Mark Morales

Mark Morales, PhD Student

I am broadly interested in: 1) the effects of natural climate variability and anthropogenic climate change on the growth, recruitment, mortality, and distribution of commercial, recreational and ecologically important fishes within the California Current System; 2) marine food web dynamics and predator-prey interactions; 3) single-species, multi-species and ecosystem fisheries modeling; and 4) the trophic interactions between mid and deep water fishes with an emphasis on epipelagic carbon sequestion. My research aims to produce sound science that can be of strategic and/or operational use to resource managers.

As a third year PhD student (2017-2018) at UC Santa Cruz, co-advised by Prof. Mark Carr and Dr. Elliot Hazen (link), I  am investigating the role of interannual variability in hydrology and lower trophic level production (i.e. phytoplankton and zooplankton) on the growth, movement and survival of larval/juvenile rockfishes, with an application to recruitment dynamics. I am using quantitative tools such as regional ocean models, nutrient-phytoplankton-zooplankton (NPZ) models, and individual-based models (IBMs) for my dissertation. I am currently developing collaborations within the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Ocean Sciences, and Applied Mathematics and Statistics departments at UCSC, as well as within the Southwest Fisheries Science Center’s (SWFSC) Environmental Research Division (ERD) and the Fisheries Ecology Division (FED) in Pacific Grove and Santa Cruz, respectively.

I also collaborate with scientists in Mexico to investigate the role of climate forcing on small pelagic fishes (e.g. sardine and anchovy).