Noyo Center Talks Science: Sea Star Wasting Syndrome

September 19, 2022

Impacts of Sea Star Wasting Syndrome
and the Outlook for Recovery along California’s North Central Coast

Wednesday, September 28, 2022
6:30 PM on Zoom


Guest Presenters:
Laura Anderson, Research Specialist
Melissa Douglas, Research Specialist

Sea star wasting syndrome (SSWS) is a disease that affects more than twenty sea star species along the west coast of North America. SSWS was first observed in 2013 by Multi-Agency Rocky Intertidal Network (MARINe) researchers in Washington and has since impacted sea star populations from Alaska to Mexico. SSWS is considered one of the largest marine disease outbreaks ever recorded. We will be giving an overview of the disease, with a focus on our observations, data, and outlook for recovery along the north central coast of California.

Melissa Douglas began working in the intertidal in 2004 as a student intern in Dr. Pete Raimondi’s lab at UC Santa Cruz, and continued as a research specialist within the lab after obtaining her bachelor’s degree in marine biology. She grew up camping in Fort Bragg every summer and loves every chance to work in this beautiful area.

Laura Anderson completed her undergraduate degree at UC Santa Cruz and then got her masters at UBC in Vancouver, Canada. She now works in the Raimondi Lab where she’s been conducting intertidal surveys for 13 years, with a focus on seaweed restoration.

Laura, Melissa, and the rest of Dr. Raimondi’s team at UC Santa Cruz monitor the tidepools as part of a large consortium called MARINe, conducting the same surveys at 200+ sites from Alaska to Mexico. Data collected by MARINe have been utilized for many purposes, such as analyzing impacts from oil spills and marine diseases, assessing effectiveness of Marine Protected Areas, and informing species management.

Noyo Center for Marine Science presents these science talks with no fee to attend, although we greatly appreciate a suggested contribution of $10 to help offset the expense of staff time to bring you these events. Thank you for your your support.