Website Update

Crow White


Contact Information

Associate Professor

Office: 33-378
Phone: (805) 756-2954
Curriculum Vitae

Lab Facebook page: The Crow's Nest


For Prospective Students:

Prospective grad students: click here for M.S. graduate student opportunity in my lab

Undergraduate Cal Poly students: click here for research opportunities in my lab

Research Interests:

The overarching conceptual theme of my research is to understand causes and consequences of spatial population dynamics of coastal marine species, trophic processes among species in communities and ecosystems, and interactions between marine ecological communities and human users, especially fisheries. A common applied goal of my research is to identify how the implications of the above dynamics can be used to guide sustainable management of renewable natural marine resources and the conservation of marine ecosystems. Noteworthy focal research topics include:

  • Seascape genetics for estimating patterns of dispersal and population connectivity
  • Natural and controlled field and laboratory studies for quantifying variation in species demographics and community structure and function in response to human impacts (e.g., fishing)
  • Designing and evaluating marine protected areas and catch shares for promoting sustainable fisheries
  • Identifying optimal and practical ecosystem-based and marine spatial planning management strategies (considering conservation, fisheries, offshore wind/wave energy facilities, marine aquaculture farms, shipping lanes, etc.) for achieving conservation and socioeconomic objectives.


Ph.D. Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara 2008
M.S. Department of Wildlife Biology, University of Montana, Missoula 2002
B.A. Biology (Chemistry minor), University of Oregon, Eugene 1997

Professional Appointments:

Assistant Professor of Biology, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo 2013-Forward
Project Scientist. Bren School of Environmental Science & Management University of California, Santa Barbara. Sustainable Fisheries Group 2011-2013
Postdoctoral Research Fellow. Marine Science Institute University of California, Santa Barbara Advisors: Drs. Christopher Costello and Steven Gaines 2008-2011

Current Research Projects:

Spatial property rights fisheries management on an international scale: Bioeconomic evaluation of Exclusive Economic Zone design and high seas MPA siting effects on the conservation and utility of the world's pelagic fisheries.
Making room for offshore marine aquaculture: empirical evaluation and bioeconomic marine spatial planning of aquaculture in California's nearshore waters in relation to wild-catch fishery, marine conservation and other ecosystem values.
Avoiding the cliff edge: empirical and bioeconomic evaluation of how marine ecosystem stressors (e.g., fishing, pollution, climate change, etc.) can synergistically affect undesirable, nonlinear changes in ecosystem state and resilience.
Finding Nemo: integrating empirical genetic, oceanographic, geochemical and ecological methods for measuring spatial patterns of larval dispersal and recruitment (i.e., realized population connectivity) with unprecedented accuracy.

Selected Recent Publications:

Halpern, B.S., K.A. Selkoe, C. White and S. Aswani. In Revision. Marine Protected Areas and Resilience to Land-based Stressors in the Solomon Islands. Coral Reefs.

Lester, S.E., C. Costello, B.S. Halpern, S. D. Gaines, C. White, and J. A. Barth. 2012. Evaluating Tradeoffs among Ecosystem Services to Inform Marine Spatial Planning. Marine Policy

White, C., C. Costello, and B.E. Kendall. 2012. The Value of Ecosystem-based Management. Ecology Letters 15: 509-519.

White, C., B. Halpern and C.V. Kappel. 2012. Ecosystem Service Tradeoff Analysis Reveals the Value of Marine Spatial Planning for Multiple Ocean Uses. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109: 4696-4701.

Tallis, H., S. E. Lester, M. Ruckelshaus, M. Plummer, K. McLeod, A. Guerry, S. Andelman, M. R. Caldwell, M. Conte, S. Copps, D. Fox, R. Fujita, S. D. Gaines, G. Gelfenbaum, B. Gold, P. Kareiva, C. Kim, K. Lee, M. Papenfus, S. Redman, B. Silliman, L. Wainger and C. White. 2011. New Metrics for Managing and Sustaining the Ocean's Bounty. Marine Policy 36: 1-4. Selected by: Faculty of 1000.

Halpern, B.S. C. White, S. E. Lester, C. Costello and S. D. Gaines. 2011. Using Portfolio Theory to Assess Tradeoffs between Return from Natural Capital and Social Equity across Space. Biological Conservation 144: 1499-1507.

White, C. and C. Costello. 2011. Matching Spatial Property Rights Fisheries with Scales of Fish Dispersal. Ecological Applications 21: 350-362.

Selkoe, K.A., J. Watson, C. White, T. Ben-Horin, M. Iacchei, S. Mitarai, D. A. Siegel, S. D. Gaines and R. J. Toonen. 2010. Taking the Chaos out of Genetic Patchiness: Seascape Genetics Reveals Ecological and Oceanographic Drivers of Genetic Patterns in Three Temperate Reef Species. Molecular Ecology 19: 3708-3726.

White, C., J. Watson, K.A. Selkoe, D.A. Siegel, D.C. Zacherl and R.J.Toonen. 2010. Ocean Currents Help Explain Population Genetic Structure. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 277: 1685-1694.

Gaines, S.D., C. White, M. Carr, S. Palumbi. 2010. Designing Marine Reserve Networks for both Conservation and Fisheries Management. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0906473107.

White, C. 2009. Density Dependence and the Economic Efficacy of Marine Reserves. Theoretical Ecology 2: 127-138.

White, C., B.E. Kendall, S. Gaines, D.A. Siegel, and C. Costello. 2008. Marine Reserve Effects on Fishery Profit. Ecology Letters 11: 370-379. Selected by: Faculty of 1000. Featured in: 2008. Science for Environment Policy. European Comm. 105: 1.

White, C. and R.J. Toonen. 2008. Isolation and Characterization of Polymorphic Microsatellite and COI Loci from the Kellet's Whelk, Kelletia kelletii. Molecular Ecology Resources 8: 881-883.

White, C. and B.E. Kendall. 2007. A Reassessment of Equivalence in Yield from Marine Reserves and Traditional Fisheries Management. Oikos 116: 2039-2043.

White, C. 2006. Indirect Effects of Elk Harvesting on Ravens in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Journal of Wildlife Management 70: 539-545.

White, C. 2005. Hunters Ring Dinner Bell for Ravens: Experimental Evidence of a Unique Foraging Strategy. Ecology 86: 1057-1060. Featured in: 2005. Cue the Ravens. Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America. April: 80-81.

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