Rick Starr is a researcher at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories (Monterey Bay, central California). He also served as California Sea Grant extension director, until his retirement from the program in 2016. Starr conducts 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.
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.