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About the Wasson Lab


We conduct conservation research in estuarine ecosystems.

(Erika Mahoney/KAZU)

We work at the interface between academic research and applied conservation practice. All Wasson lab members are affiliated both with University of California, Santa Cruz and with the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve and we all carry out much of our fieldwork in coastal habitats of the Elkhorn Slough watershed.


NERR Crab Paper is OUT!

California’s Elkhorn Slough Reservecollaborated with scientists from 14 other sites in 13 coastal states to conduct this study. They found crab burrows in just under half of the plots they sampled. In only four estuaries did researchers find evidence that crabs were having a negative effect on marsh vegetation. This indicates that it is unlikely that crabs pose a major threat to U.S. salt marshes at a broad scale. For more information see the citation below or click here!

Wasson, K., K. Raposa, M. Almeida, K. Beheshti, J. A. Crooks, A. Deck, N. Dix, C. Garvey, J. Goldstein, D. S. Johnson, S. Lerberg, P. Marcum, C. Peter, B. Puckett, J. Schmitt, E. Smith, K. S. Laurent, K. Swanson, M. Tyrrell, and R. Guy. 2019. Pattern and scale: evaluating generalities in crab distributions and marsh dynamics from small plots to a national scale. Ecology 00(00):e02813. 10.1002/ecy.2813

Featured Story


Dr. Kerstin Wasson is leading a collaborative effort (ESNERR, Moss Landing Marine Labs, Sonoma State University) exploring the potential of aquaculture as a way to restore native oyster populations.

(Erika Mahoney/KAZU)
(Erika Mahoney/KAZU)

The story was featured on KAZU’s the California Report.

Check it out!


To learn more about our primary study system–visit  our Elkhorn Slough page.

To find out more about the research being conducted by Wasson Lab students visit–People page.