What a year is has been! Despite the challenges that 2020 has brought, we here at CMIL have still managed to accomplish so much!

This year our annual Western Society of Naturalists¬†conference was virtual for the first time ever. With over 900 participants from around the world, SDSU students, staff, and faculty met virtually to share their research with colleagues. Thanks to the generosity of our Day of Giving donors, we were able to cover the costs of registration for several students. See below for presenters’ talk titles (*student awardees):

  • Navigating the barrens: learning how to merge science and business to help solve an ecological challenge – Renee Angwin
  • The zombification and revival of purple urchins (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus) in response to food availability – Dillon Dolinar*
  • The smallest piece of the biggest fish: exploring the whale shark epidermal virome¬†– Ryan Hesse*
  • Assessing variation in the dietary niche of the California spiny lobster Panulirus interruptus – Erica Pollard*
  • Rapid morphological and reproductive responses of wild Tegula populations to disease-driven removal of sea star predators – Lynne Wetmore
  • Examining spatiotemporal patterns in rhodolith bed using collapsible benthic isolation tents (cBITS) – Darrin Ambat*
  • Conditions for the propogation of seabird guano-derived nutrients through kelp forests – Scott Gabara*
  • Are wrack-associated beach communities modified by an invasive macroalga, Sargassum horneri? – Lee Harrison*
  • Sustainability of the California spiny lobster fishery: assessing regional variability in lobster reproductive potential – Alaina Perun*
  • Spies in the tides: application of novel technology for monitoring cardiac activity in bivalves – Gabriella Kalbach*
  • Impacts of an invasive alga on the recruitment of a temperate reef fish – Sara Rosenblatt*
  • Using seaweed farms to remove excess nutrients from estuarine waterways – Matthew Edwards
  • Categorizing the skin microbiome of four California rays – Emma Kerr*
  • Crab impacts on cordgrass depend upon crab communities and edaphic conditions – Jan Walker
  • How to homebrew a marine lab during a lockdown – Jeremy Long


We’ve additionally been fortunate to participate in virtual webinars and festivals this year. Two highlights were:

The first annual California Seaweed Festival. SDSU CMIL participants included: Matt Edwards, Leslie Booher, Dillon Dolinar, and Karina Arzuyan

CA Sea Grant and Save Our Shores presents: Restorative Aquaculture in California. SDSU CMIL participants included: Renee Angwin


From all of us here at CMIL to all of you, Happy Holidays and best wishes for the New Year!!