ECOLOGY & EVOLUTION 2021-11-30T14:39:35-08:00

Phone: 831-502-7706 (Office)
Website: Alonzo Lab

Topics of Interest: 

  • Ecology
  • Evolution
  • Fisheries
  • Modeling

Suzanne’s work involves theoretical and empirical research examining how coevolutionary dynamics and social interactions affect sexual selection and reproductive behaviors. She works primarily on the evolution and ecology fish reproduction, especially in Mediterranean wrasses.  In addition, she and her research group explore how reproductive patterns and interactions affect population dynamics and management of marine populations.

Website: RCLAB
Phone: 831-459-3958

Mark Carr studies the ecology of coastal marine and anadromous fishes, and coastal marine ecosystems, especially kelp forests. Mark’s research informs management and conservation topics including ecosystem-based fisheries management, design and evaluation of marine protected areas (MPAs), and large-scale, long-term monitoring studies. He is a principal investigator with the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO). Currently, he is a member of the California Ocean Protection Council’s (OPC) Science Advisory Team, and NOAA’s MPA Federal Advisory Committee.

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.

Website: Coastal Conservation Action Lab
Phone: 831-459-3610

Don Croll is a Professor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), Co-founder of the conservation non-profit Island Conservation, Founding partner of the conservation for-profit Conservation Metrics, Inc., and Faculty Director of the UCSC Natural Reserve System. He has conducted conservation research on island ecosystems and marine vertebrates for over 30 years, and published over 100 papers and articles on the conservation and ecology of marine species and island ecosystems. As a professor, has been dedicated to developing the research programs, courses, and graduate training needed for direct conservation action. As a conservationist, his work has helped inform the closure of California gill net fisheries, the establishment of a ban on commercial fishing for krill US federal waters, the CITES listing of several manta ray species, the establishment of protected islands in Mexico, and the protection of insular threatened species from island invasive species. He has trained over 500 undergraduates in marine ecology and conservation, conservation biology, and field methods in conservation, and together with his conservation partner, Bernie Tershy, he has trained 14 graduates and post docs that have gone on to significant positions in conservation and resource management.

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

Topics of Interest: 

  • Ecological Restoration
  • Biodiversity Conservation
  • Tropical Ecology

Karen D. Holl

Affiliated Faculty
Ecology & Evolution
Professor, Environmental Studies

Karen Holl is a Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her research focuses on understanding how local and landscape scale processes affect ecosystem recovery from human disturbance and using this information to restore damaged ecosystems. She studies restoration of rain forests in Latin America and chaparral, grassland and riparian systems in California. She oversees a long-term tropical forest restoration study in southern Costa Rica and has worked with students and collaborators in Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, and Panama. She advises numerous land management and conservation organizations in California and internationally on ecological restoration projects. She is the author of Primer of Ecological Restoration published in 2020 by Island Press. She was the 2017 co-winner of the Theodore Sperry Award of the Society for Ecological Restoration and was elected as a Fellow of the Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences and the Ecological Society of America. She teaches courses in restoration ecology, conservation biology, and environmental problem solving.  She has served as chair of the Environmental Studies Department at UCSC and the as faculty director of the Kenneth S. Norris Center for Natural History.

Website: Kilpatrick Lab
Phone: 831-459-5070

Topics of Interest: 

  • Conservation
  • Infectious disease dynamics
  • Population biology

A. Marm Kilpatrick

Affiliated Faculty
Ecology & Evolution
Professor, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Marm Kilpatrick’s research unites theory and empirical work to address basic and applied questions in population biology, including the ecology of infectious diseases, evolution, climate, behavior, genetics, and conservation. His 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 work in population biology includes studies of elephant seal, mosquito, and Weddell seal populations and predator-prey relationships. His research in disease ecology includes examining:

  1. Local drivers of pathogen transmission, including land use, host community composition, and climate; and
  2. The impact of disease on animal populations, and host responses, including the evolution of resistance and tolerance.

His disease ecology work includes studies of white-nose syndrome in bats, West Nile virus in mosquitoes and birds, avian malaria in Hawaiian birds, Lyme disease, chytridiomycosis in amphibians, Nipah virus in Bangladesh, and avian influenza.

