News & Updates
Former graduate student James Sturges is starting a Phd Program at Florida International University (FIU) in the Rehage Laboratory for Coastal Fish Ecology & Fisheries. Best of luck James! Can't wait to see the results of your research!
Graduate student James Sturges successfully defended his thesis: Using Stereo-DOV Surveys to Assess Fish Assemblage Structure & Fine-Scale Species-Specific Habitat Use Patterns on The Palos Verdes Restoration Reef One Year Post-Construction. Congratulations, James!
Jeremy received a grant from the CSU COAST through its State Science Information Needs Program to assess some of the artificial reefs off of southern California. Graduate students Matt Kim and Maggie Dillion will be working on the grant quantifying aspects of the physical reef structures and compiling historical information about them. And we'll be partnering with the Vantuna Research Group at Occidental College to do biological and sonar surveys of the reefs.
Undergraduate students Daniel Aguilar and Whitney Jones graduated! They made such great contributions to our lab, congratulations to you both!
Graduate students Brenda Calderon and James Sturges (not pictured as he was off in Florida collecting data for his PhD) were awarded CPP Biological Sciences Department Scholarships! Well deserved, congratulations!
Graduate student Brenda Calderon presented her poster at the 2022 Southern California Academy of Sciences Annual Meeting at CSUF which describes her thesis research on Garibaldi, Hypsypops rubicundus, diet composition and its relationship to their life history patterns which builds off the work of previous graduates students Chelsea Williams and Jacob Eagleton.
Graduate student Matthew Kim was awarded the CSU COAST Graduate Student Research Award for his proposal on using industry ROV footage to analyze fish assemblages associated with subsea oil and gas pipelines in southern California. Thank you COAST!
Multiple Claisse Lab members spent spring break week on Hawaii Island as part of the BIO 4550/L Field Biology - Coral Reef Ecology course. Many hours in the water, with a couple days seeing some terrestrial sites and crouching awkwardly in front of waterfalls and volcanoes.
Undergraduate student Daniel Aguilar completed his PADI Open Water SCUBA certification after doing his ocean dives at Catalina! He took the course through the CPP BRIC SCUBA Program which offers students initial, advanced and professional certifications at a reduced cost.
Graduate student Brenda Calderon presented her poster at the Cal Poly Pomona 15th Annual Science Research Symposium which describes her thesis research on Garibaldi, Hypsypops rubicundus, diet composition and its relationship to their life history patterns which builds off the work of previous graduates students Chelsea Williams and Jacob Eagleton.
Graduate student Brenda Calderon was awarded the CSU COAST Graduate Student Research Award for her proposal investigating geographic and habitat variation in Garibaldi, Hypsypops rubicundus, diet composition and its relationship to variation in life history parameters. Thank you COAST!
Jeremy was able to participate on a panel at the 2022 Retire Offshore Rigs event. It was a great opportunity to share and discuss all the research on fish using CA's offshore oil platforms as habitat with policy makers, state/federal agency folks, industry reps and other important stakeholders.
Graduate student Brenda Calderon was voted president of next year's CPP Biology Graduate Student Association executive board. However, it does mean the days are numbered for graduate student James Sturges' reign as 2021-2022 BIO GSA Historian. His legacy will never be forgotten!
Assuming James did his job...
Undergraduate lab member Gabby Yang graduated! As the motivating force behind this website and for the countless other contributions she's made to the lab we will be forever grateful. Can't wait to see what she gets up to next!
Graduate student Brenda Calderon successfully completed her thesis proposal presentation! Now looking forward to the discoveries to come!
Jeremy (co-PI) received a grant from the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. He'll be working with Dan Pondella (Vantuna Research Group at Occidental College) and others to investigate the environmental status of artificial structures offshore of California. Funding will also support graduate student Matt Kim to examine the role oil pipelines running along the seafloor are functioning as fish habitats.
Undergraduate student Daniel Aguilar received a CSU COAST Undergraduate Research Award! He'll be analyzing Garibaldi gut length data exploring how allometric relationships vary by sex and life stage, and doing a literature review of how gut length relationships vary with diet type and other environmental factors across fish species. Thank you COAST!
