Nine early-career scientists named 2018 Delta Science Fellows

Credit: USFWS Tiffany Heinz
March 22, 2018
Media Contact— Caitlin Coomber / / 858-534-0580

On behalf of the Delta Science Program, California Sea Grant is pleased to announce nine recipients of the 2018 Delta Science Fellowship. Each fellowship provides two years of support to awardees to pursue research on key topics related to water issues and ecosystem health in the San Francisco Bay-Delta. The Bay-Delta region is largest estuary on the Pacific coast of the Americas. It’s a key agricultural region, and also provides drinking water to millions of Californians, as well as habitats for fish and other wildlife.

The early-career scientists work collaboratively with academic and community mentors to address priority issues identified in the Delta Stewardship Council’s long-term management plan.

“We are thrilled to have gifted young scientists help us reconcile the co-equal goals of ecosystem sustainability and water supply reliability,” said John Callaway, the lead scientist of the Delta Science Program. “By helping fill critical gaps in our understanding of the current and changing Bay-Delta system, our water and environmental policy will continue to be driven by the best available science.”

California Sea Grant administers the fellowship program on behalf of the Delta Science Program. State Water Contractors (SWC) provided additional financial commitment to support one fellow. The recipients include eight University of California postdoctoral researchers and doctoral graduate students, and one postdoctoral researcher from the University of Washington.

The 2018 Delta Science Fellowship awardees are:

  • Tyler Anthony, a UC Berkeley doctoral student testing the impacts and efficacy of soil type as a driver of agricultural climate change response in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta
  • Matthew Bogard, a University of Washington postdoctoral researcher producing an integrated, net ecosystem carbon budget to reevaluate the ecosystem services and food web functions of the coastal wetland ecosystem
  • Alexis Fischer, a UC Santa Cruz postdoctoral researcher conducting a physiological assessment to understand what has caused recent declines in phytoplankton, an important basis of the Delta food web
  • Stefanie Helmrich, a UC Merced doctoral student using computer models to simulate methylmercury production and transport at the sediment‐water interface to improve water management and rehabilitation processes
  • Levi Lewis, a UC Davis postdoctoral researcher using otolith Sr isotope geochemistry and aging methods to reconstruct historical patterns in growth and habitat use for Longfin Smelt
  • Megan Sabal,* a UC Santa Cruz doctoral student observing how habitat, hatcheries, and nonnative predators interact to affect juvenile salmon behavior and survival
  • Katherine Smith, a UC Davis postdoctoral researcher investigating the resilience of the endangered salt marsh harvest mouse and best management practices in response to climate change
  • Pedro Alejandro Triana Garcia, a UC Davis doctoral student studying the effects of copper exposure on the olfactory response of delta smelt
  • Yuzo Yanagitsuru, a UC Davis doctoral student evaluating the effect of temperature and salinity on physiological performance and growth of longfin smelt

*Funded by the State Water Contractors (SWC)

About California Sea Grant

NOAA’s California Sea Grant College Program funds marine research, education and outreach throughout California. Our headquarters is at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego; we are one of 33 Sea Grant programs in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Department of Commerce.