Karina J. Nielsen

Professor of Biology
Ph.D. Oregon State University, 1998
Voicemail: (707) 664-2962
Email: karina.nielsen@sonoma.edu
Office: Darwin 235

Postdoctoral Experience:

Estacíon Costera de Investigaciones Marinas (ECIM) - Pontificia Universidad Catlica de Chile; Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO) - Oregon State University.

Research Interests:

Marine Community Ecology, Oceanographic Influences on Benthic Communities, Plant-Herbivore Interactions, Physiological Ecology of Macrophytes, Ecosystem Functioning & Conservation Ecology.

My research focuses on the ecological functioning and conservation biology of temperate marine communities. I use ecological, physiological and oceanographic tools to investigate how environmental context influences biological interactions. I am currently working several projects together with my graduate students including:

  1. Conservation and sustainable management of the Sea Palm, Postelsia palmaeformis (funding from California Sea Grant);
  2. Coastal oceanography of the surf zone (funding from NOAA through the Center for Integrative Coastal Observation, Research, and Education (CICORE) and in collaboration with the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO));
  3. Recruitment and reproductive output of intertidal invertebrates in Northern California (graduate student funded by the Environmental Protection Agency STAR fellowship);
  4. Physiological ecology of Postelsia palmaeformis; and
  5. Influence of surf zone light attenuation on benthic seaweeds (in collaboration with PISCO).

I have also done field experiments in Oregon , Chile and New Zealand exploring how differences in nutrient loading and coastal oceanography influence marine plant-herbivore interactions and the diversity and abundance of seaweeds, as well as investigated the causes and consequences of a newly identified nearshore hypoxic zone along the Oregon coast.

Representative Publications :

Barth, J.A., B. A. Menge, J. Lubchenco, F. Chan, J. M. Bane, A. R. Kirincich, M. A. McManus, K. J. Nielsen, S. D. Pierce & L. Washburn. 2007. Delayed Upwelling Alters Nearshore Coastal Ocean Ecosystems in the Northern California Current . Proccedings of the National Academy of Science 104:3791-3794.

Nielsen, K.J. , C.A. Blanchette, B.A. Menge & J. Lubchenco 2006. Physiological snapshots reflect ecological performance of the Sea Palm, Postesia palmaeformis , (Phaeophyceae) across intertidal elevation and exposure gradients. Journal of Phycology 42, 548-559.

Grantham, B.A., F. Chan, K. J. Nielsen , D. Fox, J.A. Barth, A. Huyer, J. Lubchenco, and B.A. Menge 2004. Nearshore upwelling-driven hypoxia signals ecosystem and oceanographic changes in the NE Pacific. Nature 429:479-754

Nielsen, K.J. & S.A. Navarrete 2004. Mesoscale regulation comes from the bottom-up: intertidal interactions between consumers and upwelling. Ecology Letters 7(1):31-41.

Nielsen, K.J. 2003. Nutrient loading and consumers: agents of change in open-coast macrophyte assemblages. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 100:7660-7665.

Nielsen, K. J. 2001. Bottom-up and top-down forces in tidepools: test of a simple food-chain model in an intertidal community. Ecological Monographs 71:187-217.

Course Offerings:

Invertebrate Biology; Marine Ecology; Ocean Science Literacy for School and Society; Diversity, Structure & Function.