Rick Starr was the Director of California Sea Grant's Extension Program and is located at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories (Monterey Bay, central California). He is now retired. Environmental stewardship, long-term economic development and responsible use of California’s coastal and marine resources are at the heart of California Sea Grant's mission. Starr supports this mission by conducting research and outreach programs that focus on the biology and ecology of economically important species to find research-based solutions to marine conservation problems.
Starr is interested in the distribution and movements of marine species, species-habitat associations, and the collection of biological and ecological data for use in fisheries management. He is currently working with commercial and recreational fishing communities to gather information about a variety of nearshore fishes to help evaluate new marine reserves and provide information for stock assessments. Starr also studies deeper-water species using submersible, ROV, and drop camera techniques to evaluate species compositions, sizes, and distributions of fishes. His field research experience includes:
- principal investigator or chief scientist on more than 300 research cruises
- more than 1,000 hours of SCUBA-based research
- over 180 submersible dives (six as pilot)
- participation in numerous remotely operated vehicle (ROV) cruises
- surgically implanting acoustic tags in fishes
- marine science education and community outreach
In addition to conducting research, Starr helps organizations conduct workshops to evaluate and disseminate information useful for the development of marine policies. He helped create the California Collaborative Fisheries Research Program, a group that promotes the collaboration of fishermen and scientists to better understand the health of fish stocks and marine ecosystems in California. Additionally, he provides technical advice to governmental agencies, environmental organizations and resource users to help coordinate coastal resource management plans.
Education and Outreach Partners
In 2000, Starr helped create Camp SEA Lab, Monterey Bay, a marine science education camp for grades K through 12.
Starr earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia before obtaining his master's from Oregon State University and doctorate from the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Sur.
In addition to his professional work, Starr is an avid kayaker. He has run difficult rivers in many parts of the world and was a member of the U.S. Surf Kayak Team that won the 1999 world championships in Brazil and the 2005 world championships in Costa Rica. His current passion is underwater photography.
Peer Reviewed Publications
Green, K. M., A. P. Greenley, and R. M. Starr. 2014. Movements of Blue Rockfish (Sebastes mystinus) off central California, with comparisons to similar species. PLoS ONE. 9(6): 1-11.
Starr, R.M., J. Cortés, C.L. Barnes, K. Green, and O. Breedy. 2012. Characterization of deepwater invertebrates at Isla del Coco National Park and Las Gemelas Seamounts, Costa Rica. Rev. Biol. Trop. 60 (Suppl. 3): 303-319. Epub 2012 Dec 01.
Yochum, N., R.M. Starr, and D.E. Wendt. 2011. Utilizing Fishermen Knowledge and Expertise: Keys to Success for Collaborative Fisheries Research. Fisheries. Vol. 36 (12): 593-605.
Starr, R.M., M. Carr, D. Malone, A. Greenley, and S. McMillan. 2010. Complementary Sampling Methods to Inform Ecosystem-Based Management of Nearshore Fisheries. Marine and Coastal Fisheries: Dynamics, Management, and Ecosystem Science. 2: 159–179.
Wendt, D.E. and R.M. Starr. 2009. Collaborative Research: An Effective Way to Collect Data for Stock Assessments and Evaluate Marine Protected Areas in California. Marine and Coastal Fisheries: Dynamics, Management, and Ecosystem Science. 1: 315–324.
Starr, R.M., E. Sala, E. Ballesteros and M. Zabala. 2007. Spatial dynamics of the Nassau grouper (Epinephelus striatus) in a Caribbean atoll. Marine Ecology Progress Series.Vol. 343: 239-249.
Starr, R.M., V. O’Connell, S. Ralston and L. Breaker. 2005. Use of acoustic tags to estimate natural mortality, spillover, and movements of lingcod (Ophiodon elongatus) in a marine reserve. Marine Technology Society Journal. Spring 2005, Vol. 39, No. 1, pp. 19-30.
Starr, R.M., V. O’Connell and S. Ralston. 2004. Movements of lingcod (Ophiodon elongatus) in southeast Alaska: potential for increased conservation and yield from marine reserves. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, Vol. 61, No. 7. pp. 1083 -1094.
Starr, R.M., J.M. Cope and L.A. Kerr. 2002. Trends in fisheries and fishery resources associated with the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary from 1981-2001. California Sea Grant College System Publication T- 046. 156 pp.
Starr, R.M., J.N. Heine, J.M. Felton and G.M. Cailliet. 2002. Movements of bocaccio (Sebastes paucispinis) and greenspotted (Sebastes chlorostictus) rockfishes in a Monterey submarine canyon: Implications for the design of marine reserves. Fishery Bulletin Vol. 100, No. 2. pp. 324-337.
