Raphael M. Kudela

Professor, Ocean Sciences Department

Ph.D., University of Southern California

Office: E&MS A461
Office Phone: 831-459-3290
Lab Phone: 9-2688, 9-4298 (labs)

Email: kudela@ucsc.edu

  Class web pages  
I am a phytoplankton ecologist who wishes to understand the fundamental question: what controls phytoplankton growth and distribution in the ocean. More specifically, how do the multiple interactions of light, macro- and micronutrients and phytoplankton physiology determine the rates, processes, and patterns we observe in the marine environment? Oceanography is rapidly moving away from observational science towards an understanding of underlying mechanistic processes at all scales, in part because of the wealth of revolutionary new technological and scientific advances. My approach is to combine a suite of 3 tools: (1) remotely sensed data from moorings and satellites in combination with biological models; (2) novel bio-optical methods assaying phytoplankton physiology; and (3) the refinement of stable and radio-tracer isotopes.  
Specific Research: We are currently working on several projects in the laboratory and field, primarily in central California.  

CeNCOOS: We are part of a multi-institution program (the Central and Northern California Ocean Observing System) which aims to make ocean information available to the public. The CeNCOOS website has many more details.

Cal-PReEMPT: In collaboration with Dr. Gregg Langlois at the California Department of Public Health, we developed better monitoring tools for Harmful Algal Blooms occurring in the state of California, with funding from the NOAA MERHAB program. This was a multi-year effort involving Peter Miller (lead PI) and Mary Silver at UCSC, as well as Rick Stumpf (NOAA) and collaborators in Oregon and Washington states. See the Cal-PreEMPT webpage for details. Although the project ended in 2010, we have ongoing activities through CeNCOOS and other partnerships.

NASA projects: A physiological model of nitrogen utilization by natural phytoplankton assemblages which can predict new production in coastal waters using remotely sensed data (AVHRR and ocean color data) or moorings was developed as part of NASA grant NAG5-6563. As part of the EPA funded Coastal Intensive Sites Network (CISNet; NASA grant NAG5-7632), we also developed regional algorithms (pigments, CDOM, sediments, new production) along a gradient of water conditions, from the blue-water stations occupied off central California to the turbid waters of San Pablo Bay. These methods are currently being applied to ongoing projects.Most recently we have been working on improving primary production algorithms.

CoOP: As part of the CoOP program River Influences on Shelf Ecosystems (RISE), we evaluated the role of the Columbia River Plume in modulating coastal productivity. This program was also 5 years, with 4 field seasons and an integrated modeling component. More information is available here.

Selected Publications (click the PDF link for reprints):  

Zehr, JP, and RM Kudela. 2011. Nitrogen cycle of the open ocean: from genes to ecosystems. Annu. Rev. Mar. Sci., 3: 5.1-5.29

Kudela, RM. 2010. Does horizontal mixing explain phytoplankton dynamics? PNAS, 107(43):18235-18236

Kudela, RM, AR Horner-Devine, NS Banas, BM Hickey, TD Peterson, RM McCabe, EJ Lessard, E Frame, KW Bruland, DA Jay, JO Peterson, WT Peterson, PM Kosro, SL Palacios, MC Lohan, and EP Dever. 2010. Multiple trophic levels fueled by recirculation in the Columbia River plume. Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1029/2010GL044342

Miller MA, Kudela RM, Mekebri A, Crane D, Oates SC, Tinker MT, Staedler M, Miller WA, Toy-Choutka S, Dominik C, Hardin D, Langlois G, Murray M, Ward K, Jessup DA. 2010. Evidence for a novel marine harmful algal bloom: Cyanotoxin (microcystin) transfer from land to sea otters. PLoS ONE 5:e12576 [LINK]

Zehr, JP and RM Kudela. 2009. Photosynthesis in the open ocean. Science, 326: 945-946.

Kahru, M, RM Kudela, M Manzano-Sarabia, and BG Mitchell. 2009. Trends in primary production in the California Current detected with satellite data, Journal of Geophysical Research, 114: C02004, doi:02010.01029/02008JC004979

Lane, JQ, P Raimondi, and RM Kudela. 2009. The development of a logistic regression model for the prediction of toxigenic Pseudo-nitzschia blooms in Monterey Bay, California. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 383: 37-51 [LINK]

Jessup DA, MA Miller, JP Ryan, HM Nevins, HA Kerkering, A Mekebri, DB Crane, TA Johnson, and RM Kudela. 2009. Mass stranding of marine birds caused by a surfactant-producing red tide. Public Library of Science—ONE, 4(2): e4550. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0004550. [LINK]

Kudela, RM, NS Banas, JA Barth, ER Frame, D Jay, JL Largier, EJ Lessard, TD Peterson, and AJ Vander Woude. 2008. New insights into the controls and mechanisms of plankton productivity along the US West Coast. Oceanography, 21(4): 46-59 [LINK]

