Lab 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)

Community assembly processes in shallow epibenthic communities: importance of spatial patterning and neighborhood interactions

Current Ph.D. students

Lauren Pandori (2014-present)

Age-dependent responses of marine invertebrates to climate change

 Piper Wallingford (2015-present)

Impacts of climate change on predator population dynamics and community interactions


 Samuel Mahanes (2017-present)




Heidi Waite (arriving Fall 2018)

Lab technician

Genevieve_croppedGenevieve Bernatchez (2014-present)

M.S. Northeastern University (2012)

Curriculum vitae


Current undergraduate students

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.

Ritika Singh – 199 student, UC-Irvine (2017-present) (W17)Invertebrate abundance and metabolic processes: are all measurements of abundance created equal? (S17) Avian predators: bridging the gap between intertidal and terrestrial ecosystems (F17) Dark unicorn: southern Californian expansion

Eduardo Cruz – 199 student, UC-Irvine (2017-present) (S17) Stability of an acclimating seawater system (F17) Range and heat tolerance of the mussel Brachidontes adamsianus in Southern California (W18) Lethal air and water temperature limits of the mussel Mytilus californianus across microhabitats

Danny Truong – 199 student, UC-Irvine (2017-present) (F17) Lottery or Competitive Hierarchy? Ecological drivers of fouling community composition in Bodega Harbor, California (W18) State of flux: dynamics of an intransitive competitive network describing fouling community composition in Bodega Harbor, California

Haley Heesch – 199 student, UC-Irvine (2018-present) (W18) Environment and body temperatures of the mussel Mytilus californianus across microhabitats and tide heights


Previous graduate students

Adam Fuller – M.S. Northeastern University (2008)

Impacts of heat waves on invasive dominance in a marine epibenthic community


Robyn Zerebecki – M.S. Northeastern University (2009)

Thermal tolerances of native versus invasive species in a marine epibenthic community


Marcy Cockrell – M.S. Northeastern University (2009)

Predicting population growth via stage-specific demographic modeling of non-native species in a marine epibenthic community

Previous undergraduate students

Mackenzie Peich – 199 student, UC-Irvine (2016-17) Vulnerability of the New Zealand mussel guild in response to thermal stress; Phenotypic variation of the California mussel across microhabitats and tide height; Growth rate of Mytilus californianus across tide heights and life stages

Savannah Todd – 199 student, UC-Irvine (2015-16) Variability in seawater characteristics over time and space on the Orange County coast; Distributions of predatory snails in the genus Nucella across latitudinal and intertidal gradients; Prey preference of the predatory whelk Nucella emarginata; 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 of Savannah’s final presentation here)

Alyssa Medina – Excellence in Research 199 student, UC-Irvine (2015-16) Thermal tolerance and possible invasion of the green mussel Perna viridis to Redondo Beach, California; Reproductive maturity of the California mussel Mytilus californianus across an intertidal gradient

Samer Khan – 199 student, UC-Irvine (2016) Analysis of temperature, pH, species distribution and dissolved oxygen in tide pools: insight in how primary producers might cope with climate change

Kunheng Cai – 199 student, UC-Irvine (2015) The interaction between climate change and sea star wasting disease

Betzy Alvizo – 199 student, UC-Irvine (2014-15) Seasonal changes in thermal tolerance and recruitment of the California mussel Mytilus californianus

Marcus Franklin – REU, CREST program, UMass-Boston (2013)

Carissa McKinney – REU, CREST program, UMass-Boston (2011)

Robert Spackman – REU, CREST program, UMass-Boston (2011)

Rachel Wong – Research Intern, NU Marine Science Center, MA (2010)

Jasmina Cerda – REU, UCD Bodega Marine Lab, CA (2009)

Omar Bonilla – REU, UCD Bodega Marine Lab, CA (2007)

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