past projects

the worth of giants

Seabirds can provide important nutrient to their nesting islands by depositing nutrient rich guano (i.e. seabird poop). However, some seabirds now include anthropogenic food sources in their diet (e.g., your french fries). These seabirds then deposit large amounts of their anthropogenically-subsidized guano onto their nesting islands. This work explores the role anthropogenic food subsidies may have in island nutrient budgets by studying seabirds on the Channel Islands in southern California. Anacapa Island and Santa Barbara Island form part of the Channel Islands National Park and seasonally support a large population of nesting Western gulls (Larus occidentalis). Although a marine bird, these gulls also frequently forage on anthropogenic food sources. This project sheds light on the nutrient input by Western Gulls to the islands, and the role humans may have in subsidizing the nutrient budget of these protected islands.

managing human-wildlife conflict in the ocean

Schooling is a common behavior in fish that increases reproductive success and reduces the odds of being attacked by their natural predators. However, humans could influence the frequency of this behavior. However, collecting in large groups makes schooling fish especially vulnerable to exploitation by modern technologies designed specifically to capture entire fish schools such as large surround nets. While we know these technologies have depleted schooling fish numbers, it remains unclear how the historical benefits of schooling behavior are counterbalanced against increased risk of harvest mortality in an Anthropocene ocean.