April D. Ridlon

PhD candidate, Department of Ecology, Evolution & Marine Biology

As an ecologist, I am interested in human impacts to predator-prey dynamics in marine systems.  Of central importance to my research is that my questions directly inform the management of marine systems.

My dissertation work focuses on 1) the potential for human activity to induce behavioral cascades in marine systems, particularly coral reefs and 2) the role of "natural" (non-human) predators in facilitating or conveying resistance to marine invasions. Specifically, I am currently using in-situ behavioral experiments to test the effects of both spear fishing and recreational activity such as scuba diving on the anti-predator behavior of herbivorous fish on coral reefs, and I have used lab-based experiments to explore the effects of an introduced predator on existing invasion dynamics in a CA estuary.

Prior to enrolling at UCSB, I pursued questions related to: direct and indirect effects of over-harvesting marine species, small-scale marine protected area design and effectiveness, and the social structure of harems in both elephant seals and neotropical bats.

I am also advised by Dr. Robert Warner.