Council on Ocean Affairs, Science & Technology
CSU Council on Ocean Affairs, Science & Technology
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​As part of the California Harmful Algal Bloom Monitoring and Alert Program, Cal Poly’s Plankton Ecology and Coastal Oceanography Lab monitors for harmful algal blooms off the central California coast. The same dinoflagellates that cause red tides are also the organisms responsible for the beautiful turquoise light show many of the SLO County beaches are famous for.​


​Dr. Ruttenberg, who also serves as the Director for the Center for Coastal Marine Sciences, leads monthly student surveys of the iconic clams at Pismo Beach. Once dubbed “Clam Capital of the World,” the bivalves were nearly harvested to extinction in the 1940s. One possible reason for the population boom could be a recent abundance of food, leading to higher larval survival rates. ​


​Dr. Amanda Kahn, invertebrate biologist at San José State University, was one of the researchers who first discovered the mysterious “garden” of pearl octopuses at the base of the Davidson Seamount huddled upside down with their arms wrapped around their bodies. Dr. Kahn and her collaborators recently published their historic findings as researchers around the world are now seeking out other potential octopus nursery sites. ​

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