Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies

Image: Ripples on water

SF State's bayside marine and estuarine research facility.

Katharyn Boyer - Professor

Wetlands Ecology, Community and Restoration Ecology
Romberg Tiburon Center and Department of Biology

Phone: (415) 338-3751
Website: Lab Website

Kathy Boyer

Research Interests

My research is focused on the ecology and restoration of coastal habitats, primarily salt marshes and seagrass beds. I am particularly interested in how species interact to structure their environments and influence fundamental ecosystem processes such as nutrient cycling. Such basic ecological research has important implications for the restoration of damaged habitats. My more applied work includes comparisons of structure and functioning (e.g., trophic interactions, nutrient dynamics) of natural and restored habitats. I also work to develop restoration techniques and nutrient pollution indicators for estuarine and coastal waters. I work mainly with vascular plants, macroalgae, and invertebrates as well as the water and sediments on and in which they live. My work is mostly experimental, conducted in field, greenhouse, and outdoor mesocosm settings. While much of my research experience and interest is in the coastal marshes and the shallow subtidal zone in California, I also work periodically in the tropics to detect patterns in nutrient supply and herbivory in coral reef and adjacent habitats, and recently have conducted experimental work on the relationship between biodiversity and functioning of marine ecosystems in North Carolina.


Selected Publications (** = grad student)

Powers, S. P. and K. E. Boyer.  2014.  Marine restoration ecology.  Ch. 22 in Bertness, M. D., J. P. Bruno, B. R. Silliman, and J. J. Stachowicz.  Marine Community Ecology and Conservation, Sinauer.

Boyer, K. E. and W. J. Thornton**.  2012.  Natural and restored tidal marsh communities.  Chapter 17 (pp. 233-251) in A. Palaima, ed., Ecology, Conservation, and Restoration of Tidal Marshes: The San Francisco Estuary.  University of California Press.

Reynolds, L. K., L. A. Carr**, and K. E. Boyer.  2012.  A non-native amphipod consumes eelgrass inflorescences in San Francisco Bay. Marine Ecology Progress Series 451:107–118.

Ryan**, A. B. and K. E. Boyer.  2012.  Nitrogen further promotes a dominant salt marsh plant in an increasingly saline environment.  Journal of Plant Ecology 5:429-441.

Carr**, L. A., K. E. Boyer, and A. Brooks.  2011.  Spatial patterns in epifaunal community structure in San Francisco Bay eelgrass (Zostera marina) beds. Marine Ecology 32:88-103.

Boyer, K. E. and A. P. Burdick**.  2010.  Control of Lepidium latifolium (perennial pepperweed) and recovery of native plants in tidal marshes of the San Francisco Estuary. Wetlands Ecology and Management 18:731-743.

Boyer, K. E., J. S. Kertesz**, and J. F. Bruno.  2009.  Biodiversity effects on productivity and stability of marine macroalgal communities: the role of environmental context. Oikos 118:1062-1072.

Huntington**, B. E. and K. E. Boyer.  2008.  Evaluating patterns of nitrogen supply using macroalgal tissue content and stable isotopic signatures in Tomales Bay, CA.  Environmental Bioindicators 3:180-192.

Bruno, J. F., K. E. Boyer, S. C. Lee, and J. E. Duffy.  2008.  Relative and interactive effects of plant and grazer richness in a benthic marine community.  Ecology 89:2518-2528.

Huntington**, B. E. and K. E. Boyer.  2008.  Impacts of red macroalgal abundance (Gracilariopsis sp.) on eelgrass (Zostera marina) in Tomales Bay, California. Marine Ecology Progress Series 367:133-142.

Boyer, K. E., and P. Fong.   2005.  Co-occurrence of habitat-modifying invertebrates: effects on structural and functional properties of a created salt marsh.  Oecologia 143:619-628.

Boyer, K. E., and P. Fong.   2005.  Macroalgal-mediated transfers of water column nitrogen to intertidal sediments and salt marsh plants.  Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 321:59-69.


Bruno, J. F., K. E. Boyer, J. E. Duffy, S. C. Lee, and J. S. Kertesz**. 2005.  Relative effects of species identity and richness on primary production in benthic marine communities.  Ecology Letters 8:1165-1174.


Boyer, K. E., P. Fong, A. R. Armitage, and R. A. Cohen.  2004.  Elevated nutrient content of macroalgae increases rates of herbivory in coral, seagrass, and mangrove habitats.  Coral Reefs 23:530-538.


Boyer, K. E., P. Fong, R. R. Vance, and R. F. Ambrose.  2001.  Salicornia virginica in a southern California saltmarsh: seasonal patterns and a nutrient enrichment experiment.  Wetlands 21:315-326.


Boyer, K. E. and J. B. Zedler.  1998.  Effects of nitrogen additions on the vertical structure of a constructed cordgrass marsh.  Ecological Applications 8:692-705.


Fong, P., K. E. Boyer, and J. B. Zedler.  1998.  Developing an indicator of nutrient enrichment in coastal estuaries and lagoons using tissue nitrogen content of the opportunistic alga, Enteromorpha intestinalisJournal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 231:63-79.


Boyer, K. E. and J. B. Zedler.  1996.  Damage to cordgrass by scale insects in a constructed salt marsh: effects of nitrogen additions.  Estuaries 19:1-12.


See the Boyer Lab Website for additional publications.


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