My name is Denise Colombano.

  • I am a fish ecologist
  • I am obsessed with estuaries
  • I’m also into R, time-series models, spatially explicit models, hierarchical linear and non-linear models, dataviz, and scientific illustrations
  • I like to learn and apply statistics but am by no means an expert. I do my best to interrogate all statistical models!

Education and research interests

I am a Delta Science Postdoctoral Fellow working under Professors Albert Ruhi and Stephanie Carlson in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at UC Berkeley. We are actively expanding the Freshwater Group to include some saltier research on fishes of the San Francisco Bay-Delta!

In 2019, I earned a Ph.D. in Ecology in Dr. Peter Moyle’s lab at UC Davis. My dissertation is titled, “Tidal marsh habitat use by fishes in the San Francisco Estuary” and is available on ProQuest. All three of my dissertation chapters are published. Links are available on the Publications page on my website.

My interests are seascape ecology, tidal marshes, fish, food webs, hydrodynamics, tides, vegetation, habitat connectivity, urban shorelines, terrestrial-aquatic linkages, and climate change effects on flows. Most of all, I’m interested in synthesizing datasets in new ways to better understand the natural history of species and their behavioral adaptations to dynamic marine and estuarine environments. You can follow along with my research on Research Gate.

Specifically, I am interested in studying the following topics:

  • Climate change effects on long-term fish community stability, food web structure, and predator-prey dynamics
  • Tidal marsh-upland connectivity influence on fish communities in San Francisco Bay watersheds/tributaries
  • Estuarine ecology in urban and agricultural landscapes; optimizing nature-based solutions to sea level rise for fish communities and food webs

I like to code in R, teach R, learn new techniques and statistical analyses, and share my knowledge with students and staff. I believe that the collective scientific enterprise must prioritize equitable, inclusive, and supportive work environments that foster creativity and productivity for everyone.

Please get in touch!