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Research Staff

Sanctuary Research Staff consist of a Coordinator and Ecologists. In addition, staff works closely with the Sanctuary Research Activity Panel, Research Fellows, graduate students and volunteers. Learn more about the research staff backgrounds and research interests below.


picture of Andrew DeVogelaereAndrew DeVogelaere, Ph.D.

Research Ecologist/SIMoN Program Director
(831) 647-4213

Dr. DeVogelaere oversees the Sanctuary's Research Program. This includes facilitating collaboration among over 20 research institutions in the region, providing technical information to decision makers and the Sanctuary staff, and initiating research on resource management issues. Dr. DeVogelaere is also leading the effort to develop the Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network (SIMoN), a critical program that assesses how populations of marine organisms and habitats are changing through time.

He has been directly involved in a wide variety of research projects, ranging in habitats from the deep sea to estuaries. His past work experience includes being an elected official as Commissioner for the Moss Landing Harbor District and Research Coordinator for the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from the University of California, Berkeley, a Master of Science in Marine Science from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, and a Doctorate in Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

picture of Jennifer BrownJennifer Brown, Ph.D.

SIMoN Ecosystem Scientist
(415) 310-6764

As the Ecosystem Scientist for the Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network (SIMoN), Jennifer Brown is responsible for developing and coordinating ecosystem assessments at both local and regional levels. These ecosystem models and condition reports help address resource management needs for integrated monitoring information. Additionally, Jennifer provides science support for the Marine Protected Areas MBNMS Action Plan through the development of data summaries and resource assessments.

Jennifer has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Doctorate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her research focused on evaluating the relative value of nearshore ecosystems at nursery grounds for juvenile flatfish. Other past projects focused on the Monterey Bay area include: 1) A Review of Marine Zones in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary which is part of the National Marine Sanctuary Conservation Series, 2) A plan for monitoring the fish assemblage in Elkhorn Slough prepared for the Elkhorn Slough National Research Reserve, and 3) a review of the Special Status Species that reside in or transit through the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

picture of Erica BurtonErica J. Burton

Research Ecologist
(831) 647-4246

As a Research Ecologist, Erica Burton is responsible for characterizing biological communities, characterizing historical shipwrecks, assessing impacts from vessel groundings, providing programmatic support to the Research Activity Panel, co-authoring peer-reviewed and technical publications, and maintaining research program web pages. Field activities include biological characterization of Davidson Seamount and Sur Ridge, characterization of USS Macon and SS Montebello, and assessing impacts of a lost shipping container in the deep sea.

Erica earned a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology from California State University, Long Beach, and a Master of Science in Marine Science from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories. Her graduate research focused on age, longevity, and growth determination of fishes, including radiometric age determination of the giant grenadier, bocaccio rockfish, Atlantic tarpon, and Atlantic sturgeon.



picture of Chad KingChad King

Research Ecologist
(831) 647-4248

Chad has been with the Sanctuary since 2002, and is responsible for the collection, analyses and dissemination of spatial data for the Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network (SIMoN) and MBNMS. These data help integrate past and present monitoring programs within the Sanctuary and are the foundation of decision making tools such as interactive maps that are made available to the general public. He is also a NOAA Divemaster and an active participant in subtidal research, including kelp forest and invasive species monitoring and underwater photography and videography. Additionally, he produces short outreach films and has produced significant content for the Sanctuary Exploration Center. Chad was instrumental in developing “SeaPhoto”, an iOS app that features imagery and life history content of the MBNMS. Chad earned a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a Master of Science in Marine Science from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories. His academic research focused on kelp forest ecology and subtropical ecological dynamics and genetics in the Gulf of California.

picture of Stive LonhartSteve I. Lonhart, Ph.D.

Research Ecologist, Unit Diving Supervisor
(831) 420-3661

Dr. Lonhart has worked as a marine ecologist for MBNMS since 2002. Steve is responsible for maintaining research and monitoring programs and implementing scientific goals to integrate existing monitoring programs within the sanctuary; supporting research and monitoring programs that address important resource management issues; and disseminating information to resource managers, researchers, educators, and the general public. Steve collaborates and partners with multiple research and monitoring programs, spanning estuarine, rocky intertidal, and subtidal nearshore habitats.

Steve has biology degrees from University of California, Los Angeles (BS 1990), California State University, Long Beach (MS 1996), and University of California, Santa Cruz (PhD 2001). Though he has several interests in marine ecology, his scientific research has focused on invasion biology, kelp forest ecology, range shift ecology, biogeography, and marine invertebrate natural history.

California Sea Grant Fellows

The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary has participated in the California Sea Grant Fellowship program, an education opportunity for graduate students interested in marine resources and how they are managed in California.

Click here to visit the SIMoN website and learn more about the history of the sanctuary's past Fellows, their educational background, examples of projects they completed while at the sanctuary and the jobs they pursued after their Fellowship.