The Gaines Lab conducts research on a wide variety of marine ecology, fisheries, and biological conservation topics. Researchers use experiments and models to help understand past and current environmental conditions, and forecast future events. Our overarching objective is to produce science that supports the sustainable use of shared natural resources. Sometimes our research is finding an answer to an unknown ecology question, for example how a predator and a prey species interact with one another. And sometimes our research is developing a solution to a pressing environmental problem, such as how novel aquaculture methods might alleviate the global food shortage. Historically, the Gaines Lab has been involved in long-term intertidal community ecology research, which means researchers have monitored the occurrence of near shore species over time. Knowing which species occurs in which geographic locations, and when, is a foundational part of a science field known as community ecology.
The interns will complete a transect survey to count and compare species abundance at Coal Oil Point and they will compare their data to data collected before and after the Refugio Oil Spill. Their research will help contribute to on-going monitoring efforts to monitor our local rocky intertidal habitats.