Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies

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SF State's bayside marine and estuarine research facility.

RTC Accomplishments - Archive



RTC graduate returns from NOAA research cruise

Recent graduate Tricia Lee just returned from the NOAA Ship Reuben Laskerafter several days measuring nutrients and primary productivity in the Gulf of the Farallones as part of the NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science CenterRockfish Recruitment and Ecosystem Assessment Cruise. She also found time to watch whales, planktonic crab larvae, and beautiful sunsets! See her photos on our Facebook page. 6/1/2016


Recent graduate publishes Master's research as first author

On May 24, recent graduate Laurel Ballanti (Hines Lab) published her master's research "Tree species classification using hyperspectral imagery: A comparison of two classifiers" in the scientific journal Remote Sensing. Ballanti's research was conducted in Muir Woods National Monument and Mt. Tamalpais State Park, and could be useful for managing their forest ecosystems. 5/24/16


RTC graduate student presents research at recent Ocean Climate Summit

On May 17, graduate student Karen Backe (Hines Lab) presented her research poster "Understanding coastal habitat dynamics by analysis of harbor seal habitat use" (pdf, 994kb) at the 2016 Ocean Climate Summit in Fort Mason, San Francisco. Her research included a long-term data set collected by a dedicated citizen scientist featured in this recent article in The Santa Rosa Press-Democrat. 5/23/16


Presentations and Publications and Awards, Oh My! The distribution and abundance of recent RTC scientist and student accomplishments.

In the last month, 14 different RTC scientists, graduate and undergraduate students: gave 10 different oral and poster presentations at four different scientific meetings from SF State to Vancouver, Canada and Hobart, Tasmania; published (co-authored) a new research paper on geographic variation in mussels; won awards for poster presentations; received a paid internship at Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary; and won travel awards to present their research at upcoming conferences in Texas and Minnesota. Read the details of who, what, where and when here. 5/11/16


RTC Alum publishes Masters research and cover photo in journal

Beth Sheets, formerly of Dr. Sarah Cohen's laboratory, published her research on the spread of a tropical colonial tunicate in the scientific journal, Ecology & Evolution: "Investigating the widespread introduction of a tropical marine fouling species." Her research used genetic markers to trace the spread and diversity of the tunicate, Botrylloides nigrum. In addition, her photo, taken at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, was chosen as the cover for the April issue. Beth is now a research technician in Dr. Steven Palumbi's laboratory at Stanford University's Hopkins Marine Station. 4/18/16


RTC scientists publish "Predation impact of Acartiella sinensis, an introduced predatory copepod in the San Francisco Estuary, USA"

Research technician Anne Slaughter is the lead author with research technician Toni Ignoffo and Senior Research Scientist Dr. Wim Kimmerer. The first study to quantify predation by A. sinensis, they found that impact on other copepod species was high relative to their population growth potential in a low productivity zone of the estuary. This predation impact, in addition to grazing impact from the introduced clam Potamocorbula amurensis, further limits food availability for declining fish populations such as delta smelt. Marine Ecology Progress Series 547:60, 4/7/16


RTC graduate student Jeyna Perez received funding for sea star research

Perez, of Dr. Sarah Cohen's laboratory, received a $1000 Richard & Megumi Strathmann Fellowship to conduct sea star research and attend a marine biodiversity course at the University of Washington's Friday Harbor Laboratories on San Juan Island. 3/15/16


Sarah Cohen gave invited talk at Sea Star Wasting Summit

Dr. Sarah Cohen presented "Stars: Where are They Now? Spatial and Temporal Variation in Population Structure in Direct Developing Sea Stars" at the Sea Star Wasting Summit in Seattle, Washington on January 14. February 2, 2106


RTC Research presented at Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology meeting

Several presentations were given by RTC researchers, including four undergraduate interns, at SICB's annual national meeting held in Portland, Oregon January 4-7.

NSF EDEN undergraduate fellow Berta Colom (Cohen Lab), graduate student Joseph Spaulding, postdoctoral researcher Vanessa Miller-Sims and Dr. Sarah Cohen presented a poster: High Fusion Rates among Sibling Botryllus schlosseri recruits (abstract)

Graduate student Lindsay Faye (Stillman Lab) presented a poster: Physiological Responses of Phyllaplysia taylori to Future Climate Change Scenarios (abstract)

Summer undergraduate researcher Kayley You Mak (Stillman Lab) presented a poster: Body size does not influence thermal tolerance in the intertidal porcelain crab Petrolisthes cinctipes (abstract)

Summer undergraduate researcher Emily King (Stillman Lab) presented a poster: Do interspecies interactions trigger the cellular stress response in porcelain crabs? (abstract)

Summer ndergraduate researcher Kirsten Boyer (Stillman Lab) presented a poster: Impacts of crowding on physiological stress in the intertidal porcelain crab Petrolisthes cinctipes (abstract)

Summer undergraduate researcher Caleb Shaw (Cohen Lab) presented a poster: Performance variation in Leptasterias spp. among populations and habitats (abstract)

Postdoctoral researcher Alex Gunderson (Stillman Lab) gave an oral presentation: A conceptual framework for understanding thermal constraints on ectotherm activity (abstract) January 7, 2016



