CANCELLED – Flying for free? Understanding the role of wind variability in albatross foraging energetics – April 15


Lesley Thorne, Stony Brook University

Hosted by the Vertebrate Ecology Lab

Presenting: "Flying for free? Understanding the role of wind variability in albatross foraging energetics"

MLML Virtual Seminar | April 15th, 2021 at 4pm

Watch the Live Stream here or here




Dr. Lesley Thorne is an Assistant Professor in the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University. Born and raised in Kingston, Ontario in Canada, Lesley received a BSc (Honours) at the University of Guelph and a PhD from Duke University in North Carolina. She has worked in a wide range of marine systems, including the Bay of Fundy, the South Atlantic Bight, the Sargasso Sea, the western Antarctic Peninsula, and the Main and Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Lesley is broadly interested in ecological questions in coastal and pelagic systems, and much of her research focuses on understanding links between environmental variability, foraging behavior and population processes, and on elucidating biophysical interactions driving the habitat use and foraging ecology of different marine predators.


Virtual Seminar – The chemical ecology of sponges on Caribbean reefs: From metabolites to ecosystems – March 25


Joseph Pawlik, University of North Carolina Wilmington

Hosted by the Invertebrate Ecology Lab

Presenting: "The chemical ecology of sponges on Caribbean reefs: From metabolites to ecosystems"

MLML Virtual Seminar | March 25th, 2021 at 4pm

Watch the Live Stream here or here




Dr. Joe Pawlik is a Distinguished Professor of Marine Biology in the Department of Biology and Marine Biology at UNCW. He received his BS in 1982 from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and his PhD in Marine Biology in 1988 from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD.  He joined the Department of Biology and Marine Biology at UNCW in 1991, where he teaches undergraduate courses in Invertebrate Zoology and Biodiversity, teaches Introduction to Science as a Profession to graduate students, and directs a research program involving undergrad, MS and PhD students. Joe worked at the US National Science Foundation (NSF) as a Program Officer in the Biological Oceanography Program for 2 years beginning 2003. He and his students and collaborators have authored over 160 publications, primarily on the ecology of sponges on Caribbean coral reefs. Check out a list of his publications here.


Virtual Seminar – Drivers of change in estuarine-coastal ecosystems – March 18


James Cloern, US Geological Survey Menlo Park, CA

Hosted by the Physical and Biological Oceanography Labs

Presenting: "Drivers of change in estuarine-coastal ecosystems"

MLML Virtual Seminar | March 18th, 2021 at 4pm

Watch the Live Stream here or here




James (Jim) Cloern is a senior scientist emeritus at the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, California. His research over four decades addresses comparative ecology and biogeochemistry of estuaries to understand how they respond as ecosystems to climatic-hydrologic variability and human disturbance. His team investigation of San Francisco Bay included studies of primary production, nutrient cycling, algal and zooplankton community dynamics, ecosystem metabolism and food web dynamics, disturbance by introduced species, ecosystem restoration, and past and projected future responses to a changing climate. His career achievements have been recognized with selection as Fellows of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO), and as recipient of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution B.H. Ketchum Award, Delta Science Program Brown-Nichols Achievement Award, ASLO Ruth Patrick Award, Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation Odum Lifetime Achievement Award, and Department of Interior's Distinguished Service Award. He is currently an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California, a member of the Delta Stewardship Council's Independent Science Board, and editor-in-chief of Limnology and Oceanography Letters.


Virtual Seminars – Plugged in: Novel seafloor sensor development on the OOI Cabled Array – March 11


Michael Vardaro, University of Washington & SJSU

Hosted by the Geological Oceanography Lab

Presenting: "Plugged in: Novel seafloor sensor development on the OOI Cabled Array"

MLML Virtual Seminar | March 11th, 2021 at 4pm

Watch the Live Stream here or here




Mike Vardaro has worked with the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) since 2011; four years as a Project Scientist at Oregon State University focusing on designing, testing, and deploying the Endurance Array off the coast of Oregon and Washington, three years as the Data Manager at Rutgers, working with the Cyberinfrastructure (CI) team on monitoring and evaluating data to create quality-controlled data streams for the OOI user community, and currently as a Research Scientist at the University of Washington, working on the Regional Cabled Array. He is also a lecturer at San Jose State University. Prior to working with the OOI, he designed and deployed photographic and oceanographic instrumentation in the Gulf of Mexico, Northeastern Pacific, and Southeastern Atlantic oceans to study the links between surface productivity, carbon flux, and deep benthic invertebrate populations, and how such systems change over time. He has a BS in Biology from Georgetown University, an MS in Biological Oceanography from Texas A&M, and a Ph.D. in Marine Biology from Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Virtual Seminar – Science without borders: tracking the tropicalization of kelp forests in the Californias – March 4


Rodrigo Beas, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California

Hosted by the Phycology Lab

Presenting: "Science without borders: tracking the tropicalization of kelp forests in the Californias"

MLML Virtual Seminar | March 4th, 2021 at 4pm

Watch the Live Stream here or here




Predicting changes in structure & function of ecosystems requires large-scale, long-term studies. We integrate kelp forest data from 469 sites/373 species spanning Alaska, USA, to Baja California, Mexico. Results revealed changes in community structure were most evident within the southern and north-central ecoregions, and forecast a poleward shift in the abundance of habitat-forming groups. All this was only possible with a sweeping display of international coordination and cooperation of a team of scientists and countless volunteers from 14 different organizations joining forces to document the northward migration of kelp forests due to warming waters. This is an excellent example of collaboration between researchers, communities, and civil society organizations in the USA and Mexico to understand how climate change will impact the kelp forest and therefore fisheries and coastal communities in the next 30 years.


About the speaker:

Rodrigo Beas-Luna is an Associate Professor at Facultad de Ciencias Marina, UABC. He is a marine ecologist-oceanographer, who combines field observation, lab work and quantitative tools to better understand the functioning of energy transfer among trophic levels and ecosystem responses to different environmental conditions. 


Dr. Rodrigo Beas Presents: “Science without borders: tracking the tropicalization of kelp forests in the Calirfornias”

Virtual Seminar – Spatial dynamics of coastal ecosystems and their resilience to disturbance, fishing and climate change – February 25th


Andrew Rassweiler, Florida State University

Hosted by the Ichthyology Lab

Presenting: "Spatial dynamics of coastal ecosystems and their resilience to disturbance, fishing and climate change"

MLML Virtual Seminar | February 25th, 2021 at 4pm

Watch the Live Stream here or here




Dr. Andrew Rassweiler is an Assistant Professor in the department of Biological Science at Florida State University. He is an applied marine ecologist who studies coastal environments with an emphasis on resilience, abrupt ecological state change and the spatial management of marine resources. He works in kelp forest, seagrass and coral reef ecosystems using a mix of empirical and theoretical approaches. His work is highly interdisciplinary and features collaboration with economists and anthropologists to better understand feedbacks between ecological and human components of nearshore marine systems. 

Check out his website here:


Virtual Seminar – Do you want to build a worm brain? Lessons from annelids and evo-devo – February 17th


Nicole Webster, Clark University

Hosted by the Invertebrate Ecology Lab

Presenting: "Do you want to build a worm brain? Lessons from annelids and evo-devo"

MLML Virtual Seminar | February 18th, 2021 at 4pm

Watch the Live Stream here or here




Dr. Nicole Webster earned a PhD through University of Alberta and is conducting a postdoctoral fellowship at Clark University where she is studying BMP pathway and neural specification in the marine annelid Capitella teleta.

Virtual Seminar – From molecules to management: how stable isotope analysis can inform conservation planning for sea turtles – February 11th


Jeffrey Seminoff, NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center

Hosted by the Vertebrate Ecology Lab

Presenting: "From molecules to management: how stable isotope analysis can inform conservation planning for sea turtles"

MLML Virtual Seminar | February 11th, 2021 at 4pm

Watch the Live Stream here or here




Dr. Jeffrey Seminoff is Leader of the Marine Turtle Ecology & Assessment Program and Director of the Stable Isotope Laboratory at the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center (La Jolla, California). Since 1992 Jeff has been involved in ecological research and conservation of sea turtles in the Pacific Ocean. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Arizona in 2000, and was a Post-doctoral Fellow at the Archie Carr Center for Sea Turtle Research at the University of Florida from 2000 to 2002. Seminoff is the Past-President of the International Sea Turtle Society and hosted the 31st International Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation in San Diego in 2011. He is Editor of the hard-cover book 'Sea Turtles of the Eastern Pacific' (University of Arizona Press) and was team leader for the green sea turtle status assessments for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Seminoff serves as the U.S. Delegate for the Scientific Committee of the Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles, is a member of IUCN Marine Turtle Specialist Group and the IUCN Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group, and is the Executive Editor of the professional scientific journal Chelonian Conservation and Biology. He is deeply committed to teaching and training young scientists about turtle research and conservation techniques, and has served on thesis committees of more than 50 graduate students. Jeffrey’s current research uses innovative approaches such as stable isotope analysis, biotelemetry, animal-borne imagery, and aerial surveys to elucidate the life history of sea turtles throughout the world. He has authored over 200 peer-reviewed publications and his research has been featured in numerous popular magazines, local and national news outlets, as well as on the Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, PBS, and National Geographic Television. Jeffrey lives with his wife, Jennifer, and children Quin and Graeson, in San Diego along with their three dogs and two leopard tortoises, Winnie and Mango.


Virtual Seminar – Recovery of white sharks off California and what this means to coastal communities – February 4th


Chris Lowe, CSU Long Beach

Hosted by the Pacific Shark Research Center

Presenting: "Recovery of white sharks off California and what this means to coastal communities"

MLML Virtual Seminar | February 4th, 2021 at 4pm

Watch the Live Stream here or here




Dr. Chris Lowe is a professor in marine biology and director of the Shark Lab at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), where he and his students work with acoustic and satellite telemetry techniques to study the movement, behavior and physiology of sharks, rays and gamefishes.   He has been an active scientific diver for 30 years, logging 100s of research related dives at “sharky” places including California, Hawaii, Northwestern Hawaiian Island, Palmyra Atoll, Belize, Bikini Atoll, Great Barrier Reef, and the Philippines.  Dr. Lowe serves on the CSU Ocean Studies Institute and USC Diving Control Boards.

Dr. Lowe earned his Bachelor of Arts in marine biology at Barrington College in Rhode Island and a Master of Science degree in biology at CSULB. In 1998, he earned a doctorate in zoology, studying bioenergetics of juvenile hammerhead sharks, at the University of Hawaii.

In 1998, he returned to CSULB to teach marine biology and oversee the Shark Lab, which was founded in 1966 by Dr. Donald R. Nelson, a pioneer in the development and use of acoustic telemetry to study sharks. It has been Dr. Lowe’s goal to maintain the history of innovation Dr. Nelson established. For the last ten years, he and his students have been studying the baby and juvenile white sharks of Southern California and have greatly contributed to the field of knowledge for this enigmatic species. In addition, recent research by Dr. Lowe and his student team has focused on the development of underwater robots for autonomously tracking sharks and gamefishes. He has garnered several academic awards, including CSULB’s 2008-2009 Outstanding Professor Award, 2012 CSULB Impact in Research Award, 2016 the Nell and John Wooden Ethics in Leadership Award, and recognized by the Orange County Register as among the top 100 Most Influential People.

As the climate, ocean and marine life continue to change, Dr. Lowe has become adept at speaking to media about how fluctuations in water temperatures and weather patterns have affected ocean life. He has appeared in many articles and on TV and radio broadcasts, including the PBS/BBC special “Big Blue Live”, “TODAY”, “Al Jazeera America”, “CBC News”, Newsweek, KNX Radio, the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Time and the Long Beach Press-Telegram, just to name a few.

Dr. Lowe grew up on Martha’s Vineyard, where he spent a majority of his youth fishing and diving the waters around Cape Cod. He comes from a long line of New England fishermen and whalers, and the first in his family to go to college, he believes a career focused on the ocean environment was inevitable.


Virtual Seminar – Envisioning a diverse and inclusive research workforce in fisheries science – January 28th


Ivan Arismendi, Oregon State University

Hosted by the Fisheries and Conservation Biology Lab

Presenting: "Envisioning a diverse and inclusive research workforce in fisheries science"

MLML Virtual Seminar | January 28th, 2021 at 4pm

Watch the Live Stream here or here




Dr. Ivan Arismendi is an aquatic ecologist who currently holds an Assistant Professor position at Oregon State University. Growing up in southern Chile, his interest for aquatic ecology was sparked as he witnessed the invasion of trout and salmon in his native waters. He successfully obtained a bachelor’s degree in Fisheries Engineering and a Doctorate degree in Forest Sciences from Austral University in Chile. Currently, he leads scientific research to improve our understanding about the role of natural variability and human-related disturbances on aquatic ecosystems. Specifically, he focuses on global environmental change, invasion biology, and aquatic food webs. But, he is also interested in the people who use or study in natural resources, which has led to emergent research on diversity, equity, and inclusion in science. To date, Dr. Arismendi has led to over 70 scientific publications and has received various awards, including the “Savery Outstanding Young Faculty Award” from the College of Agricultural Sciences at Oregon State University and the Emmeline Moore Prize from the American Fisheries Society (AFS), a career achievement award that recognizes efforts in the promotion of demographic diversity in AFS. As a mentor and advisor, Dr. Arismendi helps students become the professionals they desire to be and he enhances the student diversity in his department by mentoring and advising both graduate and undergraduate students, including students from Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Russia, and Vietnam. His research lab includes members from a variety of identities and backgrounds including racial minorities, gender minorities, veterans, and international students. He has mentored 2 postdocs, advised 14 graduate students, and mentored 19 undergraduate students. He contributes to several DEI initiatives, including a summer camp to engage high school students from underserved communities, which received the Oregon State University Outreach and Engagement Vice-Provost Team Award for Excellence in 2020. He self-identifies as a LatinX scientist with a strong commitment to serve as an example to students that science is available to everyone.