How can ecology help us manage natural resources?
Given that biodiversity has many impacts on humans (and vice versa), we seek out opportunities to directly translate our research to conservation and management contexts.   Beyond yielding practical results, addressing management questions also often offers unique chances for ecological insight.   Current research areas include:  

Integrating non-consumptive effects and other stressors into management plans

Given the ubiquity of non-consumptive interactions, considering these effects and other stressors such as temperature may be crucial to the success of multiple management and conservation plans.  We're working to bridge ecological studies and real-world applications in this area, with projects focusing on oyster aquaculture in the Gulf of Mexico and oyster reef restoration in the Hudson River Estuary.  Our NY-based oyster work is done in collaboration with the Billion Oyster Project.

Optimal management of fisheries

Fisheries are a perfect example of the coupled effects of human-ecosystem interactions.  We are interested in understanding how fisheries can be optimally managed to benefit ecological communities and human stakeholders including fishermen, non-consumptive users (e.g., tourists, general public), and others.  In the past we have conducted work on the emerging Kellet's whelk fishery in California, and we are merging  our research on patterns in diversity with efforts to understand potential impacts of human and environmental change on fisheries in order to promote sustainable management strategies. We are also developing and comparing tools that may be used for ecoystem-based management such as ecoystem models (Atlantis models, species interaction network models) and bioindicators that can be used to predict responses to environmental perturbations.  

Making reintroductions work

As part of the Luce Fellowship Program at UCSB, I led an NCEAS working group exploring how reintroductions may be better evaluated.  This project brought together community and population ecologists, economists, and reintroduction experts in a an attempt to develop a better way of discussing reintroduction progress and outcomes.  The lab continues work on this topic, exploring how various tools, ranging from habitat restoration to public outreach, impact reintroduction progress and trends in reintroduction outcomes.

Related Work

Dornberger, L, Ainsworth, C., Gosnell, J. S., and Coleman, F. C.  Developing a PAH exposure dose-response model for fish health and growth.  In press for Marine Pollution Bulletin.  

Levine, E., Gosnell, J. S., and Goetz, E.  Natural cultch type influences habitat preference and predation, but not survival, in reef-associated species.  In press for Restoration Ecology.

Gosnell, J.S.,  Macfarlan, J. A., and Caselle, J. 2012.  Moving oceanographic boundaries explain larval recruitment.  Presentation at the annual California Islands Symposium.