Kristy Kroeker

Website: Kristy Kroeker
Phone: 831-459-5022 (Office)

Research in the Kroeker Lab addresses the drivers of change in marine communities. Our research program is advanced by two complementary approaches. First, we combine field experiments with laboratory manipulations to understand the underpinnings of community and ecosystem dynamics. Second, we use meta-analysis and modeling to synthesize empirical results and advance broad theoretical frameworks for predicting the emergent effects of environmental change. We use a variety of systems to answer our questions, from seagrass ecosystems and rocky intertidal communities to rocky reefs surrounding volcanic carbon dioxide vents and kelp forests.

Kristy Kroeker

Website: The Loik Lab

Topics of Interest: 

  • Climate Change
  • Plant Stress Tolerance
  • Elevated CO2
  • Altered Precipitation
  • Atmospheric Warming
  • Sensors
  • Sustainable Technology

Michael Loik

Affiliated Faculty
Eclogy & Evolution
Professor, Environmental Studies


Michael Loik is a Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His research focuses on understanding how plant and ecosystem processes are impacted by climate change, and developing technologies to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. He studies impacts of drought, heat waves and other stresses on coastal grass and shrub lands, as well as mountain and desert ecosystems of California. He is the chief scientist of the International Drought Experiment at Younger Lagoon UC Reserve, the UCSC Arboretum and Botanic Gardens, and UCSC Campus Reserves. Prof. Loik is a lead or co-lead investigator on several studies embedding the Internet of Things, cutting-edge materials, and new platforms into vegetation monitoring, reducing carbon and water use of greenhouse environments, and developing novel renewable energy technologies. In ENVS he teaches classes on Plant Physiological Ecology, Climate Change Ecology, and Climate Change Adaptation & Mitigation.

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

Topics of Interest: 

  • Ecology
  • Eco-Evolutionary Dynamics
  • Fisheries
  • Management & Policy

As Director of the Fisheries Collaborative Program, I oversee collaborative projects between UCSC and the NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center. 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.

Pete Raimondi

The Raimondi-Carr lab studies aspects of basic and applied ecology and evolutionary biology of coastal ecosystems. Our research spans the land-sea interface, and includes freshwater systems, estuaries, the rocky intertidal, and subtidal reefs. We aim to understand processes that influence behavior, distribution, and interactions of populations and communities of fishes, invertebrates and algae that constitute these ecosystems. Our goal is to advance understanding of these systems and to inform coastal policy and management.

Website: Wasson Research Lab
Phone:831-728-2822 x310

Topics of Interest: 

  • Conservation Aquaculture
  • Climate Change
  • Ecology
  • Estuary Sciences and Restoration
  • Restoration Science

Kerstin has served as Research Coordinator at the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve since 2000.  Her research is aimed at providing critical information to improve management of coastal ecosystems.  In 2004, she launched an ambitious ecosystem-based management initiative to bring together stakeholders to jointly form a vision and strategic plan to protect and restore Elkhorn Slough, a gem of an estuary in the heart of Monterey Bay.  She nominated Elkhorn Slough as a wetland or international importance, resulting in its designation as the 39th Ramsar site in the US. Kerstin is leading conservation aquaculture and restoration of the native oyster in Elkhorn Slough, where it is near local extinction.  She is also the lead scientist on a 50-acre salt marsh restoration project at Elkhorn Slough, conducting replicated experiments involving about 20,000 plants and tracking natural colonization processes.  In addition to local, place-based work, Kerstin has led major collaborative projects across the network of 30 National Estuarine Reserve Reserves, and among Pacific coast oyster restoration scientists spanning 2500 km of coastline.

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.

Topics of Interest:

  • Biodiversity Conservation & Stewardship
  • Climate Change Adaptation
  • Conservation Science
  • Ecology/Natural History
  • Ecosystem and Community Dynamics
  • Meta-analysis
  • Policy & Management
  • Sustainability

Erika is an ecosystem ecologist interested in the implications of interacting global and regional environmental changes, biodiversity and ecosystem functioning and stewardship of wild ecosystems. Her research group studies the drivers and consequences of changing biological diversity and the role of ecology in guiding effective conservation practice.

Erika was appointed to the California Fish and Game Commission in March 2021.

Website: Zhu Lab
Phone: 831-459-4561

Kai Zhu is a global ecologist and quantitative environmental scientist, interested in the intersection of climate change, biodiversity, and ecosystem processes. His expertise is in global change ecology, ecological modeling, and environmental data science. His research integrates ecological theory with advanced tools in statistics and computer science to understand and forecast ecological response to environmental change. Kai completed his postdoc at Stanford University and received his PhD in ecology and MS in statistics from Duke University.

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