Project Description: 

In California, widespread diking, draining, and dredging transformed the landscape of the San Francisco Bay-Delta from a marsh-dominated ecosystem to an open-water dominated ecosystem by the mid-20th century. However, over the last two decades thousands of acres of land have been restored to wetlands (more specifically, tidal marshes) in the Bay-Delta, and several large-scale, multi-agency restoration projects are underway or planned (California Ecorestore, 2020). This almost-exponential growth in projects and studies means that synthesis-based research may now help advance theory better than it did in the past, potentially filling gaps in our understanding and further informing restoration designs. We will leverage isotope results from our analysis of three restored and three reference tidal marshes with data from other estuary food web with data from restoration studies conducted in the San Francisco bay. We will add a decade’s worth of research in our study system, and ask three main questions: (1) To what extent has recent research began assessing the potential of recovering trophic links, with restoration? (i.e., as opposed to particular taxonomic groups, like invertebrates, birds, or fishes independently); (2) What are the effects of different restoration types and strategies (i.e. planning level, extent, and level of connectivity), and what does that imply for management?; and (3) What can studying a chronosequence of restoration, as with our project, tell us. What can we expect our wetlands to do?

Undergraduate's Role: 

The student will be doing computer-based work to assist in a literature review on the topic described above. This involves developing a systematic step-by-step process of selection/exclusion criteria, identifying papers based on a given set of criteria, and running a more in-depth review on identified papers. This work is mainly remote with the option to meet on campus weekly as well. 

Undergraduate's Qualifications: 

No prior experience is required, but skills or coursework in aquatic ecology, biology, engineering, or computer programming are advantageous and should be mentioned in the application. Importantly, SPUR students should be excited and diligent to learn about freshwater ecology.

3-6 hours