Graduate students Brenda Calderon and Matthew Kim, and undergraduate Whitney Jones completed the AAUS Scientific Diving Training Program and can now participate in research involving scuba! Run by the CSU's Ocean Studies Institute, the intensive two-week course includes diving theory, physics, physiology, dive planning and emergency accident management, and in-water training that includes numerous dives to practice data-gathering methodologies, and develop diving skills such as navigation, deep, night, and rescue. Students live at USC's Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina during the second week of the course.
We completed the stereo-video surveys on each of the 18 quarry rock reef modules (about 2 miles of video transects in total) of the Palos Verdes Restoration Reef Project ~1 yr after construction! Graduate student James Sturges is investigating fish habitat use patterns on the quarry rock restoration reef for his masters thesis using this data.
Jeremy and multiple students in the lab participated as a team in the Openscapes Champions Program CSU-COAST Cohort. The program guided us toward more sustainable and reproducible science in a more collaborative, inclusive and kind learning environment. We also created a GitHub Organization to work collaboratively on code, store lab and data protocols and more! Thank you Openscapes and COAST!
Graduate students Brenda Calderon and Matt Kim, and undergraduate Whitney Jones completed the (MOTC) Motorboat Operator Training Certification course taught by our marine lab the (SCMI) Southern California Marine Institute. The weeklong course includes classroom and pool safety training, and time operating, launching and trailering small research vessels. With CPP's membership in the CSU Ocean Studies Institute, CPP students and faculty can take the boating training course for free (with a faculty sponsor).
We are back at it diving on the Palos Verdes Reef (PVR) restoration project that was completed last year! We are using a diver operated stereo-video system to collect data for graduate student James Sturges' master's thesis project and start a long-term monitoring data set of fine scale fish habitat use patterns on the restored reef.
Undergraduate student Gabby Yang was awarded a CSU COAST Summer Internship! Gabby will be working with the California Fish and Wildlife Department Marine Region on their Northern California Marine Invertebrate Fisheries Management Internship at the UC Davis Bodega Bay Marine Laboratory participating in research on marine heatwaves, kelp forest ecosystems, invertebrate fishery species, and implementation of policy. Thank you COAST for supporting this internship!
Undergraduate student Whitney Jones was awarded a CSU COAST Summer Internship! Whitney will be working with the California Fish and Wildlife Department Marine Region on their Emerging Box Crab Fishery Internship doing data management as well as studying the population and life history of the brown box crab for a potential fishery. Thank you COAST for supporting this internship!
Graduate student James Sturges won an honorable mention for his poster at the Southern California Academy of Sciences (SCAS) annual meeting featuring the experimental design for his thesis research on fish-habitat associations on the Palos Verdes Restoration Reef.
Graduate student Austin Pyles successfully defended his thesis: Nesting and Habitat Use Patterns of Garibaldi (Hypsypops rubicundus) on The Los Angeles Harbor Breakwater Using Diver Operated Stereo-Video Cameras. Congratulations, Austin!
Graduate student Jacob Eagleton successfully defended his thesis: Variation in Garibaldi Diet Composition on Southern California Natural and Artificial Rocky Reefs.
Jeremy and graduate student Chelsea Williams with the Vantuna Research Group (VRG) published a paper in Marine Ecology Progress Series that provides strong evidence that deliberate efforts to remove urchins can be a key strategy in bringing back giant kelp forests and the high-value commercial marine species. Read the CPP Polycentric article all about it here!
Graduate student Chelsea Munoz Williams successfully defended her thesis: Spatial and Habitat Variation in Life History of Garibaldi, Hypsypops rubicundus, Including Validation of Annual Growth Increments. Congratulations, Chelsea!
Undergraduate student Whitney Jones was awarded the CSU Edison STEM-NET Student Research Fellowship Award on her project focused on using R to analyze data to examine body size-specific habitat use patterns of fish on oil platforms. She will be presenting her project May 2021!
Graduate student Brenda Calderon was featured in an article in the Poly Post about the Cal Poly Pomona BRIC's recreational SCUBA training program! The BRIC's SCUBA program is pretty unique among CSU schools, and allows students to complete their initial open water certification at a very reduced cost, which is a critical part of the pathway to our students getting the AAUS Scientific Diver Certification they need to use SCUBA for scientific research.
