MLML/SJSU oyster restoration efforts featured in Alta Journal

Did you know that we have an on-site oyster hatchery at Moss Landing Marine Labs? In partnership with the Elkhorn Slough Natural Estuarine Research Reserve (ESNERR), researchers from the SJSU/MLML Aquaculture Center have been growing Olympia oysters since 2018 as part of an effort to restore the species in Elkhorn Slough.

Learn more about this important work in a new story just published in the Alta Journal.


Photo shows SJSU/MLML graduate student Jacob Harris examining three-month-old oysters growing on clamshells collected from Elkhorn Slough. Photo credit: Alta Journal

New paper from graduate student Rachel Aitchison documents first record of banded guitarfish in central California

Congratulations to SJSU/MLML grad student Rachel Aitchison on the publication of her first paper!

Rachel’s paper describes the first record of the banded guitarfish (shown to the right) in central California. This observation represents a major northward range expansion for this species which is typically found in waters off southern California and Mexico. Co-authors on this study include Rachel's MLML advisor Dr. David Ebert and graduate student Gammon Koval.

Read the newly published paper in the Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation.

Grad student Caroline Rodriguez heads to Washington, DC as Knauss Fellow

We are so excited to follow MLML grad student Caroline Rodriguez’s upcoming journey to Washington, DC as a Knauss Marine Policy Fellow!

The one-year Knauss 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. For her year-long fellowship, Caroline will be working for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of International Affairs.

Learn more about Caroline and her path to DC in this story from her home campus, California State University, Monterey Bay.

Alumna Sophie Bernstein ’21 publishes new paper on domoic acid transfer in marine food webs

Congrats to MLML Ichthyology Lab alumna Sophie Bernstein ’21 on the publication of her thesis research in the scientific journal Harmful Algae!

Domoic acid (DA) is a harmful marine biotoxin produced by algae that accumulates in shellfish and other marine species, especially during harmful algal blooms (HAB). In their study, Sophie and co-authors used stable isotope analysis and DA measurements to investigate how DA is transferred through marine food webs in Monterey Bay. They found that anchovies are better sentinel species for coastal-pelagic regions than mussels, which did not contain any detectable levels of day. Their study demonstrates the efficacy of combining multiple biogeochemical tracers to improve HAB monitoring efforts and identify the main routes of DA transfer across habitats and trophic levels.

Read the open access paper here: Bernstein et al. 2021

Figure from Bernstein et al. 2021. Isotopic niches of potential DA vectors, crabs and predators vulnerable to DA toxicosis. (A) Bayesian standard ellipses and trophic level estimates of key taxa. Each point represents an individual and each color is associated with a different species. (B) Site-control analysis presenting the Bayesian ellipses of five potential DA vectors collected at stations 114, 115, and 116, and Dungeness crabs at C1 and C2.

Dr. Michael Graham named new MLML Department Chair

We are excited to announce that Dr. Michael Graham has been named the new Department Chair of Moss Landing Marine Laboratories!

Dr. Graham received his MS in Marine Science from San José State University & MLML in 1995 and joined the faculty here in 2003 after earning his PhD in Oceanography from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Dr. Graham and his students in the Phycology Lab study the role of seaweeds in regulating the dynamics and diversity of marine systems. He looks forward to serving the MLML community in new capacities as Department Chair.

SJSU/MLML Central Coast Wetlands Group researchers meet with State Senator John Laird

Yesterday, researchers from the SJSU/MLML Central Coast Wetlands Group organized a field trip with California State Senator John Laird to discuss their innovative new watershed restoration project. 

The project, titled “Castroville to the Coast”, is a collaborative effort between resource managers, local farmers, and community members. It aims to increase climate resilience, decrease local flooding, and improve water quality and wetland habitat while equally meeting the needs of the Castroville community, the participating farmers, and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Partners agree that the Castroville to the Coast project can be a model for restoring the numerous watershed functions within the Salinas Valley we all rely on.

Read more about this important project in the official press release.

SJSU/MLML invertebrate zoologist Dr. Jonathan Geller retires after 23 years of service

Please join us in wishing SJSU/MLML Professor Jonathan Geller a happy retirement!

Friday, October 1st was Dr. Geller’s last day on the Moss Landing Marine Laboratories faculty after 23 years of service to the labs and San José State University. Dr. Geller first came to MLML in 1998 as an Associate Professor and was promoted to Full Professor in 2005. He served as the MLML Department Chair from 2011 to 2015. Under Dr. Geller’s leadership, students and researchers in the Invertebrate Zoology & Molecular Ecology Lab used genetic techniques to study the evolutionary ecology of marine invertebrates. Dr. Geller looks forward to continuing with this research as a Professor Emeritus. Congratulations on your retirement, Dr. Geller!


MLML Quilt Guild featured in Monterey County Weekly

Did you know that at Moss Landing Marine Labs we have our very own Quilt Guild?!

The MLML Quilt Guild was founded in 2001 by a group of dedicated SJSU/MLML community members who came together to design and create a few colorful fabric panels to dampen the echoing sounds in a conference room at the lab. Together they designed an amazing series of quilted panels that featured boats, whales, and the Point Sur Lighthouse. Their finished creation was beautiful and effective, but they didn’t stop there! It’s now been over two decades since the Quilt Guild was founded and over the years our dedicated MLML quilters have made over 30 quilts! 

Learn more about the incredible history of the MLML Quilt Guild in this new article in the Monterey County Weekly.

Sea Otter Savvy researchers organize Sea Otter Awareness Week 2021

Sea Otter Awareness Week 2021 is here! All week we’ll be partnering with SJSU/MLML research affiliates Sea Otter Savvy to share information about these unique marine mammals. This year’s Sea Otter Awareness Week theme is Ecosystem Mosaic, which highlights the idea of the sea otter’s ecosystem as a mosaic of tiny parts in which the removal of key elements or damage to the system’s structure renders the ecological picture incomplete. This theme is celebrated in the amazing SOAW2021 logo designed by SJSU/MLML alumna Heather Barrett ’19!

Follow along on MLML social media all week for more sea otter posts and check out the Sea Otter Awareness Week 2021 Schedule to learn more.

Dr. Jim Harvey celebrated at San Francisco Giants game

After 32 outstanding years of service to Moss Landing Marine Laboratories and San José State University, last week Dr. Jim Harvey retired from his position as MLML Director.

As a show of thanks to their former advisor, a group of Jim's students arranged for a special congratulatory message to be displayed on the jumbotron at Oracle Park during a recent San Francisco Giants game. Jim attended the game with his wife Mary Yoklavich, SJSU/MLML professor Dr. Mike Graham, and Mike's wife Erica Graham (all pictured below). We can't think of a better way to celebrate Jim's incredible career!