Dr. Andrew Rassweiler is a marine ecologist who combines field experiments, data analysis and mathematical modeling to address both basic and applied questions, mainly in temperate reef ecosystems. He has used this mix of tools to understand community dynamics, particularly the mechanisms that lead to abrupt shifts from one species assemblage to another. Currently, his main focus is on synthesizing and analyzing long-term monitoring data from the National Park Service’s Kelp Forest Monitoring Program, the U.S. Geological Survey’s San Nicolas Island baseline monitoring and the Santa Barbara Coastal LTER’s kelp forest community monitoring. Dr. Rassweiler also works on fishery management and marine conservation questions, using spatially explicit models to explore optimal fisheries management strategies and tradeoffs between achieving fishery and conservation goals. His models have been used in practical contexts as well, most notably in guiding the placement of marine protected areas as part of California’s Marine Life Protection Act process. Although his expertise is in community ecology, to better understand the many abiotic factors influencing ecological dynamics, he works closely with oceanographers, geographers and economists.
Assistant Research Biologist, Marine Science Institute