Students receive CSU COAST research awards

Marine biology undergraduate researchers Bridget Hansen (Cochlan Lab) and Rachel Weinberg (Cohen Lab) received CSU COAST (Council on Ocean Affairs, Science & Technology) Undergraduate Research Support scholarships, two of five awarded to SF State. Graduate students Alison Fisher (Carpenter Lab), Melissa Patten (Boyer Lab) and KeChaunte Johnson (Cohen Lab) received COAST Graduate Research Awards. These awards support students interested in pursuing marine-related careers and provide them with the opportunity to obtain the skills necessary to join a highly skilled, technologically advanced workforce while promoting and supporting CSU faculty research. December 22, 2015


RTC Students Recognized as CSU-LSAMP PROUD Scholars

Bridget Hansen (SF State, 2014 Research Experiences for Undergraduates Carpenter Lab & now National Institutes of Health Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement Scholar in the Cochlan Lab), Alma Ceja (CSU East Bay, now grad student, Stillman Lab), Emily King (CSU Monterey Bay, 2015 REU, Stillman Lab), and Janet Garcia (CSU Channel Islands, 2013 REU, Cohen/Todgham Lab) were recognized as Louis B. Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Program Recognizing Outstanding Undergraduate Distinction Scholars for their outstanding academic and science research achievements at their CSU undergraduate campuses. Read more here (pdf, 2.85 MB). December 21, 2015


RTC, SF State Students Present Research at Biennial Society for Marine Mammalogy Conference

Hines Lab grad student presented posters: "Estimating energy sequestration and outflow by the harbor porpoise, Phocoena phocoena" by Cara Gallagher, "Temporal Distribution Patterns of Harbor Porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) with Tidal Exchange in San Francisco Bay," Laura Duffy, "Citizen science's role in filling data gaps: Whale watching operators of Northern California," and co-author on "Whale CITE: A Citizen Science Program for Whale Sightings Along the U.S. West Coast," Melissa Kent. Professor Ellen Hines gave an oral presentation, "Line transect estimates of Irrawaddy dolphin abundance along the eastern Gulf Coast of Thailand", and is co-author on "Individual variation and dietary overlap with fisheries in an endangered cetacean, the Irrawaddy dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris)", and "Size, challenges, and values of Marine Mammal Protected Areas in South and Southeast Asia." December 18, 2015


Two new publications from RTC scientists

A new paper from alumnus Caitlin Jensen sets the stage for further risk assessment of cetacean ship strikes outside the Bay.
Caitlin M. Jensen, Ellen Hines, Barbara A. Holzman, Thomas J. Moore, Jaime
Jahncke & Jessica V. Redfern (2015) Spatial and Temporal Variability in Shipping Traffic Off San Francisco, California, Coastal Management, 43:6, 575-588. December 8, 2015

Post-doctoral Researcher Alex Gunderson (Stillman Lab) published
"A conceptual framework for understanding thermal constraints on ectotherm activity with implications for predicting responses to global change" in Ecology Letters. December 9, 2015

RTC students receive scholarships

Graduate student Anastasia Ennis (Cohen Lab) received a CSUPERB (CSU Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology) Travel Grant to attend the CERF meeting in Portland, Oregon. Graduate students Cara Gallagher (Hines Lab), Stephanie Saffouri and Crystal Weaver (Boyer Lab) received scholarships from the College of Science & Engineering. November 23, 2015


RTC Alum publishes Master's research

Evyan Borgnis (alumna of the Boyer Lab) published her master's thesis work in Estuaries and Coasts. Her new article is entitled "Salinity Tolerance and Competition Drive Distributions of Native and Invasive Submerged Aquatic Vegetation in the Upper San Francisco Estuary."  Evyan is now a project manager for Southern California restoration projects for the California Coastal Conservancy, based in Oakland. November 23, 2015

Graduate student Crystal Weaver awarded WISE Scholarship, wins haiku contest, starts crowdfunding

Crystal Weaver of the Boyer Wetlands Ecology Lab had an exciting couple of weeks! "The WISE scholarship selection committee noted that out of many excellent applicants, Crystal stood out for her clear sense of purpose, honesty and commitment to pursuing a career in applied ecology, and outstanding initiative in pursuing her research goals. She has a maturity and focus that is uncommon. Furthermore, she truly understands the larger context and impact of her project while developing tools and techniques that are cutting-edge in her field. This award will help her fund the final phase of her innovative research, which involves Next-Gen sequencing of microbial communities associated with eelgrass." Crystal also won a haiku contest at the recent CERF meeting in Portland, Oregon, and has mounted a crowdfunding campaign for her research. November 11, 2015


Pluses and minuses of ammonium and nitrate uptake and assimilation by phytoplankton and implications for productivity and community composition, with emphasis on nitrogen-enriched conditions

Drs. Wilkeron and Dugdale are co-authors on a new paper reviewing nitrogen metabolism and the contrasting metabolic pathways and regulation of ammonium and nitrate when these substrates are provided individually under equivalent growth conditions. Limnology & Oceanography, in press, 2015. October 9, 2015


