Terrestrial Biology, Biodiversity, Ecology & Earth Science Research

Research Groups

Cheadle Center for Biodiversity & Ecological Research (CCBER) — UCSB: CCBER promotes the teaching of diverse undergraduate courses in EEMB, Environmental Studies, and Geology. It also supports faculty, staff, and student research interests by providing field and lab-based resources. In addition, CCBER houses regionally focused collections of terrestrial plants, algae, and vertebrates, as well as an extensive plant anatomy collection. The Center satisfies the University’s obligation to provide stewardship of campus lands, rich in biodiversity. Through the ecological restoration program, the Center encourages land restoration on and near campus.

Current Projects and Collaborations

CCBER — Ecosystem Management Research: The CCBER focuses on four main areas of ecosystem management research: Ecological Research, Restoration Monitoring, Wildlife Surveys, Water Quality Research.


Stan Awaramik
Earth Science: Early history of life on Earth. The major focus is on the fossil record during the Archean and Proterozoic, specifically on microbial fossils and stromatolites.

Doug Burbank
Earth Science: Natural hazards; human impacts; environmental evolution; plate tectonics

Cathy Busby
Earth Science: Sedimentology; geothermal exploration; natural hazards; environmental evolution

Bradley Cardinale
Ecology Evolution & Marine Biology: Preservation/ restoration ecology

Jean Carlson
Physics: Natural hazards, human impacts

James Cooper
Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology: Methodologies to discover green biomaterials

Carla D’Antonio
Ecology Evolution & Marine Biology: Invasive species; species affects on ecosystem processes; restoration ecology

Frank Davis
Bren: Ecology; distribution of conservation of species and ecosystems; rangeland and farmland conservation; the biological implications of regional climate change.

Ruth Finkelstein
Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology: Seed quality and yield/stress tolerance of plants

Bradley Hacker
Earth Science: Environmental evolution of Earth

Patricia Holden
Bren: Understanding the role of natural and anthropogenic bacteria in both environmental restoration and environmental degradation.

Jacob Israelachvili
Chemical Engineering: Intermolecular and intersurface forces in biological, complex fluid and materials systems. Current research includes biomimicary of geckos.

Bruce Kendall
Bren: Theoretical ecology; spatial ecology; human impacts and earth system science

Jennifer King
Geography: Research focuses on investigating biogeochemical processes and natural and human-induced environmental changes to address questions relating to terrestrial ecology, atmospheric science, and soil science.

James Langer
Physics: Nonequilibrium phenomena such as the kinetics of phase transitions, pattern formation in fluid dynamics and crystal growth, earthquakes, and – most recently – the dynamics of deformation and failure in noncrystalline solids.

Jonathan Levine
Ecology Evolution & Marine Biology: Exotic plant invasions; species diversity and ecosystem function; mechanisms underlying rare plant persistence; determinants of commonness, and rarity.

Bruce Lipschutz
Chemistry: Recyclable reagent alternatives

Bruce Mahall
Ecology Evolution & Marine Biology: Physiological plant ecology; phenology, water relations, productivity, root dynamics, controls of community structures and plant distributions.

Joe McFadden
Geography: Land-use/ land-cover change, biosphere and atmosphere interactions, Earth system science, sustainability science, urban ecology.

Greg Mohr
Environmental Studies: Environmental planning, and restoration

Daniel Morse
Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology: Environmentally benign new routes to synthesis of high-performance materials.

Eduardo Orias
Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology: Construction of Tetrahymena cell lines capable of fluorescing in real time in response to environmental toxicants, including heavy metals.

John Perona
Chemistry/ Biochemistry: Biogeochemistry; t-RNA; climate change

Susannah Porter
Earth Science: Porter Lab studies prehistoric multicellular organisms, including animals, and first evolved in order to track the response of biota to environmental change as coupled with genetic differentiation.

Josh Schimel
Environmental Studies/ Ecology Evolution & Marine Biology: Understanding the dynamics of soil organic matter in the Arctic, investigating carbon in the Arctic soil and its relationship to climate change.

Susan Smazer
Ecology Evolution & Marine Biology: Quantitative genetics of plant life-history characters and ecological significance of life-history variation; molecular applications in evolutionary ecology.

Chris Still
Geography: Biogeochemistry, biogeography, sustainability science, ecological climatology, climate change, carbon cycling, plant ecophysiology, and stable isotopes.

Michael Stohl
Communications/ Statistics: New Zealand Sustainability

Samuel Sweet
Ecology Evolution & Marine Biology: Distributional ecology and systematics of western North American and Australian amphibians and reptiles, conservation biology.

Theofanis Theofanous
Chemical Engineering: Risk assessment and management in complex technological and environmental systems.

Bruce Tiffney
Earth Science: Evolution of plant ecosystems; terrestrial plant response to climate change

Dave Valentine
Earth Science: Biogeochemical cycling of organic material, methane, and hydrogen in microbially-dominated environments, microbially-mediated transformations of energy and organic matter in marine environments.

Andy Wyss
Earth Science: Phylogenetic analysis and the application of mammalian paleontology to geological problems.