kelp rockfish

Marine Conservation, Fisheries and Marine Protected Areas

Critical to our ecological understanding and protection of reef communities is our ability to distinguish natural dynamics from changes caused by local or global human influences.  Ultimately, our goal is to understand and predict how environmental change (including human impacts) influences physical and ecological processes and how communities respond to such changes.  We can gain fundamental insights into the structure and function of marine ecosystems by examining changes in community dynamics inside marine protected areas (MPAs), following the recovery of predators, or by studying ecological processes in intact predator-dominated systems, with minimal human impacts (e.g. our work in Palmyra Atoll). In addition, much of my labs work has taken place in ‘biogeographical transition’ zones and I am beginning to investigate the effects of climate change on communities in these regions (e.g. California Channel islands, Portugal).

Stemming from our long-term and large-scale observational work along the California coast, we are interested in understanding the mechanisms responsible for driving observed trait variation among individuals and across populations. Understanding how ecological (e.g., environmental gradients, trophic interactions) and anthropogenic (e.g., fishing) processes affect variation has significant implications for conservation and management. 

 

Researchers

Jenn Caselle's headshot

Jenn Caselle

By training I am a marine ecologist, with specific interests in the study of kelp forest and coral reef ecosystems. My research focuses on the ecology of coastal marine organisms, their role in nearshore ecosystems, and the response of these ecosystems to environmental change and human impacts.

Peter Carlson

Peter has been working with the Caselle Lab since 2007 and join the lab full time after graduating from UCSB with a BS in Aquatic Science to 2008. In 2015 Peter was awarded his Masters in Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology for his work on parrotfish movement patterns and their benthic impact at Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge.

Chris Honeyman wearing dive gear and smiling

Chris Honeyman

Since graduating from UC Santa Barbara, Chris has managed our CCFRP project and been one of the lead divers on our kelp forest monitoring team. In his spare time he enjoys photography, cooking, and exploring the world’s last wild spaces.

Avrey wearing a wetsuit and smiling

Avrey Parsons-Field

Avrey has bachelor and masters degrees from UC Santa Barbara in Aquatic Ecology. He currently manages subtidal and intertidal field operations. Avrey serves on the temperature committe for the MARINe project.

Anita Giraldo Ospina

Anita is a postdoctoral researcher who conducts quantitative spatial modeling of kelp forest to identify the best environmental and biotic variables to which kelp responds to, with the aim of identifying the best locations to conduct kelp restoration efforts in California.

Barbara Spiecker

Barbara is a postdoctoral researcher who conducts quantitative modeling of kelp forest surveys to inform marine protected area performance around the state of California. She is broadly interested in scale-dependent responses of marine communities across space and time. Most of her research focuses on identifying underlying mechanisms that produce complex multi-scale responses of benthic communities (i.e., macroalgae) and how these mechanisms and responses affect ecosystem-level processes from the bottom up.

Conner Jainese on the deck of a boat with the BRUV camera system

Conner Jainese

Conner graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 2015 with a B.S. in Aquatic Biology. He is currently a Master’s student in the Caselle Lab, researching fish communities in and around Marine Protected Areas in the Santa Barbara Channel using baited remote underwater video (BRUV) systems.

Ana Sofia Guerra

Ana is joined the lab in 2016 and is interested in researching animal aggregations. Click for more.

picture of Jake underwater

Jake Eisaguirre

I am interested in the effects climate change has on near shore temperate rocky reefs and how the community dynamics will be altered. I want to understand how we can better prepare and protect our local reef based communities for the future so our fisheries and recreational anglers can sustainable harvest our waters resources. I believe using statistical modeling alongside long-term data sets, like PISCO data, will allow us to unravel these mysteries. Currently much of my work involves subtidal data collection and BRUV video analysis at the Northern Channel Islands.

Jade coming out of the ocean with SCUBA gear on, She is smiling.

Jade Zounes

Jade graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 2020 with a B.S. in Aquatic Biology. She joined the lab in 2017 as an undergrad intern to help out with the larval dispersal and connectivity project. She eventually began working for our subtidal monitoring program, conducting dive surveys in the rocky reefs in the Santa Barbara Channel.

Darcy Bradley

Darcy Bradley is a PhD candidate at the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management undertaking a research program that seeks to improve the management of coral reef associated top predators.