Community Ecology Scaled to Ecosystem Dynamics
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Ecosystem Surveys

Tracking the health of kelp forest ecosystems


Evaluating causal mechanisms


Projecting future scenarios



Understand how ecosystems change by using experimental and observational ecology



I am a Ph.D. Candidate and NSF Graduate Research Fellow at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where I study species interactions that shape the structure and function of marine communities. I am interested in relationships between landscape features, disturbance regimes, and predator-prey interactions that contribute to underlying organization and geographic variation in kelp forest communities. In all aspects of my research I strive to incorporate theoretical concepts with rigorous empirical tests. I am particularly interested in the underlying factors of stability and resiliency in kelp forest ecosystems. Along with these ecological concepts that I am fascinated by, I deeply value academic training and mentorship of next generation scientists. I intend to apply my deep interests in ecology, academic training, and mentorship to develop innovative ways of addressing conservation and management concerns.


University of CA, Santa Cruz

Ocean Health Building

115 McAllister Way

Santa Cruz, CA 95060

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© 2019 by Josh Smith. All photos and content are my own.