Kudela, R., G. Pitcher, T. Probyn, F. Figueiras, T. Moita, and V. Trainer. 2005. Harmful Algal Blooms in coastal upwelling systems. Oceanography, 18(2): 184-197. [PDF]

Ryan, J.P., H.M. Dierssen, R.M. Kudela, C.A. Scholin, K.S. Johnson, F.P. Chavez, A.M. Fischer, E.V. Rienecker, P. McEnaney, R. Marin, and J.M. Sullivan. Coastal ocean physics and red tides. Oceanography, 18(2): 214-223. [PDF]

Kudela, R.M. and F.P. Chavez. 2004. The impact of coastal runoff on ocean color during an El Niño year in central California. Deep-Sea Research II, in press. doi:10.1016/j.dsr2.2004.04.002. [PDF]

Coale KH, Johnson KS, Chavez FP, Buesseler KO, Barber RT, Brzezinski MA, Cochlan WP, Millero FJ, Falkowski PG, Bauer JE, Wanninkof RH, Kudela RM, Altabet MA, Hales BE, Takahashi T, Landry MR, Bidigare RR, Wang X, Chase Z, Strutton PG, Friederich GE, Gorbunov MY, Lance VP, Hilting AK, Hiscock MR, Demarest M, Hiscock WT, Sullivan KF, Tanner SJ, Gordon RM, Hunter CN, Elrod VA, Fitzwater SE, Jones JL, Tozzi S, Koblizek M, Roberts AE, Herndon J, Brewster J, Ladizinsky N, Smith G, Cooper D, Sheridan CC, Twining BS, Johnson ZI. 2004. Southern Ocean Iron Enrichment Experiment: Carbon cycling in high- and low-Si waters. Science 304:408-414. [PDF]

Kudela, R, W. Cochlan, and A. Roberts. 2003. Spatial and temporal patterns of Pseudo-nitzschia spp. in central California related regional oceanography. In: Steidinger, K.A., J.H. Landsberg, C.R. Tomas, and G.A. Vargo (Eds.) Harmful Algae 2002. Florida and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida Institute of Oceanography, and Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO. In press. [PDF]

Kudela, R., A. Roberts, and M. Armstrong. 2003. Laboratory analyses of nutrient stress and toxin production in Pseudo-nitzschia spp. from Monterey Bay, California. In: Steidinger, K.A., J.H. Landsberg, C.R. Tomas, and G.A. Vargo (Eds.) Harmful Algae 2002. Florida and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida Institute of Oceanography, and Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO. In press.[PDF]

Berelson, W., J. McManus, K. Coale, K. Johnson, D. Burdige, T. Kilgore, D. Colodner F. Chavez, R. Kudela, J. Boucher. 2003. A time series of benthic flux measurements from Monterey Bay, CA. Continental Shelf Research, 23: 457-481.[PDF]

Kudela, R.M. and F.P. Chavez. 2002. Multi-platform remote sensing of new production in central California during the 1997-1998 El Niño. Progress in Oceanography 54: 233-249. [PDF]

Kudela, R.M. and W.P. Cochlan. 2000. Nitrogen and Carbon Uptake Kinetics and the Influence of Irradiance for a Red Tide Bloom Off  Southern California. Aquat. Microb. Ecol. 21: 31-47. [PDF] large (3.9 MB) file.

Kudela, R.M. and F.P. Chavez. 2000. Modeling the impact of the 1992 El Niño on new production in Monterey Bay, California. Deep-Sea Res. II 47: 1055-1076. [PDF]

Kudela, R.M. and R.C. Dugdale. 2000. Nutrient regulation of phytoplankton productivity in Monterey Bay, California. Deep-Sea Res. II 47: 1023-1053. [PDF]

Wilkerson, F.P. R.C. Dugdale, F.P. Chavez, and R.M. Kudela. 2000. Biomass and productivity in Monterey Bay, CA: contribution of the larger autotrophs. Deep-Sea Res. II 47:1003-1022.[PDF]

Kudela, R.M., W.P. Cochlan and R.C. Dugdale.  1997.  Carbon and nitrogen uptake response to light by phytoplankton during an upwelling event.  J. Plankton Res. 19: 609-630.

Kudela, R.M. and F.P. Chavez.  1996.  Bio-optical properties in relation to an algal bloom caused by iron enrichment in the equatorial Pacific.  Geophys. Res. Letters, 23: 3751-3754.

Coale, K.H., K.S. Johnson, S.E. Fitzwater, R.M. Gordon, S. Tanner, F.P. Chavez, L. Ferioli, C. Sakamoto, P. Rogers, F. Millero, P. Steinberg, P. Nightingale, D. Cooper, W. Cochlan, M.R. Landry, J. Constantinou, G. Rollwagen, A. Trasvina and R. Kudela.  1996.  A massive phytoplankton bloom induced by an ecosystem-scale iron fertilization experiment in the equatorial Pacific Ocean.  Nature 383: 495-501.