Mortality estimates of stage-structured populations must include uncertainty in stage duration and relative abundance

In which Senior Research Scientist Wim Kimmerer explored mortality estimation for stage-structured populations, building on previous work that applied vertical lifetable methods to populations of copepods. Journal of Plankton Research. Journal of Plankton Research  37 (5): 939-952. October 9, 2015


Contextualising the coupled socio-ecological conditions of marine megafauna bycatch

Dr. Ellen Hines is a co-author on a new paper on reducing bycatch of dolphins and turtles in SE Asia fisheries. Ocean and Coastal Management 116, November 2015: 449-465. October 9, 2015


SF Bay Living Shorelines Project wins Outstanding Environmental Project Award at State of the Estuary Conference

Today at the San Francisco Estuary Partnerships's biennial State of the Estuary conference, RTC-SF State Biology Professor and SF Bay Living Shorelines Project Lead Scientist Dr. Katharyn Boyer accepted an Outstanding Environmental Project Award on behalf of a diverse team of local, state, federal, university, business and non-profit partners, including dozens of RTC and SF State students and volunteers. The Living Shoreline Project is part of an innovative habitat restoration and climate change adaptation effort in San Francisco Bay. Read more about the project here. September 18, 2015


Sarah Cohen and colleagues receive COAST Rapid Response funding to study local sea star vulnerable to wasting disease

Dr. Sarah Cohen, RTC Alum Renate Eberl, and graduate student Laura Melroy will be involved. Dr. Cohen says, "we are quite excited about this work and the chance to get some rapid field data and sea star samples while the populations are still deeply constricted from the wasting disease. This will be great material to build on with additional genetic analysis by our team of two grads, undergrads, a community volunteer, and a postdoc." August 26, 2015


RTC graduate student Jamie Lee published in international journal

The harmful cyanobacterial Microcystis uses different forms of nitrogeneous nutrients in the Bay Delta, showing its preference for ammonium and the uptake kinetics for ammonium uptake likely give it a competitive edge in the Bay Delta. With more nutrients, more cyanoHABs of Microcystis are likely in the Bay Delta. Citation: Lee, Jamie, Alexander E. Parker, Frances P. Wilkerson, and Richard C. Dugdale. "Uptake and inhibition kinetics of nitrogen in Microcystis aeruginosa: Results from cultures and field assemblages collected in the San Francisco Bay Delta, CA." Harmful Algae 47 (2015): 126-140. June 23, 2015


More scholarships for RTC graduate students

Serena Sebilian received a Sally Cassanova Pre-Doctoral Scholar award, given to provide opportunities to explore and prepare to succeed in doctoral programs. Crystal Weaver received a Marine Technology Society scholarship for tuition and a Northern California Botanists scholarship to help fund her research on the effects of sediments and their associated microbial communities in eelgrass (Zostera marina) restoration. June 23, 2015


RTC graduate student wins poster award at AAAS meeting

Laura Melroy of the Cohen Lab won 2nd Place in the Evolution, Organismal Biology and Biodiversity session at the AAAS Pacific Division Meeting for her poster entitled "Stars: Where Are They Now? Delineating Species Boundaries In Space and Time for the Leptasterias Genus". June 18, 2015


RTC Scientists well-represented at 2015 AAAS Pacific Division Meeting

At the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Pacific Division Meeting in June, Dr. Kathy Boyer and SF Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve Director Mike Vasey, Dr. Sarah Cohen, Darragh Clancy, and Laura Melroy all presented talks in symposia or research posters. Also, RTC hosted a post-meeting field trip to explore the Tiburon Uplands and learn about the history and current research at the RTC site. June 18, 2015


RTC graduate student awarded prestigious ARCS Scholarship

Congratulations to Stephanie Saffouri of the Boyer Lab, for being awarded an Achievement Rewards for College Scientists scholarship! Usually given to PhD students, ARCS awards to SF State Master's students illustrate the high caliber of the university's graduate research. May 27, 2015


Director Karina Nielsen and colleagues published in new ecology e-book

Bottom-up and top-down interactions in coastal interface systems, In Trophic Ecology Bottom-up and Top-down Interactions across Aquatic and Terrestrial Systems Hanley, Torrance C. & Kimberly J. La Pierre (Eds). Cambridge University Press. May 27, 2015


RTC Graduate Student Awarded WISE Scholarship

Congratulations to Cara Gallagher of the Hines Lab, who received a $1,500 scholarship from SF State's Women in Science and Engineering program! The committee was "impressed that her application included a strong research proposal, as well as a long range vision of where her research will go." May 12, 2015


The Significance and Scope of Evolutionary Developmental Biology:  A Vision for the 21st Century (pdf, 192 kb)

Dr. Sarah Cohen is a co-author of this new paper. From the Summary: "Evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) has undergone dramatic transformations since its emergence as a distinct discipline. We posit that the tools, concepts, and ways of thinking developed by evo-devo have profound potential to advance, integrate, and unify biological sciences as well as inform policy decisions and illuminate science education." Evolution & Development, Vol. 17, Issue 3, 198-219. May 12, 2015


