Meet the Team
Grant Ballard, Ph.D.
Chief Science Officer
Climate Change and Quantitative Ecology
Originally from St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, I joined Point Blue as a volunteer at the Palomarin Field Station in 1991 and have worked on several Point Blue projects in many roles since then, from California to Alaska and Antarctica. As Chief Science Officer, I am responsible for overall leadership and coordination of Point Blue's scientific activities. I have a PhD in Biological Sciences from the University of Auckland and a BA in English from Cornell University. I am an ecologist with expertise in evaluating climate change impacts on wildlife and human populations, as well as bio-informatics, I live in San Francisco and work primarily from our Petaluma headquarters.
My CV is available here.
- 2016-2020: (co-PI) A Full Lifecycle Approach to Understanding Adélie Penguin Response to Changing Pack Ice Conditions in the Ross Sea. Funded by National Science Foundation.
- 2010-2015: (co-PI) Adélie penguin response to climate change at the individual, colony and metapopulation levels. Funded by National Science Foundation.
- 2010-2014: (co-PI) Our Coast-Our Future: Planning for sea level rise and storm hazards in the San Francisco Bay Area. Funded by National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration & National Estuarine Research Reserve System Science Collaborative.
- 2010-2013: (PI) How do we monitor the ecological consequences of climate change? Developing an Environmental Change Network in the California Landscape Conservation Cooperative. Funded by United States Fish & Wildlife Service/California Landscape Conservation Cooperative.
- 2011-2012: (co-PI) The California Climate Commons. Funded by United States Fish & Wildlife Service/California Landscape Conservation Cooperative.
- 2010-2012: (PI) Tidal Marsh Bird Population and Habitat Assessment for San Francisco Bay Under Future Climate Change Conditions. Funded by United States Fish & Wildlife Service/California Landscape Conservation Cooperative & California State Coastal Conservancy.
- 2006-2010: (co-PI) Multi-scaled data in ecology: Scale dependent patterns in the environment. Funded by National Science Foundation.
- Salas, L., N. Nur, D. G. Ainley, J. Burns, J. Rotella and G. Ballard. 2017. Coping with loss of large, energy-dense prey: A potential bottleneck for Weddell seals in the southern Ross Sea. Ecological Applications: doi:10.1002/eap.1435.
- Ainley, D.G., G. Ballard, R. M. Jones, D. Jongsomjit, S. D. Pierce, W. O. Smith Jr., S. Veloz. 2015. Trophic cascades in the western Ross Sea, Antarctica: revisited. Marine Ecology Progress Series 534:1-16.
- Jennings, S., A. Varsani, K.M. Dugger, G. Ballard, D. G. Ainley. 2016. Sex-based differences in Adélie Penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) chick growth rates and diet. PLoS ONE 11(3): e0149090. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0149090.
- Whitehead, A.L., P. O. Lyver, G. Ballard, K. Barton, B.J. Karl, K.M. Dugger, S. Jennings, A. Lescroel, P.R. Wilson, D.G. Ainley. 2015. Factors driving Adélie penguin chick size, mass, and condition at colonies of differing size in the southern Ross Sea. Marine Ecology Progress Series 523:199-213.
- Dugger, K.M., G. Ballard, D.G. Ainley, P.O’B. Lyver, C. Schine. 2014. Adélie penguins coping with environmental change: results from a natural experiment at the edge of their breeding range. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution: doi:10.3389/fevo.2014.00068.
- Veloz, S., L. Salas, B. Altman, J. Alexander, D. Jongsomjit, N. Elliott, G. Ballard. 2015. Making conservation count. Density data improves the effectiveness of systematic conservation planning. Conservation Biology: doi:10.1111/cobi.12499.
- Lyver P.O., M. Barron, K.J. Barton, D.G. Ainley, A. Pollard, S. Gordon, S. McNeill, G. Ballard, P.R. Wilson. 2014. Trends in the Breeding Population of Adélie Penguins in the Ross Sea, 1981–2012: A Coincidence of Climate and Resource Extraction Effects. PLoS ONE 9(3): e91188. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0091188.
- LaRue, M., H.J. Lynch, P. O’B Lyver, K. Barton, D.G. Ainley, A. Pollard, G. Ballard. 2014. Establishing a method for estimating populations of Adélie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae) using remote sensing imagery. Polar Biology: doi:10.1007/s00300-014-1451-8.