Undergraduate students Whitney Jones (Size-specific fish habitat use patterns on offshore oil platforms) and Michael Joyce (Hypsypops rubicundus egg and larval size variation) each received a CSU COAST Undergraduate Research Award! Thank you COAST!
Did our first scouting dives on the recently completed Palos Verdes Reef restoration project to plan the stereo-video sampling design for graduate student James Sturges' thesis project. The video data collected can also be used as a baseline for establishing how fine scale habitat use patterns of fish on the new habitat change over time. Lots of fish already taking up residence on the new high relief habitat!
Construction resumes on the Palos Verdes Reef restoration project! After working for the past decade on the background research, design and implementation of this project with the Vantuna Research Group and the NOAA Montrose Settlements Restoration Program it is exciting to see it being built. Can't wait to start studying how fish use the restored habitat once it is completed!
"It worked!" Graduate student Chelsea Williams successfully validated that the rings on Garibaldi otoliths (inner ear bones) are produced annually. She used a method where wild fish are captured, injected with tetracycline, and then re-captured 14 months later. The tetracycline, which is rapidly incorporated into bone tissue, glows yellow under fluorescent light on the sectioned otolith showing that one ring was formed outside of that mark during the 14 months after it was initially tagged.
Jeremy and graduate student Chelsea Williams were featured on the CSU Website in a story about the research CSU faculty and students have been doing on the fishes living associated with the oil platforms off the coast of California and how this is contributing to the state and federal decision making process about the fate of these structures once they reach the end of their economic lifespans.
Graduate student James Sturges received the CSU COAST Graduate Student Research Award for his proposal to investigate fish habitat use patterns using stereo-video camera systems on the Palos Verdes Restoration Reef! Thank you COAST!
Graduate student Austin Pyles' Southern California Academy of Sciences (SCAS) student research grant proposal was funded to support his field research on Garibaldi habitat use and reproductive biology! As part of the funding Austin will present his research results at the next SCAS Annual Meeting.
Undergraduate, Matt Kim, was awarded a CSU COAST Summer Internshipwith the California Department of Fish and Wildlife!!! He will be working with the CDFW San Diego office on their Marine Invertebrate Fisheries Management program. Thank you CSU COAST for supporting these internships!
Jeremy gave a presentation at an Offshore Oil Platform Decommissioning Forum hosted by the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, CA. Link to PDF of workshop report. Undergraduates Matt Kim and Gabby Yang, along with graduate students Austin Pyles and Chelsea Williams attended, and we all learned so much about the legal, technical, and political challenges for CA offshore oil platform decommissioning. Thanks CSU COAST for covering the students' reg fees!
Undergraduate student Gabby Yang was awarded the CSU COAST Undergraduate Research Funding Award for her project analyzing stereo-video data collected in Hawaii to look at abundance patterns of Yellow Tang, Zebrasoma flavescens, inside and outside of Marine Protected Areas. Thank you COAST!
(soon to be) Graduate student, Brenda Calderon, and undergraduate student, Gabby Yang, completed their PADI Advanced Open Water Certification Course through the BRIC. The course included a weekend dive trip in Dana Point. Both did their fish ID and underwater photography specialty certifications. This course was a great next step after the PADI Open Water Certification Course.
Jeremy and graduate students Austin Pyles, Jacob Eagleton and (CPP Snail Lab member) Kendall Feliciano had a great time at the 2019 Western Society of Naturalists annual meeting in Ensenada, Mexico. Austin and Jacob presented posters on their thesis research got a lot of great feedback. They also received CSU COAST Travel Awards to fund their travel! Thanks COAST!
Undergraduate students Matthew Kim and Whitney Jones completed their PADI Open Water Certification Course through the BRIC! The course included a weekend dive trip and graduate student Jacob Eagleton in our lab was their instructor!
Undergraduate student Gabby Yang was accepted into the Ernest Prete Jr. Fellowship Program run by the Center for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (CEMaST). She will be working with an elementary school teacher learning about lesson planning and will eventually teach a science lesson to her assigned PUSD class!
