University of Oregon

Steven S. Rumrill

Research Scientist and Program Coordinator: South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve
Assistant Professor of Biology (Adjunct): University of Oregon / Oregon Institute of Marine Biology
Graduate Faculty in Marine Reseorce Management: Oregon State University / College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences


Ph.D. / Zoology: University of Alberta, Edmonton (1987)
M.Sc. / Marine Sciences: University of California at Santa Cruz (1983)
B.A. / Biology: University of California at Santa Cruz (1981)


Mail:   P.O. Box 5417
Charleston, OR 97420
Phone:   (541) 888-2581 ext: 302
Fax:   (541) 888-3250

Selected Publications

Wasson, K., D. Lohrer, M. Crawford, and S.S. Rumrill. 2002. Non-native species in our nation’s estuaries: a framework for an invasion monitoring program. NOAA/ERD Technical Report 2002:1-57.

Rumrill, S.S. 1998. Habitat variability and function in Pacific northwest estuaries. Pp. 12-23, in Protecting and Restoring Pacific Northwest Estuaries (NOAA / PNCERS Technical Report, 1998)

Rumrill, S.S. and C.E. Cornu. 1995. South Slough coastal watershed restoration: a case study in integrated ecosystem restoration. Restoration and Management Notes 13:53-57.

Rumrill, S.S. 1994. Non-point source pollution research and monitoring within the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. pp. 11-17. Proc. Coastal Non-Point Source Workshop, Building Partnerships (Tampa, FL) / US-EPA

Young, C.M., Tyler, P.A., Cameron, J.L., and S.S. Rumrill. 1992. Seasonal breeding aggregations in low density populations of the bathyal echinoid Stylocidaris lineata. Marine Biology 113: 603-612.

Rumrill, S.S. 1990. Natural mortality of marine invertebrate larvae. Ophelia 32: 163-198.

Rumrill, S.S. 1989. Population size-structure, juvenile growth and breeding periodicity of the sea star Asterina miniata in Barkley Sound, British Columbia. Marine Ecology Progress Series 56: 37-47.

Rumrill, S.S., Pennington, J.T., and F.S. Chia. 1985. Differential susceptibility of marine invertebrate larvae: laboratory predation of sand dollar, Dendraster excentricus (Eschscholtz) embryos and larvae by zoeae of the red crab, Cancer productus Randall. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 90: 193-208.


My primary research interests lie in the interdisciplinary links between invertebrate reproductive biology, life-history ecology, and ecosystem functions in the marine and estuarine environments. Over the past 20 years, I have been fortunate to work with diverse groups of organisms (primarily echinoderms, molluscs, and crustaceans) in a variety of habitats including the rocky intertidal zone and subtidal kelp beds of central and southern California, the rugged west coast and deep water fjords of Vancouver Island, the protected seagrass beds of Florida’s Indian River Lagoon, the rocky coast of New England, the nearshore Pacific Ocean waters above the continental shelf, and within several semi-enclosed estuaries in Oregon, California, and Washington. These habitats provide a fertile testing ground for observations and field experiments that seek to explain the ecological mechanisms that give rise to patterns of organismal distribution and abundance. Pacific northwest estuaries are diverse and distinct ecosystems that exist at the nexus between the nearshore ocean and coastal watersheds. Conflicting resource demands pose interesting problems for the sustained health of estuarine ecosystems, and the solutions most commonly lie at the interface between physics, ecology, and the social sciences. My current research projects focus on the natural history and ecology of estuaries located along the coasts of Oregon and northern California. These research topic include: (1) Physical and Biotic Links between Estuaries and the Nearshore Pacific Ocean, (2) Ecology of Marine and Estuarine Invertebrate Larvae, (3) Community Ecology of Eelgrass meadows (Zostera marina), (4) Ecological Impacts of Commercial Oyster Aquaculture in Tideflat Communities, (5) Coastal Climate Change and Variability in Estuarine Tidal Forcing, (6) Detection, Spread and Consequences of Aquatic Non-Indigenous Species in Estuaries, (7) Restoration of Lost and Degraded Estuarine Habitats, and (8) Marine Conservation and Improved Coastal Management.


Adjunct Professor, Marine Resource Management, Oregon State University (1996-present); Adjunct Assistant Professor of Biology, Univ. of Oregon (1990-present); Research Scientist and Program Coordinator, South Slough Natl. Estuarine Research Reserve (1990-present); Instructor, Coastal Wetland Restoration (Univ. Oregon / 1996 & 1998); Marine Ecology (Bamfield Marine Station / 1994 & 1987); Larval Ecology of Estuarine Invertebrates (Univ. Oregon Institute of Marine Biology / 1991-93); Visiting Lecturer in Zoology, Univ. Washington Friday Harbor Laboratories (Spring, 1990); Postdoctoral Research Associate and Lecturer on Biology, Dept. of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University (1988-89); Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Smithsonian Institution (1987-88)

Professional Recognition

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – Environmental Hero (2002) National Estuarine Research Reserve Association / Merit Service Award (1999)

Present Research Support

(other than Sea Grant) NERR – SWMP / Ambient monitoring program for the South Slough estuary ($135,000) ANSTF / Development of an Aquatic Invasive Species Program for the NERRS ($30,000) Western Regional Aquaculture Center / Ecological Impacts of Oysters ($90,000) ANSTF – NERRS / Prevention and control of invasions by exotic decapod crabs ($5,000) NFWF / Broad-scale NIS monitoring along the Pacific west coast NERRS / NMS (pending)