SICB Division of Ecology and Evolution (DEE)

DEE Researchers Database Entry

Lawrence V. Basch

Analyses ecological and oceanographic processes affecting spatial and temporal variation in coastal populations and communities
My research is empirical, quantitative and sometimes experimental, and is focused primarily on analyses at multiple scales of natural and human-mediated ecological and oceanographic processes affecting spatial and temporal variation in coastal animal and plant populations and communities, particularly within National Parks as ecological laboratories. I am a strong believer and proponent of the essential value of natural history in ecology and conservation biology, and of spending time in the library stacks. I have worked in diverse marine environments from Antarctica and Alaska, in temperate waters, and now, mainly on tropical reef ecosystems.

General examples of current research that I am actively pursuing:

- Ecological and oceanographic interactions coupling pelagic and benthic coastal ecosystems, including the roles of disturbance and regime shifts
- Community resilience and persistence: Reproductive, larval, juvenile, and recruitment ecology
- Coastal fisheries and resources conservation, integration of traditional ecological knowledge into marine resources management, MPAs, marine resource policy.

Over the past 10-15 years I have been involved in projects that range from:

- benthic community ecology and fisheries
- larval and early benthic life history ecology of marine invertebrates
- polar (Antarctic) marine ecology
- ecosystem effects of sea otter recolonization in Alaskan coastal marine communities and marine community succession along a post-glacial chronosequence
- rocky intertidal ecology from boreal to tropical latitudes
- kelp forest community ecology from Baja California, Mexico to Alaska

In the last 3-4 years my research has focused primarily on:

- population and community ecology of nearshore temperate and tropical reef systems
- coastal oceanographic processes driving larval dispersal and recruitment
- coral reef ecology
- marine invertebrate and fish larval and early life history ecology, dispersal and recruitment including use of otoliths, genetics and other tools
- the use of remote sensing and GIS-relational databases to provide information on ecological change in shallow coastal marine ecosystems for adaptive management
- the development of long term inventory and monitoring approaches for both intertidal and shallow subtidal marine ecosystems.

Students or Postdocs that I work with pursue a wide variety of projects that are conducted in and around National Park waters, and elsewhere in the Pacific. Examples of current research includes the population dynamics of exploited or ecologically important marine invertebrates such as Pearl Oysters and Crown of Thorns Sea Stars, genetic structure of various marine populations, patterns of connectivity in space and time in relation to the design and placement of Marine Protected Areas, and the ecology and biocontrol of invasive macroalgae. Current funding of graduate research includes: Population genetic structure and connectivity of reef fish targeted in the aquarium trade; Growth Rates, Reproductive Cycles, and Population Genetics of Opihi (edible intertidal limpets) in the Hawaiian Archipelago; Soft sediment macrophyte interactions and monitoring methods development, and; Larval retention, larval exchange and population connectivity in the Hawaiian Islands.