FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 2023
THE TOMALES BAY FOUNDATION AWARDS FIVE RESEARCH GRANTS
In June 2022 an observation posted in iNaturalist of an unusual sea anemone in Tomales Bay and later confirmed by DNA analyses determined that it is a non-native anemone originating from Australia, New Zealand and Chile. This was the first documented observation of this species in North America. The Tomales Bay Foundation has awarded a grant to Keira Monuki, a PhD candidate at the UC Davis Bodega Marin Laboratory for a study of this newly discovered invasion. The study will consist of field surveys and DNA analyses from twelve sites along Tomales Bay to establish the invasions current extent as a baseline for future studies of this problem.
A second research grant was awarded to PhD candidate, Serina Moheed, PhD candidate at UC Davis, for the study of a sea grass wasting disease in Tomales Bay. Among other benefits seagrass meadows provide nursery habitats for juvenile fish and invertebrates. Surveys will be conducted at eight sites in the Tomales Bay estuary to determine the disease prevalence and severity and hopefully predict how this disease will react as the water heats up with climate change.
Research grants were awarded to three other PhD candidates. David Mitchell, of UC Davis, will be studying techniques to improve the survival of trees and shrubs planted at restoration sites; Francis Gerraty, of UC Santa Cruz, will be studying the transfer of nutrients from the ocean environment via coyotes feeding on dead seals; and Julie Gonzales, of UC Davis will be studying the public perceptions and understandings of estuarine restoration projects, focusing on the Giacomini marsh restoration in Tomales Bay.
The goal of research projects which are funded by the Tomales Bay Foundation is to increase the scientific and public understanding of the bay and to promote academic research here. The inexorable processes of climate change and sea level rise are now upon us and we need to gain as much understanding as possible so we can become prepared. To learn more the grant recipients will describe their research at the forthcoming State of the Bay Conference on September 29th.
You can contribute to the Tomales Bay Research Grants Program. Click on “Donate Now” on the menu above.