances to ocean predictors and exploring indirect pathways of predator responses to variation in upwelling. Sarah Ann also manages the Farallon Institute’s Integrated Marine Ecological Database (IMED), which encompasses dozens of physical and biological data sets for the California Current.
Marcel Losekoot, M.Sc.
Marcel is a research and development engineer, computer programmer and analyst. Originally hailing from Europe, Marcel has a Master of Engineering degree from the University of Surrey in England (1991) and a Master of Science from Davis (2007). Marcel comes to us from Collecte Localisation Satellite (CLS), a subsidiary of the French Space Agency, which offers satellite-based products based on environmental (atmospheric and ocean) observations. Marcel works part-time for the FI and part-time for UC Davis Bodega Marine Lab where he operates their network of high-frequency radar (CODAR) stations used to monitor ocean currents in Northern California. Marcel’s interests and work with the FI involve production of physical and biological data products and analysis of hydro-acoustic and spatial oceanographic data.
Jeff Dorman, Ph.D.
Post-Doctoral Research Associate
Jeff is a biological oceanographer who is interested in the drivers of zooplankton variability in the northern California Current. Jeff completed a Masters degree at San Francisco State University working on the response of krill to upwelling events and his Ph.D. in Integrative Biology at the University of California at Berkeley. His dissertation research involved running physical oceanographic models (ROMS) and interfacing the output with biological individual-based models of the krill species Euphausia pacifica. Jeff’s current research is an extension of this modeling work to better understand the conditions that lead to boom and bust cycles of this important prey species of the California Current.
Marisol Garcia-Reyes, Ph.D.
Post-Doctoral Research Associate
Native to Mexico and with a physics background, Marisol completed her Ph.D. in atmospheric sciences at the University of California, Davis in 2011. Her research focused on coastal upwelling variability in time and space along the California coast, how climate impacts upwelling-favorable winds and the ocean’s response to them (Garcia-Reyes and Largier 2010), and how upwelling and climate variability impact the marine ecosystem. Currently she is studying how winter and early spring variability in upwelling impacts biological productivity, what drives this variability and how it will be affected by global warming.
Jason Hassrick, Ph.D.
Post-Doctoral Research Associate
Jason completed his Ph.D. on the foraging ecology of northern elephant seals in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology program at UC Santa Cruz in 2011. He initially joined the Farallon Institute to work on Brandt's cormorant breeding ecology with Julie Thayer at Alcatraz Island and has since moved onto analyzing krill distributions in the California Current using echosounder data from NOAA ship surveys. Jason was recently granted a post doctoral fellowship from the Delta Stewardship Council to work with Sean Hayes at NOAA's Southwest Fisheries Science Center to study the outmigration survival and movement of Chinook salmon smolt runs out of the Sacramento River and Delta. As part of his research, Jason investigates physical and biological determinants of krill-salmon covariation in the California Current System.
Adele Paquin, M.Sc. Candidate
Adele was first introduced to biological oceanography when she sailed on a five-week oceanographic cruise with Sea Education Association in the eastern tropical Pacific. She returned to land to complete a B.A. in Biology from Hamilton College, then moved to California to conduct research with Dr. Karina Nielsen on how oceanographic conditions mediate ecological interactions in the rocky intertidal. Adele entered the M.Sc. program at Sonoma State University in order to follow her interest in biological oceanography, and studied the event- and seasonal-scale forcing of surfzone phytoplankton community composition and abundance. Her current interest is in studying how phytoplankton links oceanographic conditions with patterns in secondary production and higher trophic organism communities.
Sonia D. Batten, Ph.D.
Sonia completed her PhD. at the University of Southampton, UK in 1994. After working with the North Atlantic Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) data set at the Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science (SAHFOS) for six years she transferred to the west coast of Canada to set up and coordinate the Pacific CPR survey. Sonia is a biological oceanographer with a focus on zooplankton and their role as indicators of the marine environment (Batten and Welch, 2004) and their place in the food chain (Batten et al. 2006). The Pacific CPR survey has completed its eighth year of sampling and in that time has collected plankton along transects totalling over 200,000 km of the north Pacific.
Bryan Black, Ph.D.
