Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies

Image: Ripples on water

SF State's bayside marine and estuarine research facility.

Matt Ferner - Research Coordinator, SF Bay NERR

Ecology of Marine Invertebrates
Romberg Tiburon Center and San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve


Phone: (415) 338-3724

matt ferner

Research Interests

I am broadly interested in how the physical environment affects organism behavior and performance. In particular, my research targets the consequences of water motion and habitat structure for the trophic ecology of marine invertebrates. I am currently using a combination of quantitative laboratory and field techniques to examine how: (1) Habitat structure and hydrodynamics combine to affect predator-prey recognition and patterns of consumer pressure; (2) Material flexibility of feeding structures limits the potential for resource acquisition; and (3) Small-scale coastal topography affects water retention and post-settlement growth of sessile suspension feeders. My general goal with all of this research is to gain insight into the mechanisms by which abiotic factors exert selective pressure on organisms and ultimately help to drive ecological patterns.

Selected Papers

Gaylord, B, Hodin J, Ferner MC (2013) Turbulent shear spurs settlement in larval sea urchins. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 110: 6901-6906.


Ferner MC (2012) Research reserves as a model for conservation science and management of tidal marshes. In Ecology, conservation and restoration of tidal marshes: the San Francisco Estuary (A. Palaima, Ed.). University of California Press, Berkeley, California.


Ferner MC (2012) Conclusion to the Special Issue: Ecology and regional context of tidal wetlands in the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. San Francisco


Ferner MC (2011) Introduction to Part 1 of the Special Issue: Ecology and regional context of tidal wetlands in the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science 9(3).


Ferner MC, editor (2011) A profile of the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. San Francisco, CA.


Smee DL, Ferner MC, Weissburg MJ (2010) Hydrodynamic sensory stressors produce produce nonlinear predation patterns. Ecology 91: 1391-1400.


Ferner MC, Smee DL, Weissburg MJ (2009) Habitat complexity alters lethal and nonlethal olfactory interactions between predators and prey. Marine Ecology Progress Series 374: 13-22.


Ferner MC, Gaylord B (2008) Flexibility foils filter function: structural constraints on benthic suspension feeding. Journal of Experimental Biology 211: 3563-3572.


Smee DL, Ferner MC, Weissburg MJ (2008) Alteration of sensory abilities regulates the spatial scale of nonlethal predator effects. Oecologia 156: 399-409.


Ferner MC (2006) Environmental modification of chemosensory interactions between predators and prey: the world according to whelks. Ph.D. Dissertation, Georgia Institute of Technology


Ferner MC, Smee DL, Chang YP (2005) Cannibalistic crabs respond to the scent of injured conspecifics: danger or dinner? Marine Ecology Progress Series 300: 193-200.


Ferner MC, Ferner JW (2005) Geographic distribution: Opheodrys aestivus. Herpetological Reviews 36: 203.


Ferner MC, Weissburg MJ (2005) Slow-moving predatory gastropods track prey odors in fast and turbulent flow. Journal of Experimental Biology 208: 809-819.


Weissburg MJ, Ferner MC, Pisut DP, Smee DL (2002) Ecological consequences of chemically mediated prey perception. Journal of Chemical Ecology 28: 1933-1970.


Ferner MC, Jumars PA (1999) Responses of spionid polychaetes to dissolved chemical cues. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 236: 89-106.


       previous                                                                                                                         next


Back to Faculty page



SF State Home