Task 4: Species Recovery and Conservation Aquaculture

Award Period
Award Amount
Agency Name
Nature Conservancy
Award Number
PI First Name
PI Last Name
Area/s of Research
Marine Conservation, Policy and Education

The global ocean is experiencing unprecedented threats from a changing climate and centuries of poor management. The health and function of our oceans is compromised by widespread declines of critical species. The Nature Conservancy and UCSB are teaming up to address this challenge through a solutions-focused effort to restore our ocean through assisted species recovery including restoration and other forms of conservation aquaculture. The postdoctoral researcher will work with Dr. Jono Wilson of The Nature Conservancy and Dr. Halley Froehlich of the University of California Santa Barbara on a large-scale project aimed at advancing the science of ocean species recovery. Specifically, the postdoctoral researcher will explore the following topics:

a) A call to action for ocean species recovery through a comparison of terrestrial vs ocean species restoration and recovery. The researcher will highlight the need for ocean species recovery and identify the similarities and differences, investment of public and private dollars, the socio-economic costs, different strategies, knowledge gaps, scientific frontiers, policy needs, and the success and failure of terrestrial species recovery vs ocean species recovery. Research will be focused on identifying unique challenges of ocean spp. recovery relative to terrestrial (permitting, connectivity, etc.), key trade-offs, as well as providing guidance and recommendations to the scientific community regarding the future of ocean species recovery. The specifics of a co-authored manuscript will be mutually agreed upon by Drs. Wilson, Froehlich and the researcher.

Deliverable 1: By September 24th, 2021 researcher will deliver a draft manuscript to Drs. Wilson and Froehlich via email.

b) Researcher will work with the project team to identify a subset of key harvested fish and invertebrate species in North America that would be candidates for a conservation aquaculture approach for recovery. Criteria for species inclusion may draw from aquaculture potential, life history theory, vulnerability to key stressors, and other factors. The researcher will work with the project team to develop key questions centered on the recovery potential of these key species and the challenges and bottlenecks to recovery, as well as solutions to overcome these challenges. The specifics of the research and deliverables will be mutually agreed upon by Drs. Wilson, Froehlich and the researcher.

Deliverable 2: by October 29, 2021 researcher will deliver preliminary findings and an action plan for finalizing this product to Drs. Wilson and Froehlich via email.

c) Researcher will be responsive to emails and in person requests to participate in public and TNC related events such as presentations, workshops, and donor events. The researcher may participate in at least two events and be expected to travel to up to 3 meetings.

Deliverable 3: the researcher will travel as needed to events and speaking engagements.