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James Watanabe


Hopkins Marine Station
Stanford University
Pacific Grove, CA  

Marine Ecology & Invertebrate Zoology

WatanabeDr. James M. Watanabe received his PhD in zoology from UC Berkeley. His background and research interests lie in the fields of invertebrate zoology and marine ecology, with particular emphasis on kelp forests and rocky intertidal communities. Prior to joining the faculty at Stanford University's Hopkins Marine Station in 1994, he directed the research program at the Monterey Bay Aquarium for 10 years.

Dr. Watanabe has conducted research on the distribution and abundance of kelp forest invertebrates, the dynamics of sea urchin-mediated deforestations, and the physiological ecology of kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera and Pterygophora californica). These studies have focused on predator-prey interactions, interspecific competition, and the effects of disturbance on marine organisms. He is also interested in the statistical problems of detecting changes in natural populations through time.

Dr. Watanabe's primary responsibility at Hopkins Marine Station is undergraduate teaching. During winter, spring, and summer quarters he teaches subjects ranging from introductory biology and invertebrate zoology to kelp forest ecology, experimental design, and statistics. His courses attempt to nuture an appreciation for the natural world through accumulation of detailed knowledge and hands-on experience.

Dr. Watanabe has supervised numerous undergraduate research projects and honors theses, with topics ranging from the effects of spatial scale on distribution of intertidal invertebrates, diversity of subtidal rock wall assemblages, and effects of nitrogen limitation on red algal pigments, to foraging behavior of sea otters, impacts of harbor seal haul-out behavior on sessile intertidal communities, and intertidal zonation of herbivorous gastropods.

Selected Publications

Watanabe, J.M. 2007. Invertebrates, Overview in M.W. Denny and S.D. Gaines, eds. Encyclopedia of tidepools and rocky shores. Univ. of California Press, Berkeley, CA.

Watanabe, J.M., et al. 1992. Physiological response of the stipitate understory kelp, Pterygophora californica Ruprecht, to shading by the giant kelp, Macrocystis pyrifera C. Agardh. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 159(2):237-252.

Watanabe, J.M. and C. Harrold. 1991. Destructive grazing by sea urchins Strongylocentrotus spp. in a central California kelp forest: Potential roles of recruitment, depth, and predation. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 71(2):125-141.

Harrold, C., J.M. Watanabe, and S. Lisin. 1988. Spatial variation in the structure of kelp forest communities along a wave exposure gradient. Marine Ecology. 9(2):131-156.

Watanabe, J.M. 1984. Food preference, food quality and diets of three herbivorous gastropods (Trochidae: Tegula) in a temperate kelp forest habitat. Oecologia. 62(1):47-52.

Watanabe, J.M. 1984. The influence of recruitment, competition, and benthic predation on spatial distributions of three species of kelp forest gastropods (Trochidae; Tegula ). Ecology. 65(3):920-936.

Watanabe, J.M. 1983. Anti-predator defenses of three kelp forest gastropods: Contrasting adaptations of closely-related prey species. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 71(3):257-270.