Use the filters below to find awards made to CSU students by Program, Campus, or Year. Go to Past Faculty Awards.
Please note that the Graduate Student Research Award Program has been renamed to the Dr. Kenneth H. Coale Graduate Scholar Award Program. All previous Graduate Student Research Awards will now be listed under this new name.
COAST Award Program
Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minoritized Students
Impact of sediment-amendment and plant restoration on microbial soil communities in a southern California salt marsh
American Acoustics Society
Who’s knocking? Gray whale acoustic detection along California’s central coast
Where are the whales? Continued acoustic monitoring efforts of California’s Central Coast
Personal gear for Scientific Diving course
Personal gear for field research led by Dr. Dawn Goley
Personal gear for field research led by Dr. Ronald Coleman
Personal gear for Marine Biogeography of California course
Personal gear for Ichthyology course
Personal gear for field research led by Dr. Jennifer Burnaford
Personal gear for field research led by Dr. Cheryl Logan
Personal gear for Scientific Diving & Leadership Diving course
Personal gear and feed for Ichthyology course
Personal gear and travel for Ichthyology course
Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists
Verification of Giant Sea Bass (Stereolepis gigas) Spawning: Through Auditory Observations
Giant Sea Bass (GSB), Stereolepis gigas, is the largest marine bony fish off the coast of California, an apex predator, and is currently classified as critically endangered by IUCN Red List. Despite recent studies on GSB, there is no documentation of their spawning and related reproductive behaviors in their natural environment due to their depressed population size. Previous studies have shown GSB capable of producing a variety of sounds (many sounding like a “boom”). Past studies have observed that the closer in proximity you are to a GSB spawning aggregation the louder and more numerous GSB sounds are heard. In these spawning aggregations, “booms” have been observed to be linked with antagonistic behaviors between GSB males, indicating that sound production is most likely part of spawning. In the summer of 2019 novel reproductive sounds labeled “snares” & “bursts” were recorded during successful spawning events of captive GSB. These novel sounds have only been observed and recorded during spawning. Using Raven Pro we examined audio samples gathered in the summers of 2014, 2015, and 2019 and identified “snare” and “burst” sounds recorded at GSB spawning aggregations. We then tested recorded when these sounds occurred, to see if they occurred during time of spawning. We hypothesize that GSB vocalization occurs frequently during spawning and is used in combination with courtship behaviors to signal reproduction readiness. I argue that by identifying these behaviors, we will be able to verify GSB spawning when these auditory behaviors are observed during their period of spawning.
11th Indo-Pacific Fish Conference (IPFC)
Elusive and vulnerable: Evaluating the distribution of the Reef Manta (Mobula alfredi) around Oahu using Environmental DNA
Western Society of Naturalists
Assessing the direct effects of aerial and oceanic temperature variability on Lottia gigantea grazing, growth, and metabolism and the indirect effects on local biodiversity
New Species Distributions Under Climate Change Workshop
Supporting climate-ready and resilient fisheries: using satellite data to conserve and manage life in the ocean and support sustainable fisheries.
Supporting sustainable fisheries is critical to the billions of people who rely on fish for food and income and essential to protect marine biodiversity. One of the central challenges to sustainable fisheries is climate readiness and resilience which is hampered by gaps between climate and fisheries science. Fisheries and Climate Toolkit (FaCeT) is a new online platform that bridges these gaps, giving fisheries stakeholders an opportunity to visualize and explore how climate change has and will continue to impact marine species and fisheries. Using NASA and other satellite data, climate models, in situ biological and “big” data sources, FaCeT contains five applications that explore how Atlantic and Pacific US fisheries have already been and will continue to be impacted by climate change. FaCeT applications are built with reproducible end-to-end machine learning workflows to leverage high performance cloud-based computing tools and explore vessel responses to marine heatwaves, species responses to projected climate change, interbasin comparisons of climate impacts, and build capacity for understanding and accounting for uncertainty in model projections. Here, we will demonstrate FaCeT’s applications in support of climate-ready, sustainable fisheries.
American Geophysical Union
Internal waves, winds, and biogeochemical parameters in Monterey Bay submarine canyon
Advances in blue carbon research and applications to policy and planning
International Society for Vertebrate Morphology
MYTHBUSTERS: refining observations about anal fin variation in surfperches
Surfperches (Embiotocidae), exhibit novel, sexually dimorphic, anal fin modifications that are likely associated with internal fertilization, but their function is currently unknown. These structures have been loosely characterized, in taxonomic keys and papers from the last century, as bony hooks and serrated plates (Amphisticinae), or enlarged fleshy protuberances (Embiotocinae, Tarp 1956). I aim to explore the divergence between subfamilies, species, and sex that have not been previously described. As well as determine the extent HoxA plays in the development of this feature. Using clear and stain methods I identified a fin ray modification, an ancestral feature present in embiotocines as well as amphisticines, and sexual dimorphism that is not fully penetrant-manifest as diminished character states in females. I have also used in situ hybridization to identify where HoxA is expressed in the fin and if it is more highly expressed where the modification occurs. I expect to see a higher degree of HoxA gene expression in the middle of the anal fin where we see the modification. These results will provide further information on secondary sex traits within surfperches and the role HoxA genes play in the development of novel traits. These results will provide further information on secondary sex traits within surfperches and the role HoxA genes play in the development of novel traits.
