AFFILIATED FACULTY 2019-01-08T11:51:00-07:00

Phone: 831-502-7706 (Office), 831-459-4752 (Lab)

Suzanne’s work involves theoretical and empirical research examining how coevolutionary dynamics and social interactions affect sexual selection and reproductive behaviors.


Jeff Bury’s current research is centrally concerned with the transformation of natural and social environments in Latin America. His research has recently focused on new frontiers of extractive industries in the Andes and the political economy of climate change and glacier recession in the Cordillera Blanca (Peru). His work also focuses on conservation, ecotourism, and livelihood transformations in Peru, Chile and Costa Rica. His field research is linked closely to my interests in political ecology studies, environment and development in Latin America and field methods.

Website: Costa Lab
Phone: 831-459-2691

Dan Costa studies the adaptations of marine mammals and seabirds to life in the marine environment, especially the movements, foraging ecology and energetics of pinnipeds and seabirds.


Professor Dillon’s research focuses on environmental justice, urban ecologies, and histories of race and racism in U.S. cities. Trained as a geographer, she is especially interested the relationship between landscape and power, and brings this analytical focus to the study of coastal regions. Her current projects include a book manuscript on environmental politics in San Francisco’s Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood, focusing on the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, and a separate project on urban sustainability policies.

Dr. Edwards uses ocean models to investigate dynamics of the coastal ocean, including the physical circulation, ocean ecosystem processes, and mechanisms for larval transport with implications for marine population connectivity.  He is also interested in ocean state estimation and data assimilation methods and their applications in the coastal ocean.

Website: UCSC Hydrology
Phone: 831-459-5598

Projects that occupy much of Andy’s time these days involve development of tools and methods to develop and run managed aquifer recharge (MAR) systems, to simultaneously benefit both water supply and water quality objectives. Enhancements to water supply will help to reduce groundwater overdraft, contributing to reductions in the extent of subsidence, seawater intrusion, loss from critical surface reservoirs (including streams, lakes, and wetlands), and associated damage to fragile and valuable ecosystems. MAR operations can be run as part of a regional strategy, generating significant benefits to water managers, regulators, stakeholders, and aquatic ecosystems by shifting resource use patterns on the basis of (often unpredictable) availability; this characteristic will become increasingly important in coming decades as climate changes force modification of resource availability and use patterns. Many studies of MAR systems have focused on physical aspects of their operation, particularly causes and impacts of clogging. We are also working on quantitative reduction to nitrate loads during MAR, and evaluating links between microbial activity and nitrate removal. Improvements to water quality during MAR operations have been documented in a few cases, but mechanisms and controls on associated processes are poorly understood. We are also completing a regional mapping and modeling study of potential to link stormwater collection with MAR, and are developing new field sites where this approach can be applied and benefits can be verified. These projects apply novel technologies and techniques, connect UCSC to the broader community, and provide opportunities for training of the next generation of water resource specialists. Fisher has also collaborated on studies of submarine groundwater discharge, relations between river flooding and wetland enhancement, quantifying rates of surface-subsurface exchange below streams, and links between sediment load and reductions in groundwater recharge.

Phone: 831-502-7225

Dr. Gordon’s research addresses problems of global coordination and explores the opportunities and limitations of non-traditional (those involving actors other than states) modes of collective action. He focuses on identifying the politics and power relations that operate within such initiatives, and understanding how these internal dynamics influence governance outcomes.

His work contributes to the literature on global environmental governance and engages in active dialogue with multiple scholarly communities (International Relations, Comparative Politics, and Urban Politics). Working at the interstices of disciplinary borders opens up valuable analytic space, which he uses to explore novel efforts to generate collective action and produce meaningful and effective governance outcomes at both global and local scales.

Current research projects underway focus on the accountability of novel systems of global urban climate governance with an emphasis on better understanding (a) the power relations that shape global urban accountability initiatives, (b) the local impacts and implications of the globally accountable city, and (c) the potential for these systems to produce meaningful global effects.

Phone: 831-459-5006

Gary Griggs’ research in the coastal zone ranges from coastal evolution and development, through shoreline processes, coastal hazards and coastal engineering, and sea-level rise. Recent research has focused on coastal erosion processes including temporal and spatial variations in rates of retreat; evaluating the effectiveness of coastal protection structures and the impacts of coastal engineering structures (seawalls, jetties, breakwaters) on coastlines; quantifying littoral cell budgets and human impacts; effects of extreme events such as El Ninos) on coastlines; the impacts of sea-level rise on California’s beaches and coastline; and coastal policies to adapt to and reduce the impacts of sea-level rise and other coastal hazards in order to develop more sustainable communities.

Website: Holl Restoration Ecology Lab
Phone: 831-459-4015

Ongoing research in Karen’s lab investigates questions related to restoration of prairie, chaparral, and scrub habitats along the central California coast. She has studied the effects of cattle grazing and mowing on endangered annual herbs in California coastal prairie, using both large scale surveys and manipulative studies at multiple sites. Over the past few years, she has worked with students and staff at the Younger Lagoon University of California Natural Reserve to study restoration methods for coastal prairie and scrub habitats. She has also conducted research on chaparral restoration at Fort Ord University of California Natural Reserve and beyond.