Sala, E., E. Ballesteros and R.M. Starr. 2001. Rapid decline of Nassau grouper spawning aggregations in Belize: Fishery management and conservation needs. Journal American Fisheries Society. Vol. 26. No. 10. pp. 23-30.
Yoklavich, M., G. Cailliet, R.N. Lea, H.G. Greene, R. M. Starr, J. De Marignac and J. Field. 2001. Deepwater habitat and fish resources associated with a marine reserve: implications for fisheries management, Part 1. California Sea Grant College Program. Marine Ecological Reserves Research Program Research Results R/BC 1.
Starr, R.M., J.N. Heine and K.A. Johnson. 2000. In situ techniques for tagging and tracking rockfishes. North American Journal of Fisheries Management, Vol. 20:597-609.
Voegeli. F.A. and R.M. Starr. 2000. Automated monitoring of fish movements and data telemetry from acoustic tags. In: Eiler J. H., Alcorn D. J. and Neuman M. R., (Eds.) Biotelemetry 15, pp. 202-211.
Greene, H.G., M.M. Yoklavich, R.M. Starr, V.M. O’Connell, W.W. Wakefield, D.E. Sullivan, J.E. McRea and G.M. Cailliet. 1999. A seafloor classification scheme for deep water marine benthic and fisheries habitats. Oceanologica Acta, Vol. 22 (6): 663-678.
Murray, S., R. Ambrose, J. Bohnsack, L. Botsford, M. Carr, G. Davis, P. Dayton, D. Gotshall, D. Gunderson, M. Hixon, J. Lubchenco, M. Mangel, A. McCall, D. McArdle, J. Ogden, C. Pomeroy, J. Roughgarden, R. M. Starr, M. Tegner and M. Yoklavich. 1999. No-take Reserve Networks: Sustaining Fishery Populations and Marine Ecosystems. Journal American Fisheries Society, Vol. 24 (11): 11-25.
Starr, R.M. and R.E. Thorne. 1998. Acoustic assessment of squid stocks. pp. 181-198 in: P.G. Rodhouse, E.G. Dawe, and R.K. O’Dor (eds.): Squid recruitment dynamics: the genus Illex as a model, the commercial Illex species and influences on variability. FAO Fish. Tech. Pap. No. 376. Rome, Italy.
Starr, R.M. 1998. Design principles for rockfish reserves on the U.S. West Coast. pp. 50-63 in: Yoklavich, M. (ed.) Marine harvest refugia for west coast rockfish: a workshop. NOAA, NMFS Tech. Memo. NOAA-TM-NMFS-SWFSC-255. 159 pp.
Starr, R.M., K.A. Johnson, N. Laman and G.M. Cailliet. 1998. Fishery resources of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. California Sea Grant College System Publication No. T-042, 101 pp.
Yoklavich, M., R. M. Starr, J. Steger, H.G. Greene, F. Schwing and C. Malzone. 1997. Mapping benthic habitats and ocean currents in the vicinity of Central California’s Big Creek Ecological Reserve. NOAA, NMFS Tech. Memo. NOAA-TM-NMFS-SWFSC-245. 52 pp.
Starr, R.M. and K.A. Johnson. 1997. Goal oriented marine reserves: A zoogeographic approach. pp. 68-78 in: Marine Protected Areas of California, A Summary of a Conference Session. University of California Sea Grant Publication.
Starr, R.M. and D.S. Fox. 1997. Can fishery catch data supplement research cruise data? A geographical comparison of research and commercial catch data? pp. 190-197 in: D.A. Hancock, D.C. Smith, A. Grant, J.B. Beumer (eds.): Developing and Sustaining World Fisheries Resources, The State of Science and Management: Proceedings Second World Fisheries Congress, CSIRO, Australia.
Starr, R.M. and D.S. Fox. 1996. Pueden los datos de las capturas pesqueras comerciales sustituir los datos generados en cruceros de investigacion? Comparacion geografica de los datos de capturas pesqueras comerciales y de investigacion utilizando la tecnica de sistemas de informacion geografica. Paper distributed at workshop on marine fisheries management at University of Guadalajara. October 14-18, 1996. Guadalajara, Mexico.
Fox, D.S. and R.M. Starr. 1996. Comparison of commercial fishery and research catch data. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. Vol. 53 (12): 2681-2694.
Starr, R.M., D.S. Fox, M.A. Hixon, B.N. Tissot, G.E. Johnson and W.H. Barss. 1996. Comparison of submersible-survey and hydroacoustic-survey estimates of fish density on a rocky bank. Fishery Bulletin. 94: 113-123.