Hi, I’m Mikaela. I am a new Assistant Professor in Quantitative Fisheries in the Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology at UC Davis. Before I joined UCD I was a postdoc at the NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science in the Monterey Lab Group in Monterey, CA working with Steven Bograd and Elliott Hazen on a climate vulnerability assessment for state-managed marine fishes. And before that I was a postdoc at Hopkins Marine Station working with Giulio de Leo and Fiorenza Micheli and Brock Woodson on climate change refugia in Baja California, Mexico. I completed my PhD with Loo Botsford and I was a NMFS-Sea Grant Population Dynamics Fellow. I did a masters at Rutgers University in Olaf Jensen’s lab, and spent a year working with scientists and resource managers from the World Wildlife Fund on developing impact evaluation methods for monitoring marine protected areas in the Bird’s Head Seascape, Indonesia.
My research uses theoretical and empirical approaches to address applied problems in fisheries management and marine conservation. My projects span multiple species and places and currently I have a number of on-going projects. In partnership with NOAA, CDFW, TNC, RLF, and OPC I am developing a climate vulnerability assessment for 34 fin-fish and invertebrate species managed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. I also am part of a large collaborative group studying abalone in Baja California, Mexico and the effects of climate-change refugia on abalone population dynamics. Some of my other work looks at population dynamics and species’ sensitivities to environmental variability along the West Coast. In the past I was part of an interdisciplinary working group called “Shifting Fish and Fishers” at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center studying how fishing communities have responded to fish populations shifting north along the East Coast. And I studied sex change in Black Sea Bass off the coast of New Jersey by tagging and recapturing fish to check if female fish had transitioned to male.
My interest in fisheries started in my hometown of Kodiak Island, AK. I was surprised at how much fishermen hedge their bets on future fish catches. Most of the time it worked out, but sometimes it didn’t. This left an impression on me and I wanted to understand why some fish populations do alright and others don’t.