Prinicipal Investigators

Susan L. Williams – Professor, Evolution & Ecology, UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory; Director, CAMEOS

Susan WilliamsA favorite part of my job as a professor at UC Davis is teaching sea life to students who are not scientists. What could be better than exploring the weird and wonderful new discoveries about sea life every year? To do research, I SCUBA dive and was an aquanaut who lived in an undersea habitat, where I studied how sea urchins and hermit crabs bulldoze their way through a seaweed and seagrass meadow and how corals fight battles with each other using their tentacles and their stomachs (figure that one out!). I also descended in a submarine to study how deep-water tilefish burrow into mud, live together in ‘pueblos’, and create habitat for other animals. My students and I work on invasive species and ocean climate change in San Francisco, Tomales, and Bodega Bays. I am also interested in using science to help solve ocean problems such as pollution and habitat loss. I often provide scientific information to our local, state, and national elected officials and environmental managers when they are making decisions about the ocean and how human activities influence it.

Bertram Ludaescher – Professor, Computer Science, UC Davis

Bertram LudaescherMy primary research interests are in scientific data management, in particular scientific data integration, scientific workflow management, and knowledge-based (semantic) extensions thereof. I am also interested in foundations of databases, e.g., query languages and query rewriting. I am actively contributing to several large scale research collaborations dealing with scientific data management, including the NSF/ITR Geosciences Network (GEON), the NSF/ITR Science Environment for Ecological Knowledge (SEEK), and the DOE Scientific Data Management Center (SciDAC-SDM). I am also an affiliated faculty member of the UC Davis Genome Center and a Fellow of the San Diego Supercomputer Center. I received my M.S. in Computer Science from the Technical University of Karlsruhe in 1992, and my Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Freiburg in 1998, both in Germany.

Jessica Bean – Department of Anthropology, UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory; CAMEOS Program Coordinator and Research Associate

Jessica BeanAt age four, I saw my first dinosaur fossils and I asked, “Where are the dinosaurs with skin on them?” When I learned that birds are dinosaurs that evolved over millions of years, I was hooked. What could be more exciting than being a science detective and piecing together clues about how life has changed over time! I started collecting rocks, shells, and fossils, and began asking (and answering) questions about the natural world. My fondest childhood memories involve hiking, sailing, and kayaking, and include trips to museums, national parks, and beaches.

My love of marine science led me to major in biology at UC Santa Barbara, and I earned my PhD in the Department of Geology at UC Davis. I study how marine animals, such as snails and clams, grow their shells, and the effects of environmental change on shell development, chemistry, and appearance. Shells record stories about when and where organisms live and grow, and how estuarine and intertidal systems change through time. My work has applications in conservation biology and anthropological studies, and I am currently involved in research in the Department of Anthropology exploring the use and trade of shells by native peoples in California.

I have had opportunities to share my broad interests in animal and plant biology and geology while teaching as a CAMEOS fellow, and at UC Davis, CSU Sacramento, and UC Berkeley. I develop inquiry-based curricula to support authentic research experiences. These curricula enable students to develop the skills necessary to work and think like scientists while nurturing their curiosity and appreciation for the natural world.

Former Principal Investigators

Vic Chow – Former Public Education & Outreach Manager, Bodega Marine Laboratory; Current Associate Director, Ocean Discovery!

Vic ChowI felt at home in nature from an early age. The time that I have spent hiking, camping, surfing, sailing, hang-gliding, bee-keeping, and gardening have all been opportunities to be outdoors. Becoming a scientist, a marine ecologist, was simply a way to turn my life-long interests into a career as an observer and participant in the natural world. Scientific research has been my path to Alaska and northern Canada to measure atmospheric radiation, to the open ocean to study phytoplankton, to creeks and streams to survey aquatic insects, and to rocky shores and coral reefs to investigate marine invertebrates and fish.

I particularly like how science today is built by collaborations and, in recent years, I’ve worked with many collaborators to develop environmental monitoring systems that use sensors and computers to collect regional information about our coastal environments. And, for me, teaching science is just another way of collaborating with research colleagues of all ages. What I have treasured most about being a science educator has been the journey I’ve taken with students- exploring the world around us and making scientific discoveries that help us understand how to protect the environment in which we all live.