Thesis Defense by Jen Chiu – August 17th, 2018

Diets and stable isotope signatures of Yellowtail Rockfish (Sebastes flavidus) in central California

A Thesis Defense by Jen Chiu

Fisheries & Conservation Biology Lab

Friday, August 17th, 2018 at 12pm

MLML Seminar Room

Jen Chiu is a Master’s student under Dr. Rick Starr in the Fisheries and Conservation Biology Lab.  She graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a B.S. in Ecology and Evolution and a minor in Asian American Studies.  During her time at UCSB, she assisted with research focusing on the non-consumptive effects of predators on prey in the intertidal zone, coupled with the effects of climate change and habitat complexity.  Prior to beginning her graduate work at MLML, she assisted with fisheries ecology research in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as studied the distribution and biomass of benthic invertebrates in the San Francisco Bay.  In addition to her conducting her thesis work, Jen has been a part of the California Collaborative Fisheries Research Program (CCFRP) throughout her entire time at MLML.  She currently serves as the Lead Field Scientist for MLML and the Statewide Coordinator for the program, where she is responsible for managing the MPA monitoring efforts of all academic partners across the state.  She plans to continue her involvement with CCFRP after her defense.

Thesis Abstract:

Studies of fish diets can be used to improve the understanding of feeding habits, trophic distributions, and the predatory role of a species in an ecosystem.  Identifying the spatial and temporal variability in the diets of fishes can provide useful information for stock assessments and fisheries management. Yellowtail Rockfish (Sebastes flavidus) are an important part of the U.S. west-coast commercial groundfish fishery, and abundant along the central California coast.  The most recent studies of Yellowtail Rockfish diets occurred over 20 years ago and originated primarily from studies in Oregon and Washington.  To provide more current information on trophic ecology from California, I examined the food habits of Yellowtail Rockfish collected near Cordell Bank, the Farallon Islands, and Half Moon Bay in 2013 and 2014 using gut content and stable isotope analyses. Yellowtail Rockfish analyzed in this study were semi-pelagic predators, feeding primarily on tunicates, crustaceans, and teleosts.  Based on δ15N values, fish caught in 2013, on average, were feeding at lower trophic levels than those caught in 2014.  δ13C values indicated that fish caught at the northern-most sites were feeding on more pelagic-influenced carbon sources, while those caught at the southern-most sites were feeding on more benthic-influenced carbon sources.  Yellowtail Rockfish in central California can be described as opportunistic feeders because predation patterns were temporally localized, and diets consisted mostly of transitory prey sources.  The Yellowtail Rockfish diet information presented in this study fills data gaps of a key life history component, and will be useful for future stock assessments.

Watch Jen Chiu’s Thesis Defense below:

Invertebrate Zoology Lab Member, Amanda Heidt, is this year’s KQED-CSUMB Fuhs Science Communication Fellow

MLML congratulates Invertebrate Zoology lab student Amanda Heidt! Amanda was selected as the 2018 KQED-CSUMB Fuhs Science Communication Fellow. The Fuhs Family Foundation has provided funding for a one year $10,000 scholarship and a paid summer internship in science communication at KQED Public Media in San Francisco. Amanda is splitting her time between researching and developing story lines for the Emmy-award winning short video series Deep Look as well as writing stories for KQED’s Science News team. She is excited to learn more about new ways to engage people with science across different media platforms.

About KQED Science: KQED Science brings you award-winning science and environment coverage from the Bay Area and beyond. KQED Science is the largest multimedia science and environment journalism and education unit in Northern California. They aim to explore pressing science and environment news, trends and events from the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond with its award-winning, multimedia reporting on television, radio and the Web. KQED Science also produces educator resources and actively engages in community outreach around science and environment issues.

You can track her progress by following her on Twitter and Instagram @Scatter_Cushion.

Sponsored Programs Analyst, MLML

Position: Sponsored Programs Analyst, MLML (Pre and Post Award)

Department: Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP)
Location: SJSU, SJSURF Central Office, and Moss Landing Marine Laboratories
Salary: $48,000 - $55,000 DOQ/E, Full Time, Benefited
Work Schedule: Full Time
Application Deadline: Posted Until Filled

Click here for more details.


The San Jose State University Research Foundation (SJSURF) seeks to fill a “Sponsored Programs Analyst, MLML (Pre and Post Award)" position in our Central Office. Depending on the demand for service, this position is scheduled to work 2 days per week at the SJSURF Central Office, located in downtown San Jose, California, 2 days per week on site at the MLML campus in Moss Landing, California, and 1 day per week and on campus at San Jose State University, located in downtown San Jose, California. Schedules are subject to change when attendance is required for mandatory meetings, and training sessions.

Thesis Defense by Natalie Yingling – July 20th, 2018

ATP as a Quantitative Proxy for Living Microbial Biomass: Cellular ATP Content Under Stress

A Thesis Defense by Natalie Yingling

Biological Oceanography Lab

Friday, July 20th, 2018 at 4pm

MLML Seminar Room

Natalie Yingling is a Master’s student under the guidance of Dr. Nick Welschmeyer in the Biological Oceanography lab. She started at MLML in Fall 2015 after earning her B.S. degree in Marine Science with a concentration in biological oceanography from North Carolina State University in Spring 2015. During her time at MLML she has participated in various research cruises, worked as a research assistant for Dr. Welschmeyer as part of the ballast water testing team that works in conjunction with Cal Maritime, was vice president of MLML in 2016 and has participated every year in MLML’s annual open house. In Fall 2018 she will be starting a Ph.D. program at Florida State University in the department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science. Her thesis focuses on implementing measurements of adenosine triphosphate as a proxy of microbial biomass in stressed and dying cells.