- Ford, R.G., D.G. Ainley, A. Lescroel, P. O’B. Lyver, V. Toniolo, G. Ballard. 2014. Testing assumptions of central place foraging theory: a study of Adélie penguins Pygoscelis adeliae in the Ross Sea. Journal of Avian Biology. doi:10.1111/jav.00491.
- Lyver PO, Barron M, Barton KJ, Ainley DG, Pollard A, Gordon S., McNeill S., Ballard G, Wilson P.R. 2014. Trends in the Breeding Population of Adélie Penguins in the Ross Sea, 1981–2012: A Coincidence of Climate and Resource Extraction Effects. PLoS ONE 9(3): e91188. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0091188
- LaRue, M., H.J. Lynch, P. O’B Lyver, K. Barton, D.G. Ainley, A. Pollard, G. Ballard. 2014. Establishing a method for estimating populations of Adélie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae) using remote sensing imagery. Polar Biology: DOI 10.1007/s00300-014-1451-8.
- Lescroël, A., G. Ballard, D. Grémillet, M. Authier, D. G. Ainley. 2014. Antarctic climate change: extreme events disrupt plastic response in Adélie penguins. PLoS ONE 9(1): e85291. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0085291.
- Veloz, S. D., N. Nur, L. Salas, D. Jongsomjit, J. Wood, D. Stralberg, and G. Ballard. 2013. Modeling climate change impacts on tidal marsh birds: Restoration and conservation planning in the face of uncertainty. Ecosphere 4(4):49. http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/ES12-00341.1
- Trathan, P., G. Ballard. 2013. Adélie Penguin. In Garcia Borboroglu, P., D. Boersma (editors): Penguins: Natural history and conservation. University of Washington Press. Seattle, pp. 360.
- LaRue, M.A., D.G. Ainley, M. Swanson, K.M. Dugger, P. O’B. Lyver, K. Barton, G. Ballard. 2013. Climate change winners: receding ice fields facilitate colony expansion and altered dynamics in an Adélie penguin metapopulation. PLOS ONE.
- Ainley, D. G., & G. Ballard. 2012. Trophic interactions and population trends of killer whales (Orcinus orca) in the Southern Ross Sea. Aquatic Mammals 38:153-160. DOI 10.1578/AM.38.2.2012.153.
- Ainley, D.G., N. Nur, J. T. Eastman, G. Ballard, C. L. Parkinson, C. W. Evans, A. L. Devries. 2012. Decadal trends in abundance, size and condition of Antarctic toothfish in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica, 1972-2011. Fish and Fisheries. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-2979.2012.00474.x.
- Ballard, G., D. Jongsomjit, S. D. Veloz, and D. G. Ainley. 2012. Coexistence of mesopredators in an intact polar ocean ecosystem: The basis for defining a Ross Sea marine protected area. Biol. Conserv., doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2011.11.017
- Ainley, D. G., & G. Ballard. 2011. Non-consumptive factors affecting patterns in Antarctic penguins: a review and synthesis. Polar Biology DOI: 10.1007/s00300-011-1042-x .
- Ainley, D. G., D. Jongsomjit, G. Ballard, D. Thiele, W. R. Fraser, and C. T. Tynan. 2011. Modeling the relationship of Antarctic minke whales to major ocean boundaries. Polar Biology. DOI: 10.1007/s00300-011-1075-1.
- Porzig, EL, KE Dybala, T Gardali, G Ballard, G Geupel, and JA Wiens. 2011. Forty-five years and counting: reflections from the Palomarin Field Station on the contribution of long-term monitoring and recommendations for the future. The Condor 113(4): 713-723.
- Ballard, G., V. Toniolo, D.G. Ainley, C.L. Parkinson, K.R. Arrigo, P.N. Trathan. 2010. Responding to climate change: Adélie penguins confront astronomical and ocean boundaries. Ecology 91(7):2056-2069.
- Ballard, G., K.M. Dugger, N. Nur, D.G. Ainley. 2010. Foraging strategies of Adélie penguins: adjusting body condition to cope with environmental variability. Marine Ecology Progress Series 405: 287–302.
- Blight, L.K., D. G. Ainley, S. F. Ackley, G. Ballard, et al. 2010. Fishing For Data in the Ross Sea. Science 330: 1316.