Nutrient uptake and primary productivity in an urban estuary: using rate measurements to evaluate phytoplankton response to different hydrological and nutrient conditions

A study by RTC researchers looks at nutrients and phytoplankton prodution in the San Francisco Estuary with hopes of explaning low levels of chlorophyll. Aquatic Ecology. April 28, 2015


Are meta-ecosystems organized hierarchically? A model and test in rocky intertidal habitats (pdf, 8MB)

RTC Director Karina Nielsen and colleagues find that oceanographic conditions and ecological subsidies played significant roles in structuring local communities. Ecological Monographs 85(2), May 11, 2015


RTC Graduate student wins outstanding presentation award at recent ASLO meeting in Spain

Christy Fox, a graduate student mentored by Professor Tomoko Komada, was recognized for her outstanding student presentation, "Characterization of whole pore water dissolved organic matter in anoxic sediments by 1H NMR," at the Association for the Science of Limnology & Oceanography meeting in Granada, Spain. Only the top 7% of presentations win the award.


New NSF grant to study temperature stress awarded to RTC Scientists

The Stillman Lab has been awarded a new NSF grant with collaborator Brian Tsukimura at CSU Fresno to study how temperature stress experienced by one organism can be transmitted as a physiological stress to a second organism through altered behavioral interactions. April 3, 2015


Three-Dimensional Modeling of Hydrodynamics and Salinity in the San Francisco Estuary: An Evaluation of Model Accuracy, X2, and the Low–Salinity Zone

According to RTC Research Scientist Wim Kimmerer and his colleagues, their "analyses demonstrate that a well-calibrated 3-D hydrodynamic model is a valuable tool for investigating the salinity distributions in the estuary, and their influence on the distribution and abundance of physical habitat" for organisms. San Francisco Estuary & Watershed Science, 13(1). April 3, 2015


Graduate Students Present Research at International Conference

Allison Johnson gave a talk entitled: "Climate change effects on the San Francisco Estuary Delta phytoplankton community: the role of temperature and salinity tolerance on growth" and Tricia Lee presented a poster entitled: "Salinity and 'eco-type' constraints on benthic microbial Communities" at the 2015 Aquatic Sciences Meeting in Granada, Spain. February 27, 2015


Crowdfunding for Graduate Research

Graduate student Heather Richard raises over $3000 for her research on microplastics in the marine environment through crowdfunding. February 25, 2015


Genomics Are Transforming Our Understanding of Responses to Climate Change

Dr. Jonathon Stillman and postdoctoral researcher Eric Armstrong publish a paper discussing the value of next-generation sequencing, which is able to use fragmented or degraded pieces of DNA, in ecological studies. BioScience Advance Access doi: 10.1093/biosci/biu219. January 21, 2015


Two papers on San Francisco Bay wetlands recently published by RTC alumni

Jeff Lewis, formerly of Dr. Kathy Boyer's Wetlands Ecology Lab published "Grazer functional roles, induced defenses, and indirect interactions: Implications for eelgrass restoration in San Francisco Bay." Diversity 6: 751-770.

Gavin Archbald, also a graduate of Dr. Boyer's lab, published "Potential for spread of Algerian sea lavender (Limonium ramosissimum sbsp. provinciale) in tidal marshes."  Invasive Plant Science and Management 7:454-463.


RTC scientists and students presented their research at the Society for Integrative & Comparative Biology's annual conference.

Dr. Jonathon Stillman and postdoctoral researcher Dr. Alex Gunderson presented research talks, and RTC graduate students Ann Holmes and Carley Turner, 2014 Research Experiences for Undergraduates student David Franklin, and UC Berkeley PhD candidate (mentored by Dr. Stillman) Eric Armstrong presented research posters at the SICB annual conference held in West Palm Beach, Florida January 3-7. January 8, 2015



Congratulations RTC Student Winners at the 2014 Bay-Delta Science Conference!

Three RTC graduate students were recognized for outstanding research at the annual conference. Allison Johnson (Wilkerson Lab) and Jamie Lee (Wilkerson Lab) won first and second place respectively for their student presentations. Anastasia Ennis (Cohen Lab) won first place in the student poster category. Congrats all! December 1, 2014


Temperature and acidification variability reduce physiological performance in the intertidal zone porcelain crab Petrolisthes cinctipes

Adam Paganini publishes his Master's research with Dr. Jonathon Stillman and Dr. Nate Miller. Journal of Experimental Biology, 217, 3974-3980. November 15, 2014


Many RTC scientists, students, and alumni present at 8th Biennial Bay-Delta Science Conference

Dr. Wim Kimmerer and Distinguished Alumnus Dr. Lenny Grimaldo are co-chairs, and nine research scientists based at RTC, four research technicians, seven graduate students, and three other alumni from 1990-2010 are presenting their research on Bay-Delta science. The conference is held in Sacramento from October 28-30, 2014. October 28, 2014


Documenting Manatee (Trichechus manatus manatus) Presence at Turneffe Atoll, Belize, Central America and its Conservation Significance

Dr. Ellen Hines was part of a team of researchers monitoring endangered Caribbean manatees at Turneffe Atoll to help facilitate the designation of the Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve for their protection. Journal of Caribbean Science, Vol. 48, No. 1, 71-75, 2014. October 16, 2014


New military base could seal fate of Okinawa dugong

A new U.S. Marine Corps base offshore of the Henoko district of Nago city in Oura Bay could be the death knell for the Okinawa dugong. Land reclamation needed for the air base threatens two of the region's few remaining major beds of seagrass, which dugong depend on. SCIENCEINSIDER, September 22, 2014


Celestial mechanics affects emersion time and cover patterns of an ecosystem engineer, the intertidal kelp Saccharina sessilis.

