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Our research focuses on understanding the processes that shape marine communities, and what conditions and interactions support or erode their diversity and resilience to climate variability.

We currently conduct research in Palau, Mexico, Italy, the Chagos Archipelago, Marshall Islands, Palmyra Atoll, Canada, Washington, and California.

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Natalie Arnoldi research

Natalie Arnoldi

I am interested in the role of mobile marine predators like sharks and tunas in creating connections between nearshore and open ocean food webs, the ecological significance of these interactions and their implication for sustainable management of marine resources. My current research is in Palau, a small-island/big ocean nation in the Central Pacific, who recently designated 80% of their ocean territory as a no-take marine reserve. The outcomes of our connectivity research will inform critical decision making for Palau’s changing fishing sectors and practices and establish crucial baseline knowledge for the long term monitoring and management of the new sanctuary. 

Mica Chapuis

I am currently working on Jamie McDevitt-Irwin’s project in the Chagos Archipelago analyzing pictures and videos and helping with intertidal fieldwork in Big Sur, CA. I am also leading a project analyzing mussel cover in Monterey Bay.




Chris Knight diving

Chris Knight

My research will focus on linking ocean health and human well-being by considering how human activity impacts oceans ecosystems and the services they provide such as nutrition and livelihoods. Additionally, I am interested in exploring solutions to create equitable and sustainable seafood production. I plan to employ a combination of field ecology, social science, and metanalyses to contribute to the burgeoning field of planetary health.  

Jamie McDevitt-Irwin

I am interested in how communities are assembled through time and across space. I am currently working on coral reef benthic communities, in the wilderness area, the Chagos Archipelago. I am studying how top down control by fishes (e.g. herbivores and corallivores) influences benthic community assembly and how this top down control is mediated by predators like sharks.


fio diving

Fiorenza Micheli

Fiorenza Micheli is Co-Director of Stanford’s Center for Ocean Solutions, Chair of the Oceans Department at the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability, and a marine ecologist at the Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University, where she is the David and Lucile Packard Professor of Marine Science. Her research focuses on the processes shaping marine communities and coastal social-ecological systems, and incorporating this understanding in marine management and conservation. She investigates climatic impacts on marine ecosystems, particularly the impacts of hypoxia and ocean acidification on marine species, communities and fisheries, marine predators’ ecology and trophic cascades, the dynamics and sustainability of small-scale fisheries, and the design and function of Marine Protected Areas. Her current research takes her to Mexico, Italy, Palau, the Line Islands, and Chagos, in addition to California. She is a Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation, a fellow of the California Academy of Sciences, research advisor to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Seafood Watch and the Benioff Ocean Initiative, and senior fellow at Stanford’s Woods Institute for the Environment.

Caro kelp

Carolina Olguín Jacobson

I am interested in the relationship between kelp forest ecosystems and sustainable fishery cooperatives. For this postdoc, I will focus on socio-ecological systems within fishery cooperatives in Baja California, Mexico, investigating their response and adaptation to environmental changes such as climate change, as well as social and global changes such as the COVID-19 pandemic through oceanographic and ecological monitoring.





Veronica Pagowski

Veronica is a PhD student broadly interested in larval biology as various scales, from molecules to ecosystems. In the first part of her PhD, she worked on describing larval nervous systems and investigating how these simple nervous systems coordinate sophisticated larval behaviors. In the Micheli lab, she is excited to tackle questions relating to larval ecology, investigating larval behavior in the context of different environmental conditions and as they relate to population connectivity. Broadly, she is interested in understanding how marine larvae navigate the open ocean and what impacts their movement has on local and global ecosystems. 

Melissa Palmisciano

I'm interested in studying the ecology of climate change resilience in kelp forest habitats, as well as applied management and restoration. I plan to examine how multiple stressors, such as ocean acidification, hypoxia, and increasing temperatures impact marine organisms, and how these effects scale up to whole communities. My research will focus on identifying the "winners and losers" from climate change in kelp ecosystems using field and mesocosm experiments and modeling. 



Ceyenna Tillman

I am a biology PhD student with research interests in coral reef community ecology, anthropogenic change, species interactions, and community resilience and stability. I am also dedicated to the diversification of the fields of marine biology and ecology and evolution, as well as equity within academia and in the sense of access to and utilization of natural resources. Before becoming a grad student at Stanford, I was a CAMINO scholar at UC Santa Cruz where I earned a B.S. in Marine Biology. During this time I participated in research involving coral microbiomes, salamander response to heat stress, marine mammal fatality surveys, and more. 

Juan Carlos Villaseñor-Derbez

I am a postdoctoral scholar working with Dr. Fiorenza Micheli at the Hopkins Marine Station. I study coupled human-natural systems, with an emphasis on fisheries and conservation policy. I am particularly interested in how ecological processes shape human incentives and how human actions can modify the environment. I draw from my training in oceanography, ecology, and environmental economics and combine geospatial, econometric, and machine learning methods to answer questions around the design and evaluation of policy interventions that seek to conserve and manage natural resources.