Fiorenza Micheli

Fiorenza Micheli
Marine Ecology

(831) 655-6250

Website: Micheli Lab

Fiorenza MicheliFiorenza Micheli received her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research interests include species interactions and species-habitat relationships in marine communities, the direct and indirect effects of natural and anthropogenic disturbances in the coastal marine environment, and the applications of community ecology to the conservation and restoration of marine ecosystems. She has conducted her research in a variety of marine ecosystems, including coastal intertidal and subtidal rocky reefs, estuaries, salt marshes, sea grasses, mangroves, coral reefs, coastal pelagic ecosystems, and deep-sea hydrothermal vents.

Current research in Professor Micheli's laboratory focuses on evaluating and understanding the processes and interactions shaping coastal marine communities and incorporating this understanding in the management and conservation of marine biodiversity. Current projects examine: (1) the separate and joint effects of natural and human disturbances on nearshore marine communities; (2) the persistence and recovery of abalone populations in central California and Baja California to elucidate the factors and processes that promote or prevent the recovery of species and assemblages following major perturbations; (3) the relationship between structure and diversity of marine communities and ecological function and services; (4) the role of top predators in nearshore and pelagic ecosystems, and the ecological consequences of their depletion through fishing; (5) the trajectories of recovery of community structure and function once human disturbance is removed (e.g., within marine reserves); (6) the design and evaluation of MPA networks in the Bahamas, the Mediterranean, California, USA, and Baja California, Mexico; (7) quantifying the cumulative impacts of multiple anthropogenic stressors on marine ecosystems, and investigating their consequences on ecosystem structure, functioning, and services; and (8) environmental, social, and economic influences on the dynamics and sustainability of small-scale fisheries along the Pacific coast of Baja California, Mexico.

In addition to field research, Professor Micheli's group uses modeling and synthetic approaches for exploring the effectiveness of different management and conservation strategies and for producing generalizations about community responses to natural and anthropogenic disturbances. Empirical evaluation of the effectiveness of marine reserve networks is complemented by modeling studies of how different reserve designs influence assemblages of interacting species. Current projects are also compiling and synthesizing available data from published studies and monitoring programs to examine the effects of fishing on the structure and function of marine ecosystems and evaluate recovery following the establishment of marine protected areas.

Selected Publications

Costello C., A. Rassweiler, D. Siegel, G. De Leo, F. Micheli, and A. Rosenberg. 2010. The value of spatial information in MPA network design. PNAS. IN PRESS

Kellner, J.B., S. Litvin, A. Hastings, F. Micheli, P. Mumby. 2010. Disentangling trophic interactions inside a Caribbean marine reserve. Ecological Applications. IN PRESS

Wood, C.L., K. Lafferty and F. Micheli. 2010. Fishing out marine parasites: Impacts of fishing on rates of parasitism in the ocean. Ecology Letters. 13: 761-775.

Halpern, B.S., S. Waldbridge, K.A. Selkoe, C. V. Kappel, F. Micheli and 14 others. 2008. A global map of human impact on marine ecosystems. Science 319: 948-952.

Micheli, F., A. O. Shelton, S. M. Bushinsky, A. L. Chiu, A. J. Haupt, K. W. Heiman, C. V. Kappel, M. C. Lynch, R. G. Martone, R. B. Dunbar and J Watanabe. 2008. Persistence of depleted abalones in marine reserves of central California. Biological Conservation 141: 1078-1090.

Micheli, F., M. Bishop, C. H. Peterson and J. Rivera. 2008. Alteration of seagrass species composition and function over two decades. Ecological Monographs 78: 225-244.

Tittensor, D.P., F. Micheli, M. Nystrom, and B. Worm. 2007. Human impacts on the species-area relationship. Ecology Letters 10: 760-772.

Baskett, M.L., F. Micheli, S.A. Levin. 2007. Designing marine reserves for interacting species: insights from theory. Biological Conservation 137: 163-179.

Stevenson C., L. Katz, F. Micheli, B. Block, K. Heiman, C. Perle, K. Weng, R. Dunbar, J. Witting. 2007. High apex predator biomass in remote Pacific islands. Coral Reefs 26: 47-51.

Worm, B., E. B. Barbier, N. Beaumont, J. E. Duffy, C. Folke, B. S. Halpern, J.B.C. Jackson, H. K. Lotze, F. Micheli, S. Palumbi, E. Sala, K. A. Selkoe, J. J. Stachowicz, R. Watson. 2006. Impacts of biodiversity loss on ocean ecosystem services. Science 314: 787-790.

Micheli, F., and B. S. Halpern. 2005. Low functional redundancy in coastal marine assemblages. Ecology Letters 8: 391-400.

Micheli, F., L. Benedetti-Cecchi, S. Gambaccini, I. Bertocci, C. Borsini, G. C. Osio, and F. Romano. 2005. Cascading human impacts, marine protected areas, and the structure of Mediterranean reef assemblages. Ecological Monographs 75: 81-102.

Micheli, F., B. S. Halpern, L. W. Botsford, and R. R. Warner. 2004. Trajectories and correlates of community change in no-take marine reserves. Ecological Applications 14: 1709-1723.

Micheli F., Peterson C. H., Mullineaux L. S., Fisher C. R., Mills, S. W., Sancho G., Johnson G. A., and Lenihan H. S. 2002. Predation structures communities at deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Ecological Monographs 72: 365-382.

Sagarin R. D., and Micheli F. 2001. Climate change in non-traditional data sets: the case of the Nenana Ice Classic. Science 294: 811.

Micheli F. 1999. Eutrophication, fisheries, and consumer-resource dynamics in marine pelagic ecosystems. Science 285: 1396-1398.