Director Karina Nielsen and colleagues conducted field studies over 14 years to investigate the effects of natural, decadal cycles on a habitat-modifying species, an important step in understanding the ecological consequences of climate change. Marine Ecology Progress Series 509:127-136. September 16, 2014


Variation at multiple trophic levels mediates a novel seagrass-grazer interaction

Seagrass ecology research conducted by RTC alumna Lindsey Carr and Dr. Kathy Boyer reveals complex interactions with grazers and predators.  Marine Ecology Progress Series 508: 117-128.  August 4, 2014


Drought impacts phytoplankton blooms in northern San Francisco Bay and Delta

Major – but rare – spring blooms in 2014 in San Francisco Bay Delta, California, a result of the long-term drought, increased residence time, and altered nutrient loads and forms. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology & Ecology. July 14, 2014


Dr. Ellen Hines conducts research on rare marine mammals in Southeast Asia

Two recent papers share findings on coastal Irrawaddy dolphins in Thailand and dugongs in Malaysia. Both species are listed as Vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. In some locations, Irrawaddy dolphins are listed as critically endangered. Dr Hines' research addresses population and community ecology of threatened and endangered species as related to local conservation efforts. July 7, 2014


Dr. Kathy Boyer's Wetlands Ecology Lab keeps busy with multiple eelgrass research projects

While the Living Shorelines Project is in the monitoring phase, the Wetlands Ecology Lab is keeping busy with two new projects. In late June, they spent several 16-hour days harvesting and replanting the first 4 of 36 acres of eelgrass in Central SF Bay for Pacific herring habitat. The nine-year, $2.5 million project was funded from the 2007 Cosco Busan oil spill Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan, completed in February 2012. With a few days rest, they are now monitoring eelgrass plots as part of the Zostera Experimental Network led by the Smithsonian Institute's J. Emmett Duffy. June 25, 2014


RTC's Academic Year in Review

Inspired by SF State's Year in Review, we've put together the highlights from the 2013-14 academic year at Romberg Tiburon Center. While not exhaustive, it does present a very impressive picture of our research, education and outreach activities in the past year! Click here for the pdf (331kb). May 30, 2014


RTC Celebrates the Graduation of 14 Masters and undergraduate students

On Thursday, May 22, the RTC community celebrated the graduation of 12 Masters students and two undergraduate students. Evyan Borgnis (Boyer Lab), Daniel Chase (Todgham Lab), Maeve Daugharty (Garfield Lab), Rachel Diner (Stillman Lab), Rita duMais (Kimmerer Lab), Erin Flynn (Todgham), Caitlin Jensen (Hines Lab), Karen Kayfetz (Kimmerer), Katie Nuessly (Cohen Lab), Tessa Page (Stillman), Beth Sheets (Cohen), and Timothe Vincent (Hines) were honored for receiving their Masters in Science degrees, and King Cada (Komada Lab) and Riley Smith (Cohen) were honored for receiving their bachelors' in science degrees. May 30, 2014


RTC Graduates and SF State Alumnus receive awards at 2014 Graduation Ceremony

Karen Kayfetz received the Paul F. Romberg Award for Service and James C. Kelley Award for Graduate Achievement, Evyan Borgnis received the William Atchley Environmental Service Award. David R. Lindberg, Professor of Integrative Biology at UC Berkeley and Curator of the UC Museum of Paleontology, received the Distinguished Alumnus Award. Dr. Lindberg received his bachelor's degree from SF State in 1977, one year before RTC opened. May 30, 2014


Another RTC Graduate Student Wins Prestigious Scholarship

Congratulations to Nicole Travis (Wilkerson Lab), winner of a prestigious 2014-2015 ARCS Scholarship. Only U.S. universities whose departments are ranked in the top 100 in the country are eligible to receive ARCS Foundation scholar awards. Learn more at May 22, 2014


Former RTC Director Toby Garfield to be honored as Emeritus Faculty

Professor of Oceanography since 1998, Dr. Garfield will be named Emeritus Faculty this Friday, May 9, and honored with 19 other San Francisco State University faculty by SF State Provost Sue Rosser. May 5, 2014


RTC alumna Katie Nuessly (Cohen Lab) selected for new STEM opportunity in Presidental Management Fellows program

RTC graduate Katie Nuessly was selected as one of 91 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) finalists in the new PMF-STEM program of the Office of Personnel Management. Finalists have opportunities to be appointed to federal agency positions in STEM fields, and receive education, training, and some financial support. The program is designed to fill a gap in skilled STEM employees in federal agencies. April 15, 2014


