Integrative Oceanography Division

I am a biological oceanographer with expertise in plankton ecology, ecological forecasting, bio optics, and remote sensing. My research has focused on the detection and prediction of harmful algal blooms in estuarine/coastal ecosystems and the fate and transport of harmful toxins to deeper waters and sediments. As research faculty at UCSC, I established the California Harmful Algae Risk Mapping (C-HARM) system with NASA support, now operational at NOAA NESDIS. At SCCOOS, I have helped extend the relevance of C-HARM by serving it to our stakeholder partners via the monthly CA HAB Bulletin. I continue to work on projects developing new modeling methods for HABs and their application to management in collaboration with students and postdocs. I am an elected member of the UN SCOR GlobalHAB Scientific Steering Committee, Science Advisory Team for the CA Ocean Protection Council (OPC), National HAB Committee (NHC), and Steering Committee for the Harmful Algal Bloom Monitoring and Alert Program (Cal-HABMAP).

As ED of SCCOOS (, I manage a large network of real-time ocean observing and modeling systems that range from high-frequency radar for surface current measurements, ecosystem moorings, wave buoys, operational autonomous underwater vehicles, automated shore station measurements of water quality, seabird and mammal observations, fisheries cruise support, real-time circulation models, and harmful algal bloom and ocean acidification monitoring.

I recognize the need to adopt a trans-disciplinary approach to understanding the changes taking place in our oceans and how those changes cascade to higher trophic levels. My interdisciplinary background in Earth System Science allows me to apply my knowledge to myriad projects that address crucial societal issues. The crux of my job is team work, whether that be my programmatic and data management team, SCCOOS governance boards, teams of science PIs for targeted projects, 100+ stakeholder partners and agencies, or the entire U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) enterprise.

Questions that guide my research are: What conditions are required for certain micro-algal species to bloom and produce harmful toxins that affect marine and coastal food webs? How are these important biological phenomena tied to long-term natural or anthropogenic variability and climate? Can we predict them on short and long time scales to both protect ecosystem health and understand the future of coastal ocean ecology in a changing world? How can we apply and incorporate marine ecosystem science into the broader fields of global change and cultural adaptability?   

Departments: Integrative Oceanography Division and Marine Physical Laboratory

NOAA IOOS Regional Association:  Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System (SCCOOS)
NOAA IOOS Coastal Ocean and Modeling Testbed:  Advancing the West Coast Ocean Forecasting System through Assessment, Model Development, and Ecological Products
ECOHAB19:  Oceanographic and Cellular Controls on Domoic Acid Production in the Central and Southern California Current System
ECOHAB18:  Integrated modeling of harmful algal genus Pseudo-nitzschia to Support Ecosystem Prediction and Environmental Management in the Southern California Current System
PCMHAB20:  Harmful Algal Bloom Community Technology Accelerator (i.e. development of a national HAB Data Assembly Center)
NSF-Coastlines and People Research Coordination Network:  New Technology to Inform Coastal Science and Management (RESON)
CA Ocean Protection Council Proposition 1:  Implementation of an Automated Early Warning System for Harmful Algal Bloom Events in California. Establishing a statewide network of Imaging FlowCytobots (IFCBs) for real-time HAB detection                  CA Ocean Protection Council Proposition 68/CA Sea GrantA California Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Data Portal to enable synthesis and understanding of statewide status and trend                                                                                                                CA Ocean Protection Council/CA Sea Grant:  Integrated ocean observing systems for assessing Marine Protected Areas across California                                                                                                                                                                                                                        CA Sea Grant: A novel approach to identifying sources, transfer, and impact of domoic acid in marine food webs                          NASA PACE Early Adopter Program: California Harmful Algae Risk Mapping (C-HARM) System


SCCOOS website:,