Scientists at Romberg Tiburon Center are working on a wide range of research projects designed to better understand aquatic ecosystems and human connections to and impacts upon them.
Dr. Roger Bland, a retired Physics professor at SF State, continues to record and analyze underwater sound from native fish and ship traffic at RTC's monitoring pier. Dr. Kathy Boyer and her team continue their research on wetland habitats in SF Bay, and have begun new projects to study endangered marsh plants, submerged aquatic vegetation growing in low salinity regions, and subtidal habitats for birds, fish and invertebrates.
Dr. Ed Carpenter and his lab continue to study calcifying phytoplankton responses to ocean acidification with Dr. Jonathon Stillman's lab, as well as the microbial communities of the Amazon River outflow and Antarctic Dry Valleys. Dr. William Cochlan and his team continue their work on harmful algal blooms and algal biofuels, and have a new project looking at acidified upwelling on the Pacific coast.
Dr. Sarah Cohen's lab is working on a variety of evolutionary ecology projects, including eelgrass reproductive patterns, population structure of colonial sea squirts, feeding ecology of copepod larvae, population connectivity between invasive sea squirts in the Americas, ecological relationships between an invasive sea squirt and possible predators, and diversity in a sea star species along the California coast. Dr. Wim Kimmerer's lab is currently working on the collaborative Delta smelt Fall Habitat Study and with Dr. Cohen's lab on the feeding ecology of copepod larvae.
Dr. Jonathon Stillman's lab is working on several environmental physiology projects, including thermal physiology of porcelain crabs, responses of crab larvae to ocean acidification, and responses of an invasive clam to salinity changes (part of a larger collaboration in the Delta smelt Fall Habitat Study), as well as collaboration with Dr. Carpenter on calcifying phytoplankton responses to ocean acidification.
The laboratories of Drs. Richard Dugdale and Frances Wilkerson collaborate on projects involving inorganic nutrient inputs in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and causes and impacts of toxic blooms of the cyanobacterium Microcystis in SF Bay (part of a larger collaboration in the Delta smelt Fall Habitat Study), as well as inorganic nutrient inputs in Drakes Estero.
Our newest faculty member from the Geography & Environment Department, Dr. Ellen Hines addresses population and community ecology of threatened and endangered species as related to local conservation efforts and regional scale coastal and marine management science. She is also the Director of the Geography & Environment Department's Marine & Coastal Conservation and Spatial Planning Laboratory.
For more information on some of these current projects, see recent issues of our bayside newsletter.