Phylogeography of a marine acanthocephalan: lack of cryptic diversity in a cosmopolitan parasite of mole crabs

The acanthocephalan worm Profilicollis altmani parasitizes intermediate hosts that are broadly distributed around the Americas and final hosts that are highly motile. We investigated the spatial genetic structure of this acanthocephalan found in three species of Emerita crabs: (1) to test whether land masses serve as biogeographic barriers promoting ocean basin divergence among parasite lineages or species; and (2) to test whether the distribution of parasite species matches the distribution of different crab host species. Goulding, T. C., Sarah Cohen, C. (2014), Journal of Biogeography. doi: 10.1111/jbi.12260


RTC Scientists and students present their research at 2014 Ocean Sciences Meeting in Honolulu

Scientists and students from eight of our research labs are presenting their diverse research through posters and talks at the biennial Ocean Sciences Meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii, February 23-28. For individual abstracts, follow us on Facebook or Twitter. February 23, 2014


Conservation of Eelgrass (Zostera marina) Genetic Diversity in a Mesocosm-Based Restoration Experiment

Eelgrass forms the foundation of an important shallow coastal community in protected estuaries and bays. Widespread population declines have stimulated restoration efforts, but these have often resulted in a reduction in genetic diversity. In an experiment simulating a small-scale restoration, RTC researchers and colleagues tested the effectiveness of a buoy-deployed seeding technique to maintain genetic diversity comparable to the seed source populations. PLoS ONE 9(2): e89316. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0089316. February 21, 2014


RTC Advisory Board members recognized for community service

RTC Advisory Board President and former National Marine Sanctuary manager Ed Ueber was awarded the Bay Hero Award by The Bay Institute, in honor of his significant efforts to increase protection and restoration of the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary. In addition, board members Annelies Atchley and Ellie Bloch were recognized as Tiburon Peninsula Treasures in The Ark newspaper in January, and Honorary board member Phyllis Faber was recognized as an Environmental Hero of Marin in the Pacific Sun in December. February 11, 2014


"Evolution in an acidifying ocean"

Dr. Jonathon Stillman is co-author on this analysis of research to date, which includes recommendations for future study. Trends in Ecology and Evolution. January 16, 2014


RTC Scientists publish new research on plankton in two local estuaries

Recent RTC graduate Christina Buck of the Wilkerson Lab published a portion of her Master's thesis on "The Influence of Coastal Nutrients on Phytoplankton Productivity in a Shallow Low Inflow Estuary (Drakes Estero)." Dr. Wim Kimmerer along with Janet Thompson of the USGS published a article on "Phytoplankton Growth Balanced by Clam and Zooplankton Grazing and Net Transport into the Low-Salinity Zone of the San Francisco Estuary." Estuaries and Coasts. January 8, 2014


Congratulations COAST Graduate Student Research Award winners!

Erin Flynn of the Todgham Lab and Anastasia Ennis of the Cohen Lab each received a $3000 award to continue their research. Erin is studying how warming and acidification will impact the early life stages of cold-adapted fish. Anastasia is studying genetic variation of the endangered salt marsh harvest mouse. January 16, 2014


Students and scientists present RTC research at Annual SICB Meeting

RTC was well represented at the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas January 3-7, 2014. Dr. Jonathon Stillman's Environmental Physiology lab members and Dr. Sarah Cohen's summer undergraduate interns gave poster and oral presentations. January 13, 2014



Profiles in Student Success: Great Lakes National Scholarship Program Recipients Share Their Stories

Dr. Sarah Cohen's graduate student and scholarship recipient Anastasia Ennis and her research are featured. November 18, 2013


RTC Director Toby Garfield steps down

Director Toby Garfield resigned his post at RTC and has taken a position at NOAA Fisheries Service’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC). Effective Nov. 1, Garfield will be the Director of the SWFSC Environmental Research Division. He will maintain his relationship with RTC as an adjunct professor at SF State. November 1, 2013


RTC Scientists and students present their research at the 11th Biennial State of the Estuary Conference

Over 30 scientists and students from RTC, the SF Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, and the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, plus several alumni now employed at state and federal agencies, are presenting their research this week at "20/20 Vision: Past Reflections, Future Directions," sponsored by the SF Estuary Partnership. October 29, 2013


A DNA-based method for investigating feeding by copepod nauplii

Congratulations to graduate student Carrie Craig on her publication in the Journal of Plankton Research. October 17, 2013


Papers Find Mixed Impacts on Ocean Species from Rising CO2

Paper by RTC scientists is one of nine new studies in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B that provide fresh insights on how the global buildup of carbon dioxide released by human activities could affect ocean ecology. August 26, 2013


RTC Scientists publish papers on copepods and Delta smelt

Dr. Wim Kimmerer published two papers on modeling Delta smelt population dynamics in Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, and Dr. Lindsay Sullivan published a paper on egg development in two species of copepods in the Journal of Plankton Research. August 15, 2013


RTC students receive Climate Change Scholars awards

Abraham King Cada, a graduate student in Dr. Tomoko Komada's lab, received his 3rd award for the Fall 2013 semester. Riley Smith, an undergraduate student in Dr. Sarah Cohen's lab, also received an award. The awards are given each semester by SF State's Center for Science and Math Education to support climate change research. July 16, 2013