Phone: 831-502-7224

Dr. Jinnah’s research focuses on the shifting locations of power and influence in global environmental governance, and in particular the role of transnational actors in environmental decision-making. Her most recent projects examine how key norms in global climate politics shape power relations, the role of U.S. preferential trade agreements in shaping environmental policy in trading partner nations, and the politics of climate engineering governance.

Website: Kilpatrick Lab
Phone: 831-459-5070

Marm Kilpatrick’s research unites theory and empirical work to address basic and applied questions on the ecology of infectious diseases including aspects of population biology, evolution, climate, behavior, genetics, and conservation. A key aim is to understand the underlying drivers of pathogen transmission and the impacts on host populations. Dr. Kilpatrick’s lab’s general research philosophy is to begin each project by developing a mathematical model of the system to generate hypotheses and then test these hypotheses by gathering empirical data. His current research can be divided into three general areas: 1) Local drivers of pathogen transmission, including land use, host community composition, and climate, 2) The impact of disease on animal populations, and 3) The spread of pathogens to new regions, including quantifying risk associated with ecological, and economic/trade pathways. He works on several pathogen systems including white-nose syndrome in bats, West Nile virus, avian malaria in Hawaiian birds, Lyme disease, chytridiomycosis in amphibians, Nipah virus in Bangladesh, and avian influenza.

Website: Koch Lab
Phone: 831-459-4161

Paul’s research focuses on vertebrate paleoecology and evolution, which he places in environmental context through reconstruction of ancient ecosystems and climates. His work often includes biogeochemical analysis of animal tissues (teeth, bones, fur, skin, etc.) or environmental samples (soil minerals, fossil plants, etc.).

Phone: 831-459-3290

The Kudela lab is a key partner of the Central and Northern California Ocean Observing System (CeNCOOS), a national framework of integrated coastal observing systems covering coastal areas throughout the United States. The lab uses traditional and novel methods to monitor water quality and phytoplankton population dynamics in Monterey Bay. Part of the goal of CeNCOOS is to make this research readily available to the public, including timely information about algal blooms and ocean acidification. Recent projects in the Kudela Lab include developing guidelines for treatment of Pinto Lake (in collaboration with the Central Coast Water Board) and development of a Nutrient Assessment Framework for San Francisco Bay. Both project focus on the interplay of nutrient loading, harmful algae, and water quality, focusing on the link between terrestrial watersheds and the coastal ocean.

Website: Paytan Biogeochemisty Lab
Phone: (831)-459-1437

Adina’s principal research interests lie in the fields of biogeochemistry, chemical oceanography and paleoceanography.  The goal of her research is to use the chemical and isotopic records enclosed in a wide range of earth materials to study present and past biogeochemical processes. This research spans a wide range of temporal (seasons to millions of years) and spatial (molecular to global) scales.  An over-arching goal of this research is to understand the processes and feedbacks operating in the Earth System and how they relate to global changes in climate and tectonics as well as natural and anthropogenically induced perturbations that affect biogeochemical processes and their impact on humans and the environment.

Website: Palkovacs Lab
Phone: 831-502-7387 (Office)

I am interested in the eco-evolutionary dynamics of aquatic ecosystems. The study of eco-evolutionary dynamics focuses on bi-directional interactions occurring between ecology and evolution in nature. I examine how evolution shapes populations, communities, and ecosystems and how these ecological changes feed back to shape the trajectory of evolution. Because my research is at the interface of ecology and evolution, I utilize a diversity of techniques and approaches. In particular, I combine surveys of genetic, phenotypic, and ecological variation in nature with field and laboratory experiments to test the mechanisms underlying observed patterns. My research addresses basic questions in evolutionary ecology and applied questions in conservation biology and fisheries management.

Bernie Tershy is a serial conservation entrepreneur. He has co-founded several organizations including:

  1. the Conservation Action Lab, which has published over 140 papers on the conservation and ecology of marine, island and endangered species, and trained 25 graduate students and post docs who now hold significant positions in conservation and academia;
  2. Island Conservation and Conservación de Islas, two science-based NGOs that protected over 460 insular endemics from extinction and formed over 1,665,000ha of new marine and island protected areas.
  3. Conservation Metrics, a for-profit conservation company that uses machine learning tools to analyze sensor-derived big data on wildlife populations, and drive iterative improvements in conservation practice.

In addition, he recently helped start the Henry Arnhold Fellows Program, which finds great people with proven conservation solutions and helps them take those solutions to scale. He continues his entrepreneurship through his recent startup, Freshwater Life, which protects the most endangered freshwater species from extinction.

Website: Wilmers Lab
Phone: 831-459-2634

The Wilmers lab group seeks to understand how global change (climate change, habitat alteration and human hunting) influences animal behavior, population dynamics and community organization. The lab’s emphasis is on combining quantitative and field techniques to better understand the ecology of wildlife so as to better inform their management and conservation. Please visit for more information.

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