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Southern California Ecosystems Research Program (SCERP)

Scholar Resources


Picture of Jennifer Burnaford Dr. Jennifer Burnaford (email: The Burnaford lab studies marine ecology – specifically focusing on animals and seaweeds in the intertidal zone. In rocky areas, we study the effects of exposure to low tide conditions on individuals, populations, and interactions between species. We measure the conditions that organisms experience in nature (e.g. temperature, UV radiation, and desiccation stress). We then use laboratory and field techniques to determine how these conditions affect our study organisms, which include oysters (both native and introduced), chitons, seastars, and kelps. We are also interested in the effects of introduced species on community structure in rocky and sandy intertidal habitats. SCERP scholars Mauricio Gomez and Tuong-Vy Nguyen are currently working in the Burnaford lab. Former scholars, Jacqueline Arroyo and Patricia Gonzalez, completed their SCERP research in the Burnaford lab.
  Dr. Kathryn Dickson
Picture of Doug Eernisse

Dr. Douglas Eernisse (email: The Eernisse lab studies evolution and ecology of selected marine mollusks along the California coast. We are studying patterns of distribution with field, morphological, and DNA-based approaches. We document phylogenetic, phylogeographic, and population genetic patterns correlated with latitude or associated with Channel Islands endemism. We are testing whether biogeographic barriers to dispersal or physical factors such as temperature are more important for explaining genetic differences between localities. We use DNA-barcoding approaches to explore cryptic species diversity or to automate ecological habitat sampling. Current taxa emphasized include selected true limpets, chitons, oysters, mussels, keyhole limpets, and topsnails.

  Dr. Kristy Forsgren (email:  The Forsgren lab examines the effects of endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs; e.g., pharmaceuticals, personal care products, insecticides/pesticides) on the reproductive physiology and early embryonic development of teleost fishes.  We are particularly interested in those EDCs that mimic natural sex steroid hormones (estrogens and androgens).  A multidisciplinary approach is incorporated into our research program (i.e., organismal, physiological, histological, molecular) in order to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the impact of EDCs on the reproduction and embryonic development of fishes.  SCERP scholars: Eric Kessler, Cristy Rice.
Picture of Bill Hoese

Dr. William Hoese (email: Work in the Hoese lab focuses on the impact of disturbance (both human-generated and natural) on animal communication. SCERP scholar Elaine Ramos investigated how sound is transmitted in burned and unburned chaparral habitat in order to understand the selective pressures that might be influencing birdsong following a wildfire. Carrie De Jesus investigated in how noise pollution impacts communication in song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) and is recording singing males near loud highways. In order to attract mates males must be heard above the background noise and Carrie found significant differences in how males sing in noisy versus quiet areas.

Picture of Mike Horn

Dr. Michael Horn

Picture of Bill Presch

Dr. William Presch

  Dr. Steven Murray
Picture of Darren Sandquist Dr. Darren Sandquist (email: Research in the Sandquist Lab focuses on the physiological ecology of plants, especially in terms of how plants respond to global changes such as increasing temperature, decreasing water availability and increasing competition from alien species. Many studies in the lab employ stable isotopes of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen or nitrogen as indicators of plant resource use and productivity responses to environmental variability. SCERP scholars that have worked in the Sandquist Lab include Susana Espino Hernandez, Tracy Valentovich, and Amy Arispe.
Picture of Jochen Schenk Dr. Jochen Schenk (email: The Schenk Lab investigates plant ecology, including structure-function relationships of plant hydraulic systems, root ecology, and ecology of desert plants. SCERP scholars that have worked in the Schenk Lab include Christine Goedhart, Jeremy Smith, Lauren Velasco, Daisha Ortega, Elizabeth Hessom, and Emily Nguyen. Lab technician, Susana Espino Hernandez, graduated with her M.S. from CSUF working in the Schenk lab.
Picture of Paul Stapp

Dr. Paul Stapp

Picture of Sean Walker Dr. Sean Walker (email: The primary research interests in the Walker Lab are in the cognitive, behavioral, and evolutionary ecology of terrestrial invertebrates. Research focuses on animal decision making as it relates to foraging and reproduction (e.g., mate choice and reproductive investment). In addition students are pursuing projects related to animal communication, the evolution of sex differences, and the evolution of alternative tactics and strategies. Additional work focuses on estimating and comparing terrestrial invertebrate biodiversity and pollination biology. SCERP scholars that have worked in the Walker Lab include Robert Rodarte, Romeo Sison, Leslie Buena, and Eric Peralta.
Picture of Danielle Zacherl

Dr. Danielle Zacherl

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Webpage last updated 11/20/12 by Bill Hoese