RTC students awarded yet more scholarships

Undergraduate student King Cada (Komada Lab) won an annual support award from the Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) Science Scholars Program. Graduate student Erin Flynn (Todgham Lab) won a prestigious ARCS (Achievement Rewards for College Scientists) scholarship. Congratulations! June 3, 2013


RTC students win awards at Annual COSE Student Project Showcase

Dr. Anne Todgham's student Brittany Bjelde won a 2nd Place Award in the Graduate Biological Science Division, and Dr. Sarah Cohen's student Riley Smith won a 4th Place Award in the Undergraduate Biological Science Division. King Cada also won 3rd Place in the Undergraduate Physical Sciences Division. Congratulations! May 23, 2013


Dr. Jonathon Stillman elected to be a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences

The Fellows of the California Academy of Sciences are a group of distinguished scientists, nominated and appointed in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the natural sciences. Stillman joins four other current RTC scientists; Edward Carpenter, Sarah Cohen, Richard Dugdale and Toby Garfield. May 21, 2013


RTC Graduate Student wins 2nd Place in CSU Research Competition

Bobby Vogt won 2nd Place in Graduate Biological and Agricultural Sciences at the CSU Research Competition, held on May 10th and 11th, for "An investigation of feeding by copepod nauplii on phytoplankton using epifluorescence microscopy and a high-throughput microplate reader assay." Congrats! May 20, 2013


Congratulations to the 2012-2013 Biology Scholarship recipients
Anastasia Ennis (Cohen Lab), Erin Flynn (Todgham Lab). And congrats to graduate students Aaron Johnson and Karen Kayfetz (both in the Kimmerer Lab) recipients of the Herbold Award at the Interagency Ecological Program for the San Francisco Estuary Annual Workshop.


RTC Graduate Students win awards at recent IEP meeting

Congratulations to Aaron Johnson and Karen Kayfetz (Kimmerer Lab)! They both won Best Speaker awards at the Interagency Ecological Program Meeting on April 26. April 29, 2013


RTC Graduate Students win Distinguished Achievement Awards

Congratulations to Brittany Bjelde and Sara Boles (Todgham Lab) and Rosa Schneider (Boyer Lab)! Awards will be presented at Graduate Convocation. April 25, 2013


RTC Scientists and students present at local conference

Scientists and graduate students from three RTC labs are attending the Interagency Ecological Program annual meeting in Folsom, CA. April 24, 2013


Dr. Wim Kimmerer wins Conservation Achievement award

The California-Nevada chapter of the American Fisheries Society gave Wim Kimmerer the Conservation Achievement award at their banquet in Davis last Friday. The award recognizes non-member individuals or groups for outstanding contributions or service to fisheries conservation. Papers Wim has written, or been a co-author of, have been featured heavily in preparation of the Bay-Delta Conservation Plan. April 11, 2013


Two RTC alumni publish papers in prestigious journal

"Impact of ocean acidification on metabolism and energetics during early life stages of the intertidal porcelain crab Petrolisthes cinctipes" by alumni Hayley Carter and Lina Ceballos-Osuna and Drs. Nate Miller and Jonathon Stillman, and "Effects of ocean acidification on early life-history stages of the intertidal porcelain crab Petrolisthes cinctipes" by Lina Ceballos-Osuna, Hayley Carter, Nate Miller and Jonathon Stillman were published in the Journal of Experimental Biology. March 28, 2013


RTC Graduate Student wins SF State Research Competition

Ecology and Systematic Biology major Bobby Vogt (Kimmerer Lab) was the graduate student winner of the 27th Annual SF State Student Research Competition in the Biological and Agricultural Sciences for his work on "An Investigation of Feeding Copepod Nauplii on Phytoplankton using Epifluorescence Microscopy and a High-Throughput Microplate Reader Assay." He will represent SF State at the CSU system-wide competition in Pomona, CA. March 12, 2013


"Seasonal and spatial variation in the energetics of the invasive clam Corbula amurensis in the upper San Francisco Estuary." MEPS.

This study by Nate Miller and Jonathon Stillman chronicles the metabolic physiology of an invasive clam species over a one-year span of environmental variation in the low salinity zone of the San Francisco Estuary. February 27, 2013


Romberg Tiburon Center well-represented at national aquatic science conference (pdf, 60kb)

A total of 25 RTC researchers from six labs gave 19 presentations at the 2013 Aquatic Sciences Meeting of the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography from February 17-22. February 22, 2013


Romberg Tiburon Center adopts copepod mascot

A giant female calanoid copepod was found in one of RTC's plankton nets, and was kept to serve as the Center's mascot. Named "Callie," she is already tweeting her adventures. February 8, 2013


RTC/SF State graduates join select group of CA Sea Grant Fellows

Hayley Carter (former Stillman Lab) and Andrea Dransfield (former Hines Lab) are among 13 selected for year-long fellowships in marine policy and resource management. Read more here. January 24, 2013


