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Ocean Resources

Carrie Culver, Sea Grant

The primary objective of this  position is to work toward sustainable fisheries and fishing communities, while protecting and enhancing natural resources.

Culver brings more than 15 years' marine biology research experience in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties to the new position, which was made possible by a special grant from the National Sea Grant College Program and funding from University of California Cooperative Extension. She is already at work in her new position and looks forward to working with the community on various fishery issues of the Santa Barbara channel.

Culver is no stranger to Sea Grant, having worked in the area as a Sea Grant Extension program representative from 1986 to 1993. During that time, she examined the fisheries and biology of the sheep crab, Loxorhynchus grandis, to assist with the development of potential management strategies for this species. She also worked with various fishermen evaluating the potential use of ROVs for stock assessments, co-edited the Oil-Fisheries Newsletter, and worked on several aquaculture projects.

From 1994 to 1999, Culver worked with Dr. Armand Kuris at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) on what she described as an "intense and rewarding" project funded by California Sea Grant and the aquaculture industry. It has been called the first and only successful eradication of a marine pest in the wild: a non-native sabellid worm that infected the shells of cultured abalone in Cayucos, California, and then found its way into the local coastal environment, threatening native shellfish. By identifying an abundant and highly susceptible host, a black turban snail, and subsequently leading a team in removing over a million of them from the infested area, Culver and Kuris were able to prevent the worm's continued establishment in the wild. "It took a lot of cooperation and collaboration with the industry, regulatory agency and many volunteers, to enable this victory," said Culver.

More recently, Culver studied recruitment and growth of invertebrates at seven oil and gas platforms in the Santa Barbara channel. She is currently continuing a study examining the potential for predation on salmonid eggs and larvae by the invasive Chinese mitten crab, and is drafting a monitoring guide for use by agencies and non-profit organizations helping document the range and abundance of the crab.

Culver earned her Ph.D. in marine biology in 1999 from UCSB, and has been a research biologist and lecturer at UCSB's Marine Science Institute since. Culver has also been a consultant to the aquaculture industry in California and Washington.