Senior Scientist, ACCESS Program Leader
As a Senior Scientist in the California Current Group, I investigate the diet of marine predators to understand changing forage species communities in coastal California. I am a Program Leader with ACCESS (www.accessoceans.org), a partnership among Point Blue, our two national marine sanctuaries (Greater Farallones and Cordell Bank), and several other entities to conduct ocean research in our region. In addition to overseeing and synthesizing the many datasets related to the ACCESS partnership, I research zooplankton communities in our Sanctuaries and examine the effects of varying oceanographic conditions on copepods, krill, and other important zooplankton taxa in our marine environment. I also supervise the Point Blue marine laboratory, where our marine predator diet and zooplankton studies happen with the help of our awesome lab research assistants and volunteers!
I earned my B.S. in Zoology from the University of California, Davis. I earned my M.S. in Marine Biology from San Francisco State University, investigating the diet of the California Least Tern colony at Alameda Point (formerly the Naval Air Station, Alameda). After finishing my undergraduate work and trying to figure out what to do next, I was advised to apply for a seabird research assistant position on the Farallon Islands, and I have been hooked on seabirds ever since! I was hired soon after my season on the Farallones to help monitor Double-crested Cormorant populations on the Richmond-San Rafael and San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridges. Other Point Blue projects I have worked on include monitoring breeding success and diet of the Alameda Point Least Tern colony and documenting seabird mortality during oil spills as part of the Processing Strike Team within the Oiled Wildlife Care Network.
When I’m not in the field (assisting in nest surveys in Alameda or on a research vessel in the Sanctuaries), I can be found in the Petaluma headquarters.
Brandt’s cormorant diet (1994-2012) indicates the importance of fall ocean conditions for northern anchovy in central California.
Elliott, M.L., Schmidt, A.E., Acosta, S., Bradley, R., Warzybok, P., Sakuma, K.M., Field, J.C., and Jahncke, J. 2016. Fisheries Oceanography 25:5, 515-528.
Temporal variation in copepod abundance and composition in a strong, persistent coastal upwelling zone.
Fontana, R.E., Elliott, M.L., Largier, J.L., and Jahncke, J. 2016. Progress in Oceanography 142: 1-16.
Email: Meredith Elliott
(707) 781-2555 x304