John J. Stachowicz

John Stachowicz

Position Title
Department Chair; Professor

Department of Evolution and Ecology, College of Biological Sciences
Center for Population Biology
Coastal and Marine Sciences Institute

4330 Storer

Research Interests

Marine Community and Evolutionary Ecology

Research in our lab concerns the ecological causes of patterns of biodiversity, and the consequences of variation in diversity for populations, communities and ecosystems. The vast diversity of life forms in the marine environment (many of the animal phyla are exclusively marine, or nearly so) makes it a rewarding system for addressing these sorts of issues. We study organisms from all over the tree of life, including vascular plants, algae (seaweed), bacteria, and a range of invertebrate taxa including corals, hydroids, crabs, echinoderms, polychaetes, ascidians, bryozoans, and gastropods.  The main issues my research has focused on are the effects of species diversity on communities and ecosystems, the ecological consequences of genetic diversity, facilitation and mutualisms, the ecology and evolution of decorator crabs, and biological invasions.  Much of our local field work occurs in the area of Bodega and Tomales Bays, but we work collaboratively elsewhere in California and around the world.

Grad Group Affiliations

  • Ecology
  • Population Biology

Specialties / Focus

  • Community Ecology
  • Evolutionary Ecology and Life History Strategies
  • Population Interactions


  • BIS 2B Ecology and Evolution
  • EVE 115 Marine Ecology

Field Sites

  • Bodega, Tomales, and San Francisco Bays (CA).   

Honors and Awards

  • Ecological Society of America, Mercer Award
  • UC Davis Chancellor's Fellow
  • Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow
  • College of Biological Sciences Faculty Teaching Award
  • Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award
  • Ecological Society of America Fellow

    Professional Societies

    • Ecological Society of America
    • Western Society of Naturalists
    • American Society of Naturalists


    • 1993 Biology Dartmouth College
    • 1998 PhD University of North Carolina

    Recent Publications

    see for full list and links to pdfs

    Reynolds PL, JJ Stachowicz, et al. 2018. Latitude, temperature and habitat complexity predict predation pressure in eelgrass beds across the northern hemisphere.  Ecology. 99:29-35

    Abbott, J.M., S.L. Williams, R.K. Grosberg, and J.J. Stachowicz. 2017. Multiple dimensions of intraspecific diversity affect biomass of eelgrass and its associated community. Ecology 98: 3152–3164

    Fahimipour A., Kardish M., Lang J, Green J., Eisen J, and Stachowicz, J.J. 2017. Global-scale structure of the eelgrass microbiome. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 83 (12) e03391-16.

    Bulleri, F, J.F. Bruno, B. Silliman, and J.J. Stachowicz. 2015. Facilitation and the niche: implications for coexistence, range shifts and ecosystem functioning. Functional Ecology 30:70-78.

    Best, R.J. and J.J. Stachowicz. 2014. Phenotypic and phylogenetic evidence for the importance of food and habitat in the assembly of communities of herbivorous marine amphipods. Ecology 95:775–786

    Afkhami, M.E., J. Rudgers, and J.J. Stachowicz. 2014. Multiple Mutualist Effects: Conflict and synergy in multispecies mutualisms. Ecology 95(4): 833-843

    Stachowicz, J.J., S.J. Kamel, A.R. Hughes, and R.K. Grosberg. 2013. Genetic relatedness influences plant biomass accumulation in eelgrass (Zostera marina). American Naturalist. 181:715-724.

    Hultgren, K. and J.J. Stachowicz. 2011. Camouflage in decorator crabs: Integrating ecological, behavioural and evolutionary approaches. Pages 214-229 in M. Stevens and S. Merlaita (eds). Animal Camouflage. Cambridge University Press.