- Dugger, K.M., D.G. Ainley, P.O'B. Lyver, K. Barton and G. Ballard. 2010. Survival differences and the effect of environmental instability on breeding dispersal in an Adélie penguin meta-population. PNAS. www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1000623107.
- Lescroël, A., G. Ballard, V. Toniolo, K. J. Barton, P. R. Wilson, P.O'B. Lyver, & D.G. Ainley. 2010. Working less to gain more: when breeding quality relates to foraging efficiency. Ecology 91(7):2044-2055.
- Ballance, L.T., D.G. Ainley, G. Ballard, K. Barton. 2009. An energetic correlate between colony size and foraging effort in seabirds, an example of the Adélie penguin Pygoscelis adeliae. Journal of Avian Biology 40:279-288.
- Lescroël, A., K.M. Dugger, G. Ballard, D.G. Ainley. 2009. Effects of individual quality, reproductive success, and environmental variability on survival of a long-lived seabird. Journal of Animal Ecology 78:798-806.
- Ainley, D. G., G. Ballard, L. K. Blight, S. Ackley, S. D. Emslie, A. Lescroël, S. Olmastroni, S. E. Townsend, C. T. Tynan, P. Wilson, E. Woehler. 2009. Impacts of cetaceans on the structure of southern ocean food webs. Marine Mammal Science.
- Ainley D. G., G. Ballard, S. Olmastroni. 2009. An Apparent Decrease in the Prevalence of “Ross Sea Killer Whales” in the Southern Ross Sea. Aquatic Mammals 35:335-347.
- Kelling, S., W.M. Hochachka, D. Fink, M. Riedewald, R. Caruana, G. Ballard, G. Hooker. 2009. Data Intensive Science: A New Paradigm for Biodiversity Studies. Bioscience 59:613-620.
- Nur, N., G. Ballard, & G.R. Geupel. 2008. Regional analysis of riparian bird species response to vegetation and local habitat features. Wilson Journal of Ornithology: 120: 840 - 855.
- Luther, D., J. Hilty, J. Weiss, C. Cornwall, M. Wipf, & G. Ballard. 2008. Assessing the impact of local habitat variables and landscape context on riparian birds in agricultural, urbanized, and native landscapes. Biodiversity Conservation. DOI 10.1007/s10531-008-9332-5.
- Lauriano, G., M. Vacchi, D. G. Ainley, & G. Ballard. 2007. Observations of top predators foraging on fish in the pack ice of the southern Ross Sea. Antarctic Science 19:439-440.
- MacMynowski, D.P., T.L. Root, G. Ballard, & G.R. Geupel. 2007. Changes in spring arrival of Nearctic-Neotropical migrants attributed to multiscalar climate. Global Change Biology 13:1-13.
- Ainley, D. G., G. Ballard, S. Ackley, L. K. Blight, J. T. Eastman, S. D. Emslie, A. Lescroël, S. Olmastroni, S. E. Townsend, C. T. Tynan, P. Wilson, E. Woehler. 2007. Paradigm lost, or is top-down forcing no longer significant in the Antarctic marine ecosystem? Antarctic Science 19(3):283–290.
- Kooyman, G.L., D. G. Ainley, G. Ballard, & P. J. Ponganis. 2007. Effects of giant icebergs on two emperor penguin colonies in the Ross Sea, Antarctica. Antarctic Science 19: 31–38.
- Dugger, K.M., G. Ballard, D.G. Ainley, and K.J. Barton. 2006. Flipper-band effects on the foraging behavior and survival of Adélie Penguins. Auk 123: 858-869.
- Ainley, D. G., G. Ballard, and K. M. Dugger. 2006. Competition among penguins and cetaceans reveals trophic cascades in the western Ross Sea, Antarctica. Ecology 87:2080–2093.
- Latif, Q. S., J. L. Grenier, S. K. Heath, G. Ballard & M. E. Hauber. 2006. First evidence of conspecific brood parasitism and egg ejection in song sparrows, with comments on methods sufficient to document these behaviors. Condor 108:453-459.
- Ballard, G. and D. G. Ainley. 2005. Killer Whale Harassment of Adélie Penguins at Ross Island. Antarctic Science 17(3):385-386
- Shepherd, L.D., C.D. Millar, G. Ballard, D.G. Ainley, P.R. Wilson, G.D. Haynes, C. Baroni, and D.M. Lambert. 2005. Microevolution and mega-icebergs in the Antarctic. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 102(46):16717-16722.
