As the Coastal Marine Program Leader at Point Blue, much of my work is focused on developing marine birds as indicators of greater ecosystem processes. My current research projects investigate how marine birds utilize coastal and nearshore ocean habitats, with emphasis on their use of marine protected areas (MPAs).  I have studied seabird foraging effort around California’s MPAs since 2000 and have more recently begun studying shorebird use of coastal and estuarine habitats.

I grew up in the mountains of southern California and moved to Long Beach after graduating from high school.  I earned my B.S. in Marine Biology and M.S. in Biology from California State University, Long Beach.  As an undergraduate, I was interested in studying fish and plankton; but my first paying job was working on a project investigating the foraging habits of the endangered California Least Tern in San Diego Bay.  While working on this project, I began to understand how seabirds can be used to study the populations of their prey.

Since then, I have continued to study seabird diet and foraging behavior in order to better understand how juvenile fish (a.k.a. seabird prey) recruit to adult populations.  I have also become involved with the Seabird Protection Network and their efforts to decrease human-caused disturbance to seabird nesting and roosting sites. I currently sit on two science advisory teams involved in guiding management decisions for the endangered California Least Tern and was a member of the science advisory team for California’s Marine Life Protection Act Initiative, a process that developed the country’s first complete network of MPAs between California’s borders with Mexico and Oregon.

When not exploring the California coast, I enjoy spending time with my wife and three children.

Featured Work:

Spatial distribution of nearshore foraging seabirds in relation to a coastal marine reserve

DP Robinette, N Nur, A Brown, and J Howar

Marine Ornithology 40: 111-116

View full document at http://www.marineornithology.org/PDF/40_2/40_2_111-116.pdf