Katherine Dale / 130 McAllister Way, Santa Cruz CA 95060 
© 2019

Current Research

Dispersal and connectivity of eels in the Eastern Pacific

Doctoral research​

Broadly, I will look at the factors influencing the movement of eel larvae from Baja, Mexico to the California Channel Islands. Ultimately, I hope to understand how fish populations persist in this area of California, which has complex oceanographic conditions. My work will use a diverse combination of genetics, statistical modeling, otolith/aging, and morphology to examine the factors that influence dispersal of fish larvae in the Eastern Pacific, with a specific focus on eels.

Ichthyoplankton community composition around Catalina Island, CA

This side project aims to understand how the species composition and abundance of larval fish varies between location and season around Catalina Island. Read more about this project here.

Species interactions of large kelp forest inhabitants

In this work, we aim to examine the unique relationships between moray eels, octopuses, and California spiny lobsters in southern California. These three species all compete with one another for space in the reef; they also eat one another (morays predate upon lobsters and octopuses; octopuses eat lobsters). As an added twist, it's thought that morays may protect larger lobsters against octopus predation -- morays and lobsters have been seen sharing holes. This work will ascertain the relative proportion of these behaviors, and the effect these behaviors may have on the distribution and abundance of these species. 

Moray eel from the Galapagos Islands

Large conger eel larvae caught off Oregon ... species may be Congriscus megastomas