Congrats RTC Winners of COAST Student Awards for Marine Science Research

Congratulations Carley Turner (Stillman Lab), Lauren Scheinberg (Boyer Lab), Morgan Meyers (Carpenter Lab), Darragh Clancy (Cohen Lab), Katherine McLean (Todgham Lab) and Nicole Travis (Wilkerson Lab), winnners of COAST Awards for Marine Science Research. January 22, 2013


RTC scientists present at national biology conference

Twenty scientists and students from four labs at RTC will give 17 presentations at the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology meeting in San Francisco, January 3-7. Follow @RTCOutreach on Twitter for details. January 3, 2013



More awards for RTC students

Congatulations to graduate students Anastasia Ennis, Carrie Craig, Darragh Clancy, and Vanessa Guerra for winning SF State's Instructionally Related Activities awards to further their graduate work in the Cohen Lab on endangered salt marsh harvest mice, copepod diets, and invasive tunicate population genetics and phylogeography. December 21, 2012


Student wins travel award for Alaska symposium

Darragh Clancy also received a COAST Travel Award to present her work on genetics of an aggressive invasive ascidian, Didemnum vexillum, at the Alaska Marine Science Symposium in Anchorage, Alaska, January 21-25, 2013. December 21, 2012


RTC student Riley Smith wins award for poster presentation

Riley Smith (Cohen lab) won 3rd place at the American Indian Science and Engineering Society's (AISES) national conference in Anchorage, AK for her presentation on November 3rd, 2012 entitled, "Phylogeography of a direct developing seastar, Leptasterias aequalis, in relation to San Francisco Bay outflow." November 15, 2012


RTC graduate students receive multiple scholarships

Sara Boles received one of two College of Science & Engineering Advisory Board Scholarships, Tessa Page received the sole James C. Kelley Award for marine or environmental science, Cassie Pinnell received a Robert W. Maxwell Memorial scholarship, Katherine McLean received an Arthur C. Nelson Award, and Rachel Dorfman & Katherine McLean were honored as ARCS Scholars at an annual awards luncheon. November 5, 2012


RTC student Riley Smith presents research in Alaska

Undergraduate student Riley Smith presented a poster on "Phylogeography of Leptasterias aequalis Near Terrestrial Runoff Sources in the San Francisco Bay area" at the American Indian Science and Engineering Society in Anchorage, Alaska. November 2, 2012


Graduate student Chris Ikeda presents research in Korea

Graduate student Chris Ikeda presented a poster titled, "The Effects of Light, Temperature and Nutrient Stress on the Toxic Response of Laboratory Cultures of Heterosigma akashiwo from Puget Sound, WA" at the International Conference on Harmful Algae in Korea. Ikeda was awarded competitive travel scholarships from both COAST and International Society for the Study of Harmful Algae (ISSHA) for his participation at this conference. November 1, 2012


Romberg Tiburon Center hosts parasitology meeting

The Northern California Parasitology Annual Meeting was held at the Bay Conference Center on Saturday, October 27 from 10am-5pm. The guest speaker was Dr. Ryan Hechinger of UC Santa Barbara, speaking about "Parasites and the Metabolic Theory of Ecology." October 25, 2012


Dr. Wim Kimmerer wins the Brown-Nichols Award

Dr. Wim Kimmerer was awarded the honor for outstanding contributions to San Francisco estuary and watershed science, at the recent Bay-Delta conference in Sacramento. October 19, 2012


Dr. William Cochlan at harmful algae bloom meeting in Japan

Our scientists travel the world to collaborate and share their research! This week, Dr. William Cochlan is at the PICES annual meeting in Hiroshima, Japan to convene a session on ciguatera fish poisoning caused by dinoflagellates. October 16, 2012


Update from the ANACONDAS Amazon River Plume Cruise

RTC graduate students Andrew Kalmbach, Kristine Okimura, and Rachel Dorfman blog about their research from the Amazon River outflow aboard the R/V Atlantis. July 18, 2012


RTC Scientists published in prestigious Nature journal

Dr. Nate Miller, postdoctoral researcher in the Stillman Lab, is the lead author of a useful review and synthesis article on thermal biology in a Nature journal: Miller, N, and J.H. Stillman. 2012.  "Physiological optima and critical limits." Nature Education Knowledge. 3(5): 1. May 23, 2012


RTC Scientists published in Journal of Heredity

Drs. Sarah Cohen, Kathy Boyer and former postdoc Brian Ort are co-authors on the paper "Population Structure and Genetic Diversity among Eelgrass (Zostera marina) Beds and Depths in the San Francisco Bay" published in the Journal of Heredity. May 15, 2012


Dr. Sarah Cohen receives a CSUPERB Faculty-Student Collaborative Research Development Grant Award

Dr. Cohen was awarded $15,000 for the proposed project "Calibrating highly variable selected and neutral markers for bottlenecked population." May 4, 2012


Graduate Student Elizabeth Sheets selected for international advanced evolutionary biology course

Elizabeth Sheets from Dr. Sarah Cohen's lab was selected to participate in the prestigious Sao Paulo School of Advanced Science evolution course, taught by a host of luminaries in the field this August. May 2, 2012


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