Western Ecological Research Center (WERC)

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The Western Ecological Research Center (WERC) is a USGS Ecosystems Mission Area operation serving primarily California and Nevada. WERC scientists work closely with Federal, State, academic, and other collaborators to address a diverse array of high-profile topics. Topics include research on effects of wildfire, sea level rise, drought, energy development and more on federal Trust species.

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Research Scientists

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Stories from the Field

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News

Screenshot from the USGS video, "Living With Fire."
November 30, 2017

Visit our new USGS fire webpage to learn how USGS fire science is making a difference

WERC sea otter
November 9, 2017

As part of the USGS Evening Public Lecture Series, WERC's Tim Tinker is giving a free "science talk" for the public on Thursday, 11/30/17 at 7PM PST. Watch live or online.

Hoary bat
October 30, 2017

Around Halloween, USGS celebrates bats and other "spooky" creatures by sharing some of its research on these fascinating creatures! Check out social media on Gabe Reyes' and Brian Halstead's projects with bats at Pt. Reyes National Seashore, CA.

Publications

Year Published: 2018

MHC class II DRB diversity predicts antigen recognition and is associated with disease severity in California sea lions naturally infected with Leptospira interrogans

We examined the associations between California sea lion MHC class II DRB (Zaca-DRB) configuration and diversity, and leptospirosis. As Zaca-DRB gene sequences are involved with antigen presentation of bacteria and other extracellular pathogens, we predicted that they would play a role in determining responses to these pathogenic spirochaetes....

Acevedo-Whitehouse, Karina; Gulland, Frances; Bowen, Lizabeth
Acevedo-Whitehouse, K, FMD Gulland, L Bowen. 2018. MHC class II DRB diversity predicts antigen recognition and is associated with disease severity in California sea lions naturally infected with Leptospira interrogans. Infection, Genetics and Evolution 57: 158-165. doi: 10.1016/j.meegid.2017.11.023

Year Published: 2017

To reduce the global burden of human schistosomiasis, use ‘old fashioned’ snail control

Control strategies to reduce human schistosomiasis have evolved from ‘snail picking’ campaigns, a century ago, to modern wide-scale human treatment campaigns, or preventive chemotherapy. Unfortunately, despite the rise in preventive chemotherapy campaigns, just as many people suffer from schistosomiasis today as they did 50 years ago. Snail...

Sokolow, Susanne H.; Wood, Chelsea L.; Jones, Isabel J.; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Kuris, Armand; Hsieh, Michael H.; De Leo, Giulio A.
Sokolow, SH, CL Wood, IJ Jones, KD Lafferty, AM Kuris, MH Hsieh, GA De Leo. 2017. To Reduce the Global Burden of Human Schistosomiasis, Use ‘Old Fashioned’ Snail Control. Trends in Parasitology. doi: 10.1016/j.pt.2017.10.002

Year Published: 2017

Ecosystem features determine seagrass community response to sea otter foraging

Comparing sea otter recovery in California (CA) and British Columbia (BC) reveals key ecosystem properties that shape top-down effects in seagrass communities. We review potential ecosystem drivers of sea otter foraging in CA and BC seagrass beds, including the role of coastline complexity and environmental stress on sea otter effects. In BC, we...

Hessing-Lewis, Margot; Rechsteiner, Erin U.; Hughes, Brent B.; Tinker, M. Tim; Monteith, Zachary L.; Olson, Angeleen M.; Henderson, Matthew Morgan; Watson, Jane C.
Hessing-Lewis, M, EU Rechsteiner, BB Hughes, MT Tinker, ZL Monteith, AM Olson, MM Henderson, JC Watson. 2018. Ecosystem features determine seagrass community response to sea otter foraging. Marine Pollution Bulletin. doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.09.047