Tinker & Estes Lab and Santa Cruz Field Station

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

Jim phots

Dr. James A. Estes,
Professor of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology


Our group is interested in the ecology of coastal marine communities, particularly the influences of vertebrate consumers on benthic community structure. Most of our field research has focused on the sea otter in the northeastern Pacific Ocean. We have ongoing research projects in the Aleutian Islands, central California, the Channel Islands, and New Zealand. The central theme of all these studies is to identify the important high-trophic-level consumers and their influences on the organization of the communities within which they live. We are also interested in marine plant- herbivore interactions, the behavioral ecology of marine vertebrates, and the evolution of marine living in mammals

Educational Videos:

1. Some Animals Are More Equal than Others: Keystone Species and Trophic Cascades with Bob Paine and James Estes
2. The Ecological Function of Apex Predators by James Estes


Selected Publications






webmaster: dkhalafi@ucsc.edu

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