Stephen Schroeter

Research Ecologist Marine Science Institute, University of California, Santa Barbara
Adjunct Professor Department of Biology, San Diego State University
photo of Stephen Schroeter

My research interests include the ecology of rocky intertidal and subtidal and coastal wetland habitats. A key element in much of the work is its long-term nature. Work in the rocky subtidal and coastal wetlands requires long-term monitoring to assess the effectiveness of two large restoration projects designed to mitigate the environmental impacts of the once-through cooling system of a large coastal power plant. This work involves the applied aspect of devising and implementing sampling designs to assess the effectiveness of mitigation, as well as the more general aspect of providing insights into how the physical makeup of rocky reefs and tidal wetlands affects the structure and function of their associated communities. Its long term nature provides data potentially useful for understanding the effects of both short and long-term changes in oceanographic regime on ecological communities.  Long term monitoring is also a key element in two additional projects: (1) studies of how large and infrequent disturbances affect the structure and function of rocky intertidal boulder field communities and (2) investigations of invertebrate settlement at sites ranging from Mendocino to San Diego counties. Work on larval settlement, begun in 1990, and now associated with the Santa Barbara Coastal Long Term Ecological Research Program, has collected data at multiple sites at biweekly intervals since the project began. Ongoing collaborative work is using these data to investigate the influence of both oceanographic and biological drivers on temporal (e.g. those associated with climate change) and spatial variations in the larval settlement.