University of Oregon

Kelly Sutherland

Assistant Professor of Biology


Mail:   5289 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR, 97403

office: 473 Onyx Bridge
Phone:   (541) 346-8783

Graduate Students

Keats Conley, Phd

Marco Corrales, PhD

Hilarie Sorenesen, PhD

Aliza Karim, MSc


Biology courses:
Applied Scientific Communication, BI410/510
Marine Biology, BI357
Marine Plankton Journal Club, BI607


Honors College courses:
How Do Marine Organisms Work?, HC 207H
Bioinspired Design, 441H

Selected Publications

(Students are underlined; Last author indicates work that came out of the Sutherland lab)

Costello JH, Colin SP, Gemmell BJ, Dabiri JO, Sutherland KR (2015) Multi-jet propulsion organized by clonal development in a colonial siphonophore. Nature Communications. doi: 10.1038/ncomms9158

Conley KR, Sutherland KR (2015) Commercial fishers’ perceptions of jellyfish interference in the northern California Current. ICES Journal of Marine Science. doi: 10.1093/icesjms/fsv007

Colin SP, MacPherson R, Gemmell B, Costello JH, Sutherland KR, Jaspers C (2015) Elevating the impact: Sensory-scanning foraging strategy by the lobate ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi. Limnology and Oceanography. 60: 100-109.

Graham WM , Gelcich S, Robinson KL, Duarte CM, Brotz L, Purcell JE, Madin LP, Mianzan H, Sutherland KR, Uye S, Pitt KA, Lucas CH, Bogeberg M, Brodeur R, Condon RH (2014) Linking human well-being and jellyfish: ecosystem services, impacts and societal responses. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 12: 515–523.

Sutherland KR, Costello JH, Colin SP, Dabiri JO (2014) Ambient fluid motions influence swimming and feeding by the ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi. Journal of Plankton Research. 36(5): 1310 – 1322.

Pitt KA, Duarte CM, Lucas CH, Sutherland KR, Condon RH, Mianzan H,  Purcell JE, Robinson KL, Uye S (2013) Jellyfish body plans provide allometric advantages beyond low carbon content. PLOS ONE. 8: 1-3. e72683.

Condon RH., Duarte CM., Pitt KA, Robinson KL, Lucas CH, Sutherland KR, Mianzan H, Bogeberg M, Purcell JE, Decker MB, Uye S, Madin LM, Brodeur RD, Haddock SHD, Malej A,  Parry GD, Eriksen E, Quiñones J, Acha M, Harvey M, Arthur JM, Graham WM (2012) Recurrent jellyfish blooms are a consequence of global oscillations. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 110: 1000- 1005. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1210920110.

Prairie JC, Sutherland KR, Nickols KJ, Kaltenberg AM (2012) Biophysical interactions in the plankton: A cross-scale review. Limnology & Oceanography: Fluids & Environments 2: 121-145.

Duarte CM, Pitt CA, Lucas CH, Purcell JE, Uye S, Robinson KL, Brotz, L, Decker MB, Sutherland KR, Malej A, Madin LM, Mianzan H, Gili, J-M, Fuentes V, Atienza D, Pages F, Breitburg D, Malek J, Graham M,  and Condon R (2012) Is global ocean sprawl a cause of jellyfish blooms? Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 11: 91- 97.

Condon RH, Graham WM, Duarte CM, Pitt KA, Lucas CH, Haddock SHD, Sutherland KR, Robinson KL, Dawson MN, Decker MB, Mills CE, Purcell JE, Malej A, Mianzan H, Uye S, Gelcich S, Madin LM (2012) Questioning the rise of gelatinous zooplankton in the world’s oceans. BioScience.62:160-169.

Sutherland KR, Dabiri JO, Koehl MAR (2011) Simultaneous field measurements of ostracod swimming behavior and background flow. Limnology & Oceanography: Fluids & Environments 1: 135-146.

Sutherland KR, Beet AR, Solow AR (2010) Re-analysis of a salp population time-series. Marine Ecology Progress Series 418: 147-150.

Sutherland KR, Madin LP, Stocker R (2010) Filtration of submicrometer particles by pelagic tunicates. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 34: 15129-15134.

Sutherland KR, Madin LP (2010) Jet wake structure and swimming performance of pelagic tunicates. Journal of Experimental Biology 213: 2967- 2975.

Sutherland KR, Madin LP (2010) A comparison of filtration rates among pelagic tunicates using kinematic measurements. Marine Biology 157: 755-764.

Rakow KC, Graham WM (2006) Orientation and swimming mechanics by the scyphomedusa Aurelia sp. in shear flow. Limnology and Oceanography 51(2) 1097-1106.


Popular publications

Sutherland, K.R. (2009) Dye sheds light on jet-propelled salps. Oceanus Magazine 47 (3) 20-22.  Article link    YouTube video


Research in the Sutherland lab is at the intersection of biology and physics: our goal is gain a mechanistic understanding of how marine organisms interact with one another and within their fluid environment.

We use a variety of tools including in situ video, kinematic analysis, and flow visualization to understand how the environment is experienced at the organismal scale. These observations can be related to smaller-scale physiological problems or to larger-scale population patterns and food-web dynamics.

Students working in the lab use innovative techniques and a mechanistic approach to investigate how organisms function in the marine environment, and more broadly, to understand ecological roles and evolutionary relationships.  Students work either on the Eugene campus in the Institute of Ecology and Evolution or at the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology in Charleston.

We use novel technologies but much of our equipment is relatively inexpensive and portable, which enables us to work locally, off the Pacific Northwest coast, as well as in remote locations.

Additional Information

Kelly Sutherland received the 2016 Sloan Award in Ocean Sciences.