Principal Investigator

Cascade Sorte – Ph.D. University of California, Davis (2010); M.A. University of California, Santa Barbara (2003); B.A. Whitman College, Walla Walla, WA (1999)

Curriculum vitae


Project Scientist

 Amy Henry (2017-present)




Current Ph.D. students

Racine Rangel (2018-present)

Impacts of thermal history and climate change on physiology, population biology & ecosystem-level processes in coastal shellfish


Heidi Waite (2018-present)

Development of thermal tolerance across demography in species with complex life cycles


Ryan Beshai (2020-present)

Ecological impacts of invasive and range-shifting species



Courtney Cameron (2022-present)

Distributions & demographic modeling of range-shifting species



Current undergraduate students & lab assistants

We are always on the lookout for new UCI undergraduates to join the lab, and 2-3 positions typically come available every year. Please email a CV/resume, unofficial transcripts, and description of research experience and interest if you would like to be considered.

Sara Sherzai – Undergraduate research (Bio199) student (2021-present) Distributions and impacts of a range-shifting whelk in Southern California

Vanessa Lau – Undergraduate research (Bio199) student (2021-present) Impacts of warming and ocean acidification on a critical shellfish

Ph.D. students advised

 Samuel Mahanes (2017-present)

Roles of foundation species in moderating feedbacks between climate change and ecosystem functioning


 Piper Wallingford (2015-2020)

Impacts of climate change on predator population dynamics and community interactions

Lauren Pandori (2014-2019)

Age-dependent responses of marine invertebrates to climate change

Former lab members

Abigail Gonzalez – 199 student, UC-Irvine (2021-2022) Methods for temperature control in a lab aquarium facility

Caitlyn Cortes – 199 student, UC-Irvine (2021-2022) Demographic patterns across tide height in an intertidal range-shifting whelk species

Caroline Hoeft – 199 student, UC-Irvine (2020-present) Using hierarchical clustering to assess relative noise levels of backyard chickens

Katherine Phan – 199 student, UC-Irvine (2020-present) The effect of simulated climate warming and ocean acidification on three intertidal marine invertebrates

Genevieve Bernatchez – Lab technician (2014-2020)

Leah Samuels – Summer intern, Whitman College (2020) Impacts of climate change on the coastal community of Sitka, AK

Stephany Lira – 199 student, UC-Irvine (2020) Do light levels effect intertidal community productivity?

Jolene Viramontes – 199 student, UC-Irvine (2019-20) Parental effects on larval offspring thermal tolerance; Community drivers and feedbacks of tide pool pH (Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program Grant)

Abigail Vara – 199 student, UC-Irvine (2019-20) The effect of ocean acidification on shell thickness of the Pacific blue mussel (Mytilus trossulus) and Sitka periwinkle snail (Littorina sitkana)

J. Connor Basile – 199 student, UC-Irvine (2019) Impacts of ocean warming on invertebrate physiology and community ecology (Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program Grant, 2019 Summer Undergraduate Research Program Grant)

Grant Gallaher – Summer intern, Whitman College (2019) Effects of climate change on foundation species abundance and ecosystem functioning (undergraduate thesis)

Danny Truong – Undergraduate researcher, UC-Irvine (2017-19) Assembly processes in California fouling communities (Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program Grants, 2018 Summer Undergraduate Research Program Grant, #1 Judges Choice Award in UROP Video Challenge – view video <here> )

Haley Heesch – Undergraduate researcher, UC-Irvine (2018-19) Effectiveness of wildlife corridors; Thermal biology of marine invertebrates; Human impacts on intertidal communities (Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program Grants)

Deida Lopez – Undergraduate researcher, UC-Irvine (2018-19) Impacts of competition on behavior of invertebrate predators (Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program Grant)

Keira Monuki Summer intern, UC-Irvine (2016-18) Spatial and temporal gradients in recruitment processes and physiological condition of intertidal mussels (Presented at Western Society of Naturalists 2016, Society for Integrative & Comparative Biology 2018)

Ritika Singh – Undergraduate researcher, UC-Irvine (2017-18) Prey preference of avian and invertebrate predators in intertidal communities (Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program Grants, 2017 Summer Undergraduate Research Program Grant)

Eduardo Cruz – Undergraduate researcher, UC-Irvine (2017-18) Thermal biology of intertidal invertebrates (Undergraduate Research Program Grants)

Mackenzie Peich – Undergraduate researcher, UC-Irvine (2016-17) Ecophysiology of intertidal invertebrates across thermal stress gradients

Nyssa Silbiger – Postdoctoral scholar, UC-Irvine (2015-17) Biophysical feedbacks of carbonate chemistry in coastal ecosystems (Currently faculty at CSU-Northridge)

Savannah Todd – Undergraduate researcher, UC-Irvine (2015-16) Distributions of predatory snails across latitudinal and intertidal gradients; Final presentation: Abundance of the non-native predatory whelk, Mexacanthina lugubris, and the native predatory whelk, Nucella emarginata, along the coast of southern California (link to video podcast here)

Alyssa Medina – Undergraduate researcher, UC-Irvine (2015-16) Population and thermal biology of California mussels; Investigating a possible (but eventually refuted) invasion of Perna viridis (Excellence in Research Paper: Reproductive maturity of the California mussel Mytilus californianus across an intertidal gradient)

Samer Khan – Undergraduate researcher, UC-Irvine (2016) Feedbacks between temperature, pH, species distribution and dissolved oxygen in tide pools

Kunheng Cai – Undergraduate researcher, UC-Irvine (2015) Interaction between climate change and sea star wasting disease

Betzy Alvizo – Undergraduate researcher, UC-Irvine (2014-15) Seasonality of thermal tolerance and recruitment of the California mussel

Victoria Davidson – Summer intern, Whitman College (2014) Blue mussel population trajectories and their relationship to community diversity in the Gulf of Maine (undergraduate thesis)

Marcus Franklin – REU student, CREST program, UMass-Boston (2013) Blue mussel abundance in the Gulf of Maine: a historical approach to determining population trajectories

Carissa McKinney – REU student, CREST program, UMass-Boston (2011) Changes in dogwhelk color polymorphisms during 27 years of global warming

Robert Spackman – REU student, CREST program, UMass-Boston (2011) Mapping shell chemistry of blue mussels from sites across the Gulf of Maine

Rachel Wong – Research Intern, NU Marine Science Center, MA (2010) Thermal biology of marine invertebrates across a latitudinal gradient

Marcy Cockrell – M.S. Northeastern University (2009) Predicting population growth via stage-specific demographic modeling of non-native species in a marine epibenthic community

Robyn Zerebecki – M.S. Northeastern University (2009) Thermal tolerances of native versus invasive species in a marine epibenthic community

Jasmina Cerda – REU student, UCD Bodega Marine Lab, CA (2009) Interactions between native and invasive predators (Caprella spp. skeleton shrimp) and prey (Bugula spp. bryozoans)

Adam Fuller – M.S. Northeastern University (2008) Impacts of heat waves on invasive dominance in a marine epibenthic community

Omar Bonilla – REU student, UCD Bodega Marine Lab, CA (2007) Role of priority effects in fouling community assembly

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