Graduate student Caroline Rodriguez named 2022 Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship Finalist

Huge congratulations to MLML graduate student Caroline Rodriguez who was selected as a finalist for the 2022 Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship!

The one-year NOAA Sea Grant fellowship places early career professionals in federal government offices in Washington, DC. The 74 total 2022 Knauss finalists will become the 43rd class of the fellowship and will join a group of almost 1,500 professionals who have received hands-on experiences transferring science to policy and management.

Caroline’s thesis research through the CSUMB Logan Lab and SJSU/MLML Invertebrate Ecology Lab uses photogrammetry to investigate coral population dynamics in Hawaii. She plans to work at the nexus of marine conservation and environmental justice to advocate for vulnerable communities who are most impacted by climate change.

Read more about Caroline and the three other Knauss Fellowship Finalists from California in the California Sea Grant Knauss announcement.

MLML alumna Allison Crimmins ’07 to direct new National Climate Assessment

MLML alumna Allison Crimmins ’07 has been chosen by the Biden administration to oversee the Fifth U.S. National Climate Assessment. This report will act as the U.S. government’s next authoritative report on the consequences of climate change. 

“It’s becoming increasingly obvious that climate change isn’t something that’s happening far off in the future or somewhere far away to someone else. It’s here now and happening to us,” Crimmins said in an interview with the Washington Post. “As we head into uncharted territory, I think of the National Climate Assessment as an atlas to help move us forward.”

Read more in the Washington Post.

SJSU/MLML alumnus Justin Cordova ’21 publishes paper describing new shark species

In honor of Shark Week 2021, we are thrilled to share the great news that SJSU/MLML scientists have described a new shark species! In their new paper just published in the Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation, MLML alumnus Justin Cordova '21 and Pacific Shark Research Center director Dr. David Ebert describe a new species of catshark from the Southwest Indian Ocean. The proposed name for the new species is Manocherian’s Catshark (Apristurus manocheriani).

Cordova, J.A. & Ebert, D.A. (2021) Apristurus manocheriani (Carcharhiniformes: Pentanchidae), a new species of catshark from the Southwest Indian Ocean. Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation, 38, 13–26. Link.

Dr. Holly Bowers featured on SJSU Research Foundation Annual Report cover

Farm-derived nutrient runoff is a global problem that threatens marine ecosystems. Here in Monterey Bay, researchers from the SJSU/MLML Central Coast Wetlands Group and Environmental Biotechnology Lab are working hard to develop innovative new solutions to this longstanding issue.

This important work was recently highlighted in the San José State University Research Foundation 2021 Annual Report. MLML scientist Dr. Holly Bowers was even featured on the report cover! The photo shows Dr. Bowers using a handheld qPCR instrument to detect DNA from target harmful algal bloom (HAB) species. Read the full story on page 16 of the report.

Dr. Luke Gardner interviewed in Accuweather story about sustainable uses for seaweed

SJSU/MLML research faculty member & California Sea Grant aquaculture specialist Dr. Luke Gardner was recently interviewed by Accuweather for a story about the many uses of seaweed.

“Seaweed is definitely having a moment," Gardner told AccuWeather. "People are particularly excited about the potential of seaweed and what it can do for our environment.”

New research shows that while forests have long been considered the best natural defense in the battle against climate change, seaweed is actually the most effective natural way of absorbing carbon emissions from the atmosphere.

Read the full Accuweather story here.

MLML awards $20,000 in scholarships to 21 graduate students

We are thrilled to announce that this year we were able to award $20,000 in scholarships to 21 of our incredible Moss Landing Marine Labs graduate students in recognition of academic achievement and community service!

Congratulations to all our scholarship awardees and thank you to our generous donors who make these scholarships possible. If you would like to support future SJSU/MLML student scholarships, please consider making a donation to our scholarship fund.

Three MLML students receive COAST Graduate Student Research Awards!

We are thrilled to announce that three Moss Landing Marine Labs graduate students received 2021 COAST Graduate Student Research Awards! Congratulations to Daphne Shen (Vertebrate Ecology Lab), Kinsey Matthews (Fisheries Lab), and Jackson Hoeke (Invertebrate Ecology Lab).

The CSU Council on Ocean Affairs, Science & Technology (COAST) provides these grants to support CSU graduate students engaged in marine, coastal, and coastal watershed research. Many SJSU/MLML students have been funded by COAST over the years, and we are always thankful for the California State University’s strong support for marine science research.

SJSU among top universities in the US in Times Higher Education Impact Rankings

San José State University, MLML's administrative campus, ranks among the top universities in the US in the 2021 Times Higher Education Impact Rankings!

This worldwide ranking system measures university progress around Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) established by the United Nations. SJSU’s best showing was in the Life Below Water SDG, finishing in the top 10 in the U.S. and #62 in the world. These strong scores are thanks in large part to initiatives and research in water-sensitive waste disposal led by Moss Landing Marine Laboratories faculty and staff.

Read more about SJSU's placement in the Times Higher Education Impact Ranking in this article from the SJSU Newsroom.

Leatherback sea turtle research led by MLML highlighted in the Washington Post

Just as scientists are beginning to fully understand the amazing 7,000 mile odyssey undertaken annually by migrating leatherback sea turtles, these gentle giants are disappearing — and fast.

In less than 30 years, the number of western Pacific leatherbacks in the foraging population off of California plummeted 80% and a recent study led by SJSU/MLML scientist Scott Benson shows a 5.6% annual decline.

This important research was recently highlighted in the Washington Post. Read the article to learn more.

Research faculty member Dr. Diana Steller leads innovative rhodolith research project

The picturesque harbors of Catalina Island are the perfect habitat for rare coral-like red algae known as rhodoliths. Like corals, these algae form calcium carbonate ‘skeletons’ that grow in spherical branching patterns. Then in the gentle wave action of semi-protected harbors, the rhodoliths roll around on the ocean floor like tumbleweeds, forming into spheres, with pockets of open space between the branches.

“They form living layers that look like pink golf balls covering the ocean floor,” explains SJSU/MLML research faculty member Dr. Diana Steller, who led a recent California Sea Grant-funded project on Catalina’s rhodolith beds. “Rhodoliths form a structured habitat on what is otherwise normally soft sediment bottoms—a complex matrix of shapes and sizes for things to find refuge in."

"And because they form a hard structure that's heterogeneous, a lot of organisms can settle, survive better and live there. They act often as nursery grounds, and/or habitat for holdfast of different species,” she adds.

Learn more about Dr. Steller’s fascinating research in new story from California Sea Grant.