Estes & Tinker Lab and Santa Cruz Field Station

A cooperative unit of United States Geological Survey and University of California, Santa Cruz

Jim phots

Mike Kenner, Biological Technician
University of California, Santa Cruz


My main interests lie in the area of kelp forest ecology. I've been part of what is now the Tinker/Estes lab since 1984 and have been monitoring permanent intertidal and subtidal sites at San Nicolas Island in southern California since then. I have also been involved in benthic habitat sampling in Baja California , central and northern California , Washington, southeast Alaska , throughout the Aleutian Islands and Bering Islands in Russia . In addition to my ecosystem work, I assist with the semi-annual California sea otter census both as a counter and by entering the data into GIS, and I'm one of the divers that captures sea otters for tagging and instrumentation studies.


BS University of California , Irvine 1980 Biological Sciences

MS California State University, Hayward and Moss Landing Marine Laboratories 1988 Marine Sciences


Kenner , M.C. 1987. Population ecology of Strongylocentrotus purpuratus inhabiting sublittoral coralline mats within the range of the sea otter in California . M.S. Thesis, California State University , Hayward and Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, CA, 64pp.

Bodkin, J.L. and M.C. Kenner 1988. A Preliminary Report on the Demography of the Spiny Lobster, Panulirus Interruptus, at San Nicolas Island, CA Fifth Biennial Mugu Lagoon / San Nicolas Island Symposium Proceedings, Pt. Mugu, CA 1988, pp. 75-82.

Kenner , M.C. and M.T. Lares 1991. Size at First Reproduction of the Sea Urchin Strongylocentrotus Purpuratus in a Central California Kelp Forest . Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 76: 303-306. 

Kenner , M.C. 1992. Population Dynamics of the Sea Urchin Strongylocentrotus Purpuratus in a Central California Kelp Forest : Recruitment, Mortality, Growth, and Diet. Mar. Biol. 112: 107-118.

T. A. Ebert, J. C. Hernández, S. Clemente, M. P. Russell, L. V. Basch, R. A. Boolootian, P. M. Detwiler, M. C. Kenner, A. L. Lawrence, J. M. Lawrence, D. L. Leighton, J. S. Palleiro, and J. S. Pearse 2013.  Half a century (1954-2009) of dissection data of sea urchins from the North American pacific coast (Mexico to Canada).  Ecology 94:2109–2110.

Michael C. Kenner, James A. Estes, M. Tim Tinker, James L. Bodkin, Robert K. Cowen, Christopher Harrold, Brian B. Hatfield, Mark Novak, Andrew Rassweiler, and Daniel C. Reed 2013. A multi-decade time series of kelp forest community structure at San Nicolas Island, California (USA). Ecology 94:2654–2654

Kira A. Krumhansl, Daniel K. Okamoto, Andrew Rassweiler, Mark Novak, John J. Bolton, Kyle C. Cavanaugh, Sean D. Connell, Craig R. Johnson, Brenda Konar, Scott D. Ling, Fiorenza Micheli, Kjell M. Norderhaug, Alejandro Pérez-Matus, Isabel Sousa-Pinto, Daniel C. Reed, Anne K. Salomon, Nick T. Shears, Thomas Wernberg, Robert J. Anderson, Nevell S. Barrett, Alejandro H. Buschmann, Mark H. Carr, Jennifer E. Caselle, Sandrine Derrien-Courtel, Graham J. Edgar, Matt Edwards, James A. Estes, Claire Goodwin, Michael C. Kenner, David J. Kushner, Frithjof E. Moy, Julia Nunn, Robert S. Steneck, Julio Vásquez, Jane Watson, Jon D. Witman, and Jarrett E. K. Byrnes 2016. Global patterns of kelp forest change over the past half-century. PNAS 113: 13785-13790. 


Kenner , Michael C. Ecology of a Cryptic Population of Strongylocentrotus Purpuratus Inhabiting Sublittoral Coralline Mats. 66th Annual Meeting of the Western Society of Naturalists, December 1985 

Kenner , Michael C. Macrocystis Canopy and Kelp Recruitment Cycling at San Nicolas Island, California . 71st Annual Meeting of the Western Society of Naturalists, December 1990. 

Kenner , Michael C. and James A. Estes. Demography of Giant Kelp Populations at San Nicolas Island , California . Fifth International Temperate Reef Symposium, Cape Town , South Africa , January 2000.

Kenner , Michael C. and James A. Estes, Subtidal Ecosystem Changes at San Nicolas Island , California . Sixth California Islands Symposium, December 2003 

Kenner , Michael C. San Nicolas Island Subtidal baseline Project: Over 30 years and still counting, Eighth California Islands Symposium, October 2012

Michael C. Kenner and Martin T. Tinker. Stability and change in kelp forest habitats at San Nicolas Island,  Ninth California Islands Symposium, October 2016







Contact Us: USGS Santa Cruz Field Station - 100 Shaffer Road - Center for Ocean Health - Room 251 - Santa Cruz, CA 95060 - 831 459-2357 -