Bryan is an Associate Research Professor at Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, Oregon. He completed his Ph.D. in Forest Resources at Penn State University in 2003 and applies dendrochronology (tree-ring analysis) techniques to growth increments of long-lived marine organisms including fish, bivalves, and corals. Resulting growth-increment chronologies can be used to establish the effects of climate on growth, reconstruct climate variability prior to the start of instrumental records, and make comparisons across species and ecosystems. Bryan has been particularly interested in integrating diverse biological indicators, including chronologies, to investigate the impacts of climate variability on marine and terrestrial ecosystems of the northeast Pacific. In the California Current, for example, rockfish (Sebastes spp.) growth-increment chronologies covary with records of seabird reproductive success, independently corroborating the importance of wintertime climate variability to upper-trophic productivity (Black et al. 2011).
Michael Henry, Ph.D.
Mike completed his Ph.D. in phytoplankton ecology and biodiversity at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, in 2005. Currently residing in Montreal, Canada, Mike’s research is focused on the macro-ecology (large-scale distribution and abundance) and interactions of phytoplankton, zooplankton, and marine birds in the North Pacific (Batten et al. 2006, Hyrenbach et al. 2007). In his current research, Mike is determining how lower trophic level diversity and production influences seabird diversity and abundance between the Gulf of Alaska, southern Bering Sea, and western Pacific gyre, and assessing the effects of climate variability and change on these North Pacific ecosystems. Since 2002, Mike has spent over 330 days at sea on the container ship M/V Skaubryn surveying seabirds and marine mammals and deploying a Continuous Plankton Recorder 3 times per year along a 7,500 km transect stretching from Victoria, British Columbia to Tokyo, Japan.
Kyra L. Mills, M.Sc.
Raised in Ecuador, Kyra received her graduate degree from the University of California Irvine, where she studied the behavior of seabirds in the inshore waters of the Galápagos Islands, including the foraging ecology of Galápagos Penquins using time-depth recorders. Kyra worked as lead biologist on the Farallon Islands, California between 1999-2001. With great interest in the concept of seabirds as indicators and predictors of forage fish populations, Kyra and collaborators (Mills et al. 2007) developed the "multivariate rockfish index" (MRI), a novel method to assess rockfish productivity in the central-northern California coastal marine environment. Kyra has also worked on seabirds as indicators of the ecosystem conditions that influence the survival of salmonids and herring during the ocean-going phase of their life cycle (Roth et al. 2007). Kyra wrote, edited, and coordinated the California Current Marine Bird Conservation Plan, an ecosystem-based approach for seabird conservation along the west coast of North America.
Nandita Sarkar, Ph.D. & Isaac Schroeder, Ph.D.
Physical oceanographers Drs. Nandita Sarkar and Isaac Schroeder have joined Farallon Institute, Isaac as a Post-Doctoral Research Associate and Nandita as an Affiliate Researcher. Housed at NOAA’s Environmental Research Division (ERD) in Pacific Grove, Isaac and Nandita are working on a variety of projects related to integrating measurements of upwelling and currents with the productivity, habitat selection and population dynamics of top predators in the California Current and Gulf of Alaska. Trained at the Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography of Old Dominion University in Virginia, both Isaac and Nandita worked on linking physical oceanography and ecosystem productivity in the Gulf of Alaska for their doctorates. Their skill sets include satellite oceanography, analysis of in situ oceanographic measurements (CTD casts, etc.), and advanced time-series statistics, including maximum entropy, spectral and wavelet analyses. They live in Monterey with their son.
Robert Suryan, Ph.D.
Rob is an Assistant Research Professor at Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center and has been conducting research in the North Pacific Ocean for over 15 years. His research interests include marine ecosystem processes and their effect on foraging ecology, reproduction, and population dynamics of mid to upper trophic-level consumers, particularly seabirds (Suryan et al. 2006a). Additional investigations include satellite remote sensing applications to study atmospheric and oceanographic effects on apex predator distribution (Suryan et al. 2006b), identification of biological "hotspots", and the effects of climate change. Some of Rob’s studies also involve seabird- fishery interactions (Suryan et al. 2007).
Kenai Mia Luna
Kenai’s academic achievements include a M.Sc. in the ecology of small mammals, with an emphasis on pocket gophers. Kenai specializes in capture and mark (recapture is often not possible) studies of gophers, and statistical analyses of gophers consumed per dig. She’s also adept at the identification and abuse of fence deficiencies. Her office duties include visitor and staff welcome and reception, providing comfort and distraction from serious scientific focus, and minding the clock to announce the impending end of each workday.