My research group is comprised of diverse, dynamic, enthusiastic and collaborative folks. I encourage you to get in touch with them to learn more about their research.


Halley Froelich

halley_picHalley Froehlich is a postdoctoral researcher for the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, involved with the SNAP working group evaluating the sustainability of open-ocean aquaculture around the globe. Halley received her Ph.D. in 2015 from the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington. As a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, she took an interdisciplinary approach studying the effects of human and natural-based low oxygen disturbances (i.e., hypoxia) on marine organisms. A key facet of Halley’s graduate and postdoctoral research is linking important ecological questions with conservation and management objectives.

Graduate Students
Alexa Fredston-Hermann

official headshot 1__1392752080_192.111.218.8Alexa Fredston-Hermann is a PhD student at UC Santa Barbara, focusing on marine ecology. Previously, she completed a two-year High Meadows Fellowship at Environmental Defense Fund, collaborating with stakeholders to improve management of the West Coast groundfish fishery. Alexa’s undergraduate work in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology department at Princeton University included paleoecology research on shifting baselines in Caribbean coral reefs.
Patricia Cecelia Faundez Baez
Patricia_photoPatricia is a marine biologist, interested in marine conservation. She studied at the University of Concepcion in Chile, where she also was trained as a researcher working in an interdisciplinary scientific team. After that, she worked as an environmental consultant in Chile on a variety of conservation projects including biodiversity strategies and MPA planning, always in collaboration with stakeholders. Recently, she has worked as a GIS technician in the Gaines’s lab and McClintock’s lab at the Institute of Marine Sciences at UCSB, where she focused on making a diagnostic for marine spatial planning processes in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Michael Burgass
IMG-20140623-WA0001Mike is a PhD student at Imperial College London where he is working on applying the Ocean Health Index to the Arctic and Southern Oceans, including mapping and forecasting of cumulative impacts from current and emerging uses. Mike has previously been working as an environmental consultant, primarily focused on producing environmental impact assessments for a variety of terrestrial and marine projects in the Middle East and Caspian regions.
Molly Wilson
 MollyWilsonMolly Wilson is a PhD student at UC Santa Barbara interested in integrating social and ecological research to improve small-scale fisheries management. While an undergraduate studying biology at Dartmouth College, Molly began ongoing research in a rural fishing village in the Dominican Republic. Her work there has included ecological monitoring, fisheries catch data, fishermen interviews, social network analyses, and fisherman selectivity studies. Molly was awarded a Dartmouth Reynold’s fellowship in 2014-2015 to conduct field experiments on coral recruitment and Diadema antillarum sea urchins in Antigua, where she also got involved with reef assessments for local marine management initiatives.
Sebastian Tapia
 SebastianSebastián Tapia is a PhD student at the Bren School pursuing to do research in coastal marine resource conservation and management by linking the Social and Ecological dynamics. Sebastian got his professional degree in Marine Biology at Universidad Austral de Chile. His previous experience has mainly been working as research assistant in several research projects in Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. As part of his undergraduate thesis project and research work he has gained experience in topics such as larval settlement of comercially important species, subtidal biodiversity assessments, coastal marine conservation and social-ecological systems with two manuscripts coauthored. His last labor in Chile at Dr. Gelcich lab was to lead and conduct a national-wide survey campaign directed to fishermen involved in the Territorial Use RIghts for Fisheries (TURF) policy regarding their livelihood, fishing gear/targets and co-management practices coupled with their perception of the TURF policy they have engaged in, along the coast of Chile.

Research Scientists
Julie Stewart Lowndes
Juliejulie portrait2 a marine biologist interested in bridging science and resource management. She does this as part of the Ocean Health Index team by facilitating the adaptation of the OHI methodology to scales at which political decisions are made. Her PhD dissertation at Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station was also highly collaborative and aimed to inform the potential effects of Humboldt squid on coastal fisheries.

Courtney Scarborough
Scarborough_website1Courtney is an Assistant Project Scientist working on the Ocean Health Index and Ocean Tipping Points projects. Her research interests lie at the intersection of innovative marine science and applied management solutions.

Jamie Afflerbach
jamieJamie is a research assistant working on the Arctic Options project and the Ocean Health Index. She earned her B.Sc. from the University of Miami and a Masters degree from the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at UCSB. Previously Jamie has worked on projects in coral reef ecology, small scale fisheries and marine mammal conservation. At NCEAS Jamie uses open-source analytical tools to explore and synthesize spatial data to better understand human impacts to the global oceans.
Casey O’Hara
caseyCasey’s interests in marine conservation, science communication, and environmental equity inform his work with the Ocean Health Index, adapting the OHI framework to understand the unique social, economic, and ecological context of British Columbia’s coast.  As part of his Masters thesis project at UCSB’s Bren School, he developed a spatial analysis tool to help the Bermuda government understand tradeoffs among ecological and economic values of offshore wind energy development.  He wrote on environmental issues for The Oregonian as an AAAS Mass Media Fellow in summer 2014, and remains active as a Senior Teaching Fellow with the Knowles Science Teaching Foundation.

Melanie Frazier
FrazierWebPhoto2Melanie works on the analyses and software development of the Ocean Health Index.  She likes finding novel ways to make complex data accessible and useful.


Committee Member
I also serve on the thesis committee for several students, including Gerald Singh (UBC), Erendira Aceves (UCSB), Emma Hodgson (UW), and Becky Wright (UCSB).

Past members of my research group include:

Katie Longo (now at Marine Stewardship Council)

Mary Hunsicker
Caitlin Crain
Crow White (now a professor at Cal-Poly San Luis Obispo)
Jennifer O’Leary (now at Stanford University)

Graduate Students
Cris Elfes
Shaun Walbridge (Masters, 2012; now at ESRI)

Ben Best
Darren Hardy (now at Stanford University)
Colin Ebert
Ning Jiang
Dan Yocum

Research Assistants
Marla Ranelletti (now at Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History)