Undergraduate student Gabby Yang completed the (MOTC) Motorboat Operator Training Course taught by the (SCMI) Southern California Marine Institute. The weeklong course includes classroom and pool safety training, and time operating, launching and trailering small research vessels. With CPP's membership in the CSU Ocean Studies Institute, CPP students and faculty can take the boating training course for free (with a faculty sponsor).
Graduate student Jacob Eagleton completed his PADI SCUBA Instructor Certification at Buddy Dive in Bonaire! The cost of the course was subsidized by the BRIC and he'll now work to help teach courses in their scuba program.
Undergraduates Brenda Calderon, John DiGildo, and Gabby Yang completed their PADI Open Water Recreational SCUBA Certification through the BRIC. The course included an overnight boat trip to Catalina Island to do the ocean dives and we were able to spot a baby octopus!
Undergraduate student Brenda Calderon created a poster on histological gonad preparation and female reproductive patterns of the Garibaldi, Hypsypops rubicundus, for the Cal Poly Pomona 14th Annual Science Research Symposium. While she was sick that day and not able to present it, the other students in the lab filled in and did a great job! Lots of compliments on Brenda's poster design.
Jeremy was on a podcast! Episode 338 entitled "Crude Habitat" of 99% Invisible discusses the rigs-to-reefs controversy surrounding offshore oil drilling in California and what to do with the underwater steel support structures of the platforms once they cease pumping oil.
Jeremy joined the Board of Directors of the Marine Conservation Research Institute (MCRI) at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. MCRI is a boundary organization creating interactions between the scientific community, policymakers and the public on matters related to ocean and environmental issues.
(recent graduate) Undergraduate Stephanie Franck was awarded and is thoroughly enjoying her position in the San Diego Zoo/San Diego Zoo Safari Park - Exotic Animal Nutrition Summer Fellow Program which involves learning how to care for baby wallabies!
Jeremy and graduate students Chelsea Williams, Austin Pyles, Jacob Eagleton, and (CPP Coastal Ecology Lab member) Claire Arre completed the (MOTC) Motorboat Operator Training Course taught by the (SCMI) Southern California Marine Institute. The weeklong course includes classroom and pool safety training, and time operating, launching and trailering small research vessels. With CPP's membership in the CSU Ocean Studies Institute, CPP students and faculty can take the course for free (with an OSI faculty sponsor).
Jeremy participated in a legislative briefing at the California State Legislature in Sacramento on Artificial Reefs: The State of the Science in California. The briefing was organized by CSU COAST program and Jeremy gave a presentation on the Palos Verdes Reef Restoration Project and answered questions from legislative staffers and state government agencies.
Graduate student Ben Grime received an CPP OUR Conference Presentation Award to present his thesis research at the joint American Malacological Society (AMS)/Western Society of Malacologists (WSM) Annual Meeting in Honolulu Hawaii this summer! Thanks OUR!
Graduate student Chelsea Williams received a Best Student Poster Honorable Mention for her poster “Spatial variation in life-history characteristics of a non-fished pomacentrid, Hypsypops rubicundus, in the Southern California Bight” and the 2018 Southern California Academy of Sciences Annual Meeting.
Graduate student Ben Grime was awarded the CSU COAST Graduate Student Research Award for his proposal investigating the influence of temperature on spawning and larval survival of the endangered green abalone. Thank you COAST!
(recent graduate) Undergraduate Jacob Eagleton is doing an internship at
Dauphin Island Sea Lab in Alabama getting great fisheries research experience getting to assist with collecting fish via longline, gillnet, seine net, and trawling, while also participating in fish tagging, processing, and life history techniques.
Undergraduate student Stephanie Frank was awarded the CSU COAST Undergraduate Research Funding Award for her project developing histological methods to investigate reproductive biology of Garibaldi. Thank you COAST!
Our CSU (ARI) Agricultural Research Institute proposal was funded! We will be developing methods to spawn green abalone in the lab and providing research training opportunities to a graduate and an undergraduate student in applied aquaculture and wild population restoration.