University of Oregon

Alan Shanks



Mail:   OIMB, P.O. Box 5389,
Charleston OR, 97420
Phone:   (541) 888-2581 x 277
Fax:   (541) 888-3250

Graduate Students

Carlissa Salant (MSc)


Marley Jarvis (PhD)
Leif Rasmuson (PhD) 
– Robert Malouf Sea Grant Scholar
Brittney Dlouhy (MS)
Cate Prtichard (MS)
Laura Garcia Peteiro (Postdoc)


BI 390 Animal Behavior
BI 458/558 Biological Oceanography

Selected Publications

Shanks, A.L. And R.K. Shearman (2011). Thread-drifting juvenile Mytilus spp. in continental shelf waters off Coos Bay, Oregon USA. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 427:105-115.

Shanks, A.L., Morgan, S.G. Morgan, J. MacMahan, and A. J.H.M Reniers (2010). Surf zone hydrodynamics as determinants of temporal and spatial variation in larval recruitment. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology.392:140-150.

Shanks, A.L., J. A. Miller, and G.C. Roegner (2010). Predicting the Future Commercial Catch of Dungeness Crabs. California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations Reports. 51:1-13.

Shanks, A.L. (2009). Barnacle Settlement vs. Recruitment as Indicators of Larval Delivery: Effects of Post-settlement Mortality and Recruit Density. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 385:205-216

Shanks, A.L. and C.A. Pfister (2009). Annual recruitment of three species of tidepool fishes is driven by variation in springtime coastal hydrodynamics. Limnology and Oceanography. 54:1481-1487.

Shanks, A.L. and R.K. Shearman (2009) Paradigm lost? Cross-shelf distributions of intertidal invertebrate larvae were unaffected by upwelling or downwelling. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 385:189-204.

Shanks, A.L. (2009). Barnacle Settlement vs. Recruitment as Indicators of Larval Delivery: Time series analysis and Hypothesized Delivery Mechanisms. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 385:217-226.

Shanks, A.L. (2009). Pelagic Larval Duration and Dispersal Distance Revisited. Biological Bulletin. 216:373-385.

Shanks, A.L. and Roegner, G.C., (2007) Recruitment-limitation in Dungeness crab populations is driven by temporal variation in atmospheric forcing. Ecology 88:1726-1737

Shanks, A.L. (2006). Mechanisms of cross-shelf transport of crab megalopae inferred from a time series of daily abundance. Marine Biology 148:1383-1398.

Shanks, A.L. and L. Brink (2005, Feature Article). Upwelling, downwelling, and cross-shelf transport of bivalve larvae: test of a hypothesis. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 302:1-12

Shanks, A.L. and Eckert, G. (2005). Life-History Traits and Population Persistence of California Current Fishes and Benthic Crustaceans; Solution of A Marine Drift Paradox. Ecological Monographs 75:505-524.

Shanks, A. L., McCulloch, A.A., and Miller, J. (2003). Topographically generated fronts, very nearshore oceanography and the distribution of larval invertebrates and holoplankters. Journal of Plankton Research 25:1251-1277.

Shanks, A.L. and McCulloch, A.A. (2003). Topographically Generated Fronts, Very Nearshore Oceanography and The Distribution of Chlorophyll, Detritus and Selected Diatom and Dinoflagellate Taxa. Marine Biology 143:969-980.


I have broad research interests (biological oceanography, animal behavior, intertidal ecology, larval biology). If I had to point to a general theme to my research I think that it is my fascination with the interaction of the physical realm and the biological. Much of my work seems to be at the interface between physical and biology oceanography. For example, much of my present research effort is directed at understanding how the dispersal of larval invertebrates and fish is affected by currents and the behavioral of larvae. There is probably a second theme that runs through my work; I am strongly driven by my curiosity. Early in my career, I discovered that if I was observant and followed my curiosity, I could make novel discoveries. Through out my career, I have tried to pay attention to my observations and serendipity and to actively follow these leads. A number of papers have come from this effort. When training students (undergraduate or graduate), one of my primary goals is to persuade them to follow their curiosity as this leads to novel and creative discovers (and besides it is fun).