The importance of intertidal urchin populations for kelp forest conservation: Drivers of intertidal urchin reproductive capacity
Influence of habitat on morphology and material strength of purple sea urchins
Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association Annual Conference
Integrating aquaculture to improve Olympia oyster restoration in the Elkhorn Slough, CA
Exploring coastal gradients of crab communities as models for ecosystem health
White Sharks Global
Relative abundance and community composition of juvenile white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) prey species along southern California beaches
The Society of Integrative & Comparative Biology (SICB)
Change for a dollar? Sand dollar larvae maintain food-induced plasticity throughout development
20th International Conference Harmful Algae Hiroshima
Long-term harmful algae bloom (HAB) monitoring in Monterey Bay, California, USA
Comparison of juvenile white shark abundance estimates from eDNA metabarcoding, acoustic telemetry, and drone surveys at Southern California aggregation sites
An exploration of nature-based restoration solutions in a San Francisco estuary tidal marsh
Animal Behavior Society
Mom, is that you? A northern elephant seal pup’s ability to vocally recognize its mother
Mutual parent-young recognition is important in species with high densities at breeding sites, including pinnipeds. Vocal recognition has been studied extensively in pinnipeds that leave their pups to forage, but is understudied in seals that remain with their pups throughout nursing, like northern elephant seals (NES). NES pups can still become separated from their mothers, and the resulting chance of pup mortality is high. One study showed that NES females can recognize their pup days after birth, but it was unknown if the recognition is mutual. We tested this through auditory playback (PB) experiments of adult female attraction calls (ACs) at the Piedras Blancas NES rookery. PBs included ACs of the pups’ own mother and ACs of an unfamiliar female. We recorded pup responses to each PB, including vocalizations, phonotaxis, and head turns. PBs were performed four times per pup to examine changes as the pup ages. We found that pups can vocally recognize their mother around 23 days old. This study is the first to examine phocid pup vocal recognition abilities, and suggests that mothers are primarily responsible for maintaining contact during the nursing period to ensure pup survival.
SACNAS National Diversity in STEM Conference
Understanding the impacts of sand movement across rocky shores on the intertidal California mussel, Mytilus californianus
Impacts of agricultural microplastics on the growth of marine phytoplankton in Monterey Bay, California (USA)
13th International Mammalogical Congress
Comparative swimming kinematics of the salt marsh harvest mouse and cooccurring species
The salt marsh harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys raviventris halicoetes) is a federal and California state-listed endemic species prevalent in the Suisun Marsh, California. It is the only mammal species known to be fully restricted to coastal marshes. Within its brackish marsh environment, it experiences natural tidal and managed flooding on a regular basis. Rather than fleeing to higher ground, the salt marsh harvest mouse tends to reside in the same area before, during, and after inundation. Thus, our research focuses on their swimming performance because of its potential importance as a means for locomotion to navigate periods of flooding. As bipedal paddlers, the hindfeet play a critical role in generating propulsion. Here we compare hindfoot morphology and swimming kinematics among salt marsh harvest mice and presumably less-specialized co-occurring western harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys megalotis), house mouse (Mus musculus), and California vole (Microtus californicus). Preliminary results suggest differences in voluntary swim speeds and underlying hindfoot stroke length, amplitude, angular velocities, power to recovery phase duration ratios, surface area, and width among species. Understanding the swimming performance of the salt marsh harvest mouse and the extent to how well they are specialized for swimming as compared to other co-occurring rodent species, allows us to gain insight into how they persist, and ultimately coexist, in natural tidal and managed flooded environments.
A twisted tale: tail use of the salt marsh harvest mouse during climbing
Tails are essential for terrestrial locomotion by providing stabilizing support and serve as grasping appendages for some scansorial animals. Salt marsh harvest mice (SMHM; Reithrodontomys raviventris) may be one such species. These rodents inhabit the San Francisco Bay Estuary, where they experience daily and/or seasonal flooding. However, they tend not to disperse to nearby uplands during floods, suggesting that climbing emergent vegetation is critical for their survival. We compared the climbing performance of SMHM with the western harvest mouse and house mouse. Individuals were filmed traversing dowels of different orientations (horizontal, 45° and 90° inclines) and diameters (5, 6, 10, and 20 mm) to quantify tail use, velocity, and other spatiotemporal gait metrics. Weighted tail scores were calculated based on the position of the tail and duration of the behavior. We found that SMHM employ their tail more for grip support as shown through higher tail scores compared to the other species for inclined locomotion. In turn, SMHM exhibited the lowest velocities across all dowel types, and tail scores negatively correlated with velocity. Therefore, it is likely SMHM is using static stability imparted by both slow speeds and gripping support during climbing. These patterns partly reflect expectations for scansorial species, suggesting that salt marsh harvest mice are adapted for climbing, a behavior critical for their survival during tidal inundation in their brackish marsh environment.
Spatial variation in bul kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana) blade size and cell types
Extent of sediment burial in native, Ostrea lurida, and non-native, Magallana gigas, oyster populations in southern California, USA
Can rock crabs assist in the recovery of northern California kelp forests?
One fish, two fish? Morphological analysis and assessment of cryptic species in Sebastes saxicola along the northeastern Pacific
Personal gear for field research led by Dr. Jayson Smith
Personal gear for field research led by Dr. Scott Hamilton