Dr. Josh Adams is a research biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey's Western Ecological Research Center. He is the lead biologist in charge of the Seabird Studies program located at WERC's Santa Cruz Field Station. Dr. Adams' work focuses on understanding the distribution and abundance patterns of seabirds at sea, nesting biology, foraging ecology and conservation science. Dr. Adams' current studies are focused in the California Current and Hawaii.
- Avian Ecology
- Invasive Plant Ecology
- Migratory bird biology
- Remote sensing
- Telemetry (radio and/or satellite)
- Threatened and endangered species
- PhD, Zoology, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand 2011
- MSc, Marine Sciences, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, California State University San Francisco 2004
- BA, Biology (Thesis Honors), University of California Santa Cruz 1992
PROFESSIONAL AND HONORARY SOCIETIES AND SCIENCE ADVISORY COMMITTEES
- Member Pacific Seabird Group (since 1992)
Science and Products
Dr. Josh Adams and his science team at WERC study seabird health and support adaptive management by quantifying abundance patterns and behaviors associated with habitats at sea, where seabirds spend the overwhelming majority of their lives. Adams’s team also employs conservation science to support resource managers on land, where seabirds are obligated to nest. His group provides scientific analyses to help understand the efficacy of certain conservation practices intended to benefit the preservation and recovery of threatened seabird populations.
Seabirds are Department of the Interior (DOI) Trust Species and are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Endangered Species Act. To support science-based decision capacity and Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) among U.S. Government resource managers, Dr. Josh Adams and the WERC seabird team have partnered with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and others (including international research partners and universities) to examine seabird communities at sea and the pelagic ecology of far-ranging seabirds such as albatrosses and petrels.
Plastic ingestion by Black-footed Albatross Phoebastria nigripes from Kure Atoll, Hawai'i: Linking chick diet remains and parental at-sea foraging distributions
We quantified the incidence (percentage of samples with plastic) and loads (mass, volume) of four plastic types (fragments, line, sheet, foam) ingested by Black-footed Albatross Phoebastria nigripes chicks raised on Kure Atoll, the westernmost Hawaiian colony. All 25 samples contained plastic, mostly in the form of foam and line. On average (± SD...Hyrenbach, K. David; Hester, Michelle M.; Adams, Josh; Titmus, Andrew J.; Michael, Pam; Wahl, Travis; Chang, Chih-Wei; Marie, Amarisa; Vanderlip, Cynthia
Collision and displacement vulnerability among marine birds of the California Current System associated with offshore wind energy infrastructure
With growing climate change concerns and energy constraints, there is an increasing need for renewable energy sources within the United States and globally. Looking forward, offshore wind-energy infrastructure (OWEI) has the potential to produce a significant proportion of the power needed to reach our Nation’s renewable energy goal. Offshore wind...Adams, Josh; Kelsey, Emily C.; Felis, Jonathan J.; Pereksta, David M.
First steps for mitigating bycatch of Pink-footed Shearwaters Ardenna creatopus: Identifying overlap of foraging areas and fisheries in Chile
The Pink-footed Shearwater, Ardenna creatopus, is listed as in danger of extinction by Chile and under Annex 1 of ACAP, with an estimated global population of approximately 56,000 individuals. Incidental bycatch of this species in fisheries is thought to be an important cause in population decline (i.e. annual estimated mortality of >1000...Carle, Ryan; Felis, Jonathan J.; López, Verónica; Adams, Josh; Hodum, Peter; Beck, Jessie; Colodro, Valentina; Vega, Rodrigo; González, Andrés
Migratory routes and at-sea threats to Pink-footed Shearwaters
The Pink-footed Shearwater (Ardenna creatopus) is a seabird with a breeding range restricted to three islands in Chile and an estimated world population of approximately 56,000 breeding individuals (Muñoz 2011, Oikonos unpublished data). Due to multiple threats on breeding colonies and at-sea, Pink-footed Shearwaters are listed as Endangered by...Adams, Josh; Felis, Jonathan J.; Hodum, Peter; Colodro, Valentina; Carle, Ryan; López, Verónica
Identifying Kittlitz's Murrelet nesting habitat in North America at the landscape scale
The Kittlitz's Murrelet (Brachyramphus brevirostris) is a small, non-colonial seabird endemic to marine waters of Alaska and eastern Russia that may have experienced significant population decline in recent decades, in part because of low reproductive success and terrestrial threats. Although recent studies have shed new light on Kittlitz's...Felis, Jonathan J.; Kissling, Michelle L.; Kaler, Robb S.A.; Kenney, Leah A.; Lawonn, Matthew J.
Ashy Storm-Petrel Oceanodroