Scott Hamilton

Scott Hamilton

Faculty Member

Department:  Ichthyology



phone: (831) 771-4497
office: 415 MLML Main Lab


Scott's research focuses on the ecology of coastal marine fish, their role in nearshore ecosystems, and the response of these ecosystems to environmental change and human impacts. Using a combination of field experiments and observations, along with laboratory analyses, his lab focuses on research questions that range from early life stages of fish to whole ecosystems, including: (1) examination of early life history dynamics such as recruitment, selective mortality, and population linkages via larval dispersal; (2) investigation of the causes and consequences of demographic and life history variation among fish populations; and (3) evaluation of changes in the structure and function of kelp forest and coral reef communities associated with marine protection. We are motivated by a desire to provide fundamental insights to aid fisheries management and conservation efforts.

Research Interests: 
  • Ecology of kelp forests and coral reefs
  • Predator-prey interactions
  • Life history and demography
  • Physiological responses to environmental stressors
  • Role of consumers in nutrient cycling
  • Fisheries and conservation
  • Development of sustainable aquaculture practices, new species for aquaculture, and integrated multitrophic aquaculture
Curriculum Vitae:
Selected Publications
  • Ziegler SL, Brooks RO, Hamilton SL, Ruttenberg BI, Chiu J, Fields RT, Waltz GT, Shen C, Wendt DE, Starr RM. External fishing effort regulates positive effects of no-take marine protected areas. Biological Conservation 269:109546
  • Galloway AWE, Beaudreau A., Thomas M, Basnett B, Lam LS, Hamilton SL, Andrews K, Schram JB, Watson J, Samhouri JF. Why so blue? Assessing drivers of blue-colored flesh in lingcod (Ophiodon elongatus). (2021). Marine Biology 168:139.
  • Easter EE, Adreani MS, Hamilton SL, Steele MA, Pang S, White JW. (2020). Influence of protogynous sex change on recovery of fish populations within marine protected areas. Ecological Applications. e02070.
  • Hamilton SL, Kashef NS, Stafford DM, Mattiasen EG, *Kapphahn LA, Bjorkstedt EP, Sogard SM. Ocean acidification and hypoxia have opposite effects on rockfish otolith growth. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 521:151245.
  • Wood G, Hamilton SL, Vadopalas B, Stevick B, Leyva-Valencia I. Geographic variation in the life history and morphology of the Pacific geoduck, Panopea generosa. (2018). Journal of Shellfish Research. 37: 919-931
  • Donham E, Foster MS, Rice MR, Cailliet GM, Yoklavich MM, Hamilton SL. (2017). Natural history observations of Hawaiian garden eels, Gorgasia hawaiiensis (Congridae: Heterocongrinae), from the Island of Hawai’i. Pacific Science 71:135-147.
  • Braje, T. J., Rick, T. C., Szpak, P., Newsome, S. D., McCain, J. M., Elliott Smith, E. A., … Hamilton, S. L. (2017). Historical ecology and the conservation of large, hermaphroditic fishes in Pacific Coast kelp forest ecosystems.Science Advances3(2), e1601759.
  • Caselle, J. E., Rassweiler, A., Hamilton, S. L., & Warner, R. R. (2015). Recovery trajectories of kelp forest animals are rapid yet spatially variable across a network of temperate marine protected areas. Scientific Reports5(1), 14102.
  • Gabara, S. S., Hamilton, S. L., Edwards, M. S. M., & Steller, D. D. L. (2018). Rhodolith structural loss decreases abundance, diversity, and stability of benthic communities at Santa Catalina Island, CA. Marine Ecology Progress Series595, 71–88.
  • Graham, M. H., Fox, M. D., & Hamilton, S. L. (2016). Macrophyte productivity and the provisioning of energy and habitat to nearshore systems. In E. Olafsson (Ed.), Marine macrophytes as foundation species (pp. 133–160). New York: CRC Press.
  • Hamilton, S. L., Logan, C. A., Fennie, H. W., Sogard, S. M., Barry, J. P., Makukhov, A. D., … Bernardi, G. (2017). Species-Specific Responses of Juvenile Rockfish to Elevated pCO2: From Behavior to Genomics. PLOS ONE,12(1), e0169670.
  • Selden, R. L., Gaines, S. D., Hamilton, S. L., & Warner, R. R. (2017). Protection of large predators in a marine reserve alters size-dependent prey mortality. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences284(1847), 20161936.

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Icthyology Lab