Owen Liu

PhD Student, Bren School of Environmental Science & Management

I am a spatial and fisheries ecologist interested in how relationships within and among species inform how we can better manage marine ecosystems and resources.  I use a combination of computer modeling and fieldwork to investigate how basic species' traits like fertility and growth rate, and interactions between species like competition and predation, combine with human pressures to determine the structure and function of marine ecological communities.  I have participated in research projects in New England, California, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Cuba. Some previous and ongoing projects I have worked on include the optimal design of marine protected areas for fisheries benefits; tools for sustainable subsistence fishing in the developing tropics; and, the potential for marine aquaculture to benefit human nutrition while reducing environmental impact. Currently, I am studying the potential effects of the California sea otter on Southern California marine communities and local fisheries.



  • Liu, O.R., Thomas, L., Clemence, M., Fujita, R., Kritzer, J. P., McDonald, G., and Szuwalski, C. (2016). An evaluation of harvest control methods for fishery management. Reviews in Fisheries Science and Aquaculture. 
  • Kritzer, J. P., and Liu, O.R. (2013). Fishery management strategies for addressing complex spatial structure in marine fish stocks. In Cadrin, S.X. et al. (eds.), Stock Identification Methods: Applications in Fisheries Science, 2nd Edition. Academic Press.
  • Liu, O.R. The Confounding Case of the Climate Crisis.  Boston, MA: Tumblehome Learning, 2015.

Mailing Address: 

UCSB Marine Science Institute Bldg 520 Rm 1208 University of California, Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA 93106