- Ainley, D. G., G. Ballard, B. J. Karl, K. M. Dugger. 2005. Leopard Seal predation rates at penguin colonies of different size. Antarctic Science 17:323-328.
- Thomas, L., G. R. Geupel, N. Nur, & G. Ballard. 2004. Optimizing the allocation of count days in a migration monitoring program. In Ralph, C. J., and E. H. Dunn (editors). The use of mist nets in population monitoring. Studies in Avian Biology 29: 97-111.
- Nur, N., G. R. Geupel & G. Ballard. 2004. Estimates of adult survival, capture probability and recapture probability: evaluating and validating constant effort mist netting. In Ralph, C. J., and E. H. Dunn (editors). The use of mist nets in population monitoring. Studies in Avian Biology 29: 63-70.
- Ballard, G., G. R. Geupel, & N. Nur. 2004. The influence of mist-netting intensity on investigations of avian populations. In Ralph, C. J., and E. H. Dunn (editors). The use of mist nets in population monitoring. Studies in Avian Biology 29: 21-27.
- Ainley, D. G., C. A. Ribic, G. Ballard, S. Heath, I. Gaffney, B. J. Karl, K. R. Barton, P. R. Wilson, & S. Webb. 2004. Geographic structure of Adélie penguin populations: size, overlap and use of adjacent colony-specific foraging areas. Ecological Monographs: 74:159-178.
- Ballard, G., G. R. Geupel, N. Nur, & T. Gardali. 2003. Long-term declines and decadal patterns in population trends of songbirds in western North America. Condor 105:737-755.
- Ainley, D. G., G. Ballard, K. J. Barton, B. J. Karl, G. H. Rau, C. A. Ribic & P. R. Wilson. 2003. Spatial and temporal variation of diet within a presumed metapopulation of Adélie penguins. Condor 105:95-106.
- Heath, S. K. and G. Ballard. 2003. Patterns of breeding songbird diversity and occurrence in riparian habitats of the Eastern Sierra Nevada. In Faber, P.M. (ed.), California Riparian Systems: Processes and Floodplain Management, Ecology, and Restoration. 2001 Riparian Habitat and Floodplains Conference Proceedings, Riparian Habitat Joint Venture, Sacramento, CA.
- Heath, S. K. and G. Ballard. 2003. Bird species composition, phenology, nesting substrate, and productivity for the Owens Valley alluvial fan, Eastern Sierra Nevada, California 1998-2002. Great Basin Birds 6:18-35.
- Ainley, D. G., G. Ballard, S. D. Emslie, W. R. Fraser, P. R. Wilson, & E. J. Woehler. 2003. Adélie Penguins and Environmental Change. Science 300:429.
- Geupel, G. R. & G. Ballard. 2002. Wrentit (Chamaea fasciata), In The Birds of North America (A. Poole & F. Gill, eds.), No. 654. The Birds of North America, Inc. Philadelphia, PA.
- Ballard, G., D. G. Ainley, C. A. Ribic & K. R. Barton. 2001. Effect of instrument attachment and other factors on foraging trip duration and nesting success of Adélie Penguins. Condor 103:481-490.
- Wilson P. R, D. G. Ainley, N. Nur, S. S. Jacobs, K. R. Barton, G. Ballard & J. C. Comiso. 2001. Adélie Penguin Population Change in the Pacific Sector of Antarctica: Relation to Sea-Ice Extent and the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. Mar. Ecol. Progr. Ser. 213: 301-309.
- Gardali, T., G. Ballard, N. Nur & G. R. Geupel. 2000. Demography of a declining population of Warbling Vireos in Coastal California. Condor 102:601-609.
- Gardali, T. & G. Ballard. 2000. Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus), In The Birds of North America (A. Poole & F. Gill, eds.), No. 551. The Birds of North America, Inc. Philadelphia, PA.
- Ainley, D. G., P. R. Wilson, K. R. Barton, G. Ballard, N. Nur & B. J. Karl. 1998. Diet and foraging effort of Adélie penguins in relation to pack-ice conditions in the southern Ross Sea. Polar Biology 20:311-319.