Website Update

Crow White


Contact Information

Associate Professor

Office: 33-378
Phone: (805) 756-2954


Google Scholar profile 

The Crow's Nest 

Dive Beneath the Surface

For Prospective Students:

Prospective grad students: please send me a very short email emplaning why you think my lab is a good fit for your graduate studies, the name and research website of a reference person that I may contact, and if you have secured and/or are applying for external funding (e.g., a NSF GRFP). Attach your CV.

Undergraduate Cal Poly students: please fill out this application, then email me with your resume/CV attached. I typically review applications each quarter for recruiting students the following quarter.

Research Profile:

Sustainable management of changing and increasingly crowded marine ecosystems

Research Interests:

The overarching conceptual theme of my research is to understand causes and consequences of spatial and temporal population dynamics of coastal marine species, trophic processes among species in communities and ecosystems, and interactions between marine ecological communities and human users of the ocean, including fisheries, renewable energy and aquaculture industries, and conservationists. A common applied goal of my research is to identify how the implications of the above dynamics can be used to guide sustainable management of renewable natural marine resources and the conservation of marine ecosystems.

Noteworthy focal research topics include:

  • Seascape genetics for estimating patterns of dispersal and population connectivity.
  • Natural and controlled field and laboratory studies for quantifying variation in species demographics and community structure and function in response to human impacts (e.g., fishing).
  • Designing and evaluating marine protected areas and catch shares for promoting sustainable fisheries.
  • Identifying optimal and practical ecosystem-based and marine spatial planning management strategies (of fisheries, aquaculture farms, wind farms, shipping lanes, etc.) for achieving conservation and socioeconomic objectives.


  • Ph.D. Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara 2008
  • M.S. Department of Wildlife Biology, University of Montana, Missoula 2002
  • B.A. Biology (Chemistry minor), University of Oregon, Eugene 1997

Professional Appointments:

  • Associate Professor of Biology, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (2019-present)
  • University Associate, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia (2020)
  • Visiting Scholar (unpaid), National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, University of California, Santa Barbara (2019)
  • Assistant Professor of Biology, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (2013-2019)
  • Project Scientist. Bren School of Environmental Science & Management University of California, Santa Barbara. Sustainable Fisheries Group (2011-2013)
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow. Marine Science Institute, University of California, Santa Barbara. Advisors: Drs. Christopher Costello and Steven Gaines (2008-2011)

Select Research Projects:

  • Spatial property rights fisheries management on an international scale: Bioeconomic evaluation of Exclusive Economic Zones and high seas MPAs on the conservation and value of pelagic fisheries.
  • Making room for offshore marine aquaculture and renewable energy: Empirical evaluation and bioeconomic marine spatial planning of offshore aquaculture farms and wind energy facilities in relation to wild-catch fishery, marine conservation and other ecosystem services.
  • Avoiding the cliff edge: Empirical and bioeconomic evaluation of how marine ecosystem stressors (e.g., fishing, pollution, climate change, etc.) synergistically drive undesirable, nonlinear changes in ecosystem state and resilience.
  • Finding Nemo: Integrating empirical genomic, oceanographic, geochemical and ecological methods for measuring spatial and temporal patterns and drivers of larval dispersal and recruitment (i.e., realized population connectivity) in open-coast marine species populations.

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