Gina Contolini earned a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2019. Her research focused on how climate change, especially ocean acidification, can alter how dogwhelks (Nucella emarginata-ostrina) prey on mussels and how that cascades to influence community structure. Gina has also received marine ecology training from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute’s Noas Marine Lab in Panama and at the University of Washington’s Friday Harbor Labs on San Juan Island in Washington state. She was a NOAA Hollings scholar in 2011 where she studied maternal effects in summer flounder at the James J. Howard Marine Sciences Laboratory in Sandy Hook, New Jersey.
Gina is working with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Marine Region, which oversees fisheries and habitat management for the entire California coastline. She is involved in the Nearshore and Bay Management project to create an enhanced status report for kelp. Gina's work will provide an overview of kelp in California, outline current management efforts, and address information gaps to direct future research and management.