Clarissa Anderson

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I am a biological oceanographer with expertise in ecological forecasting and remote sensing. The majority of my research has focused on the prediction of harmful algal blooms and toxins in estuarine and coastal ecosystems as well as the fate and transport of harmful toxins to deeper waters and sediments. During my time as research faculty at UC Santa Cruz, I worked to establish the California Harmful Algae Risk Mapping (C-HARM) system. I am now the Executive Director of the Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System (SCCOOS) at Scripps Oceanography ( and continue to conduct research on phytoplankton ecology in coastal California.

Questions that guide my research are: What conditions are required for certain microalgal 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?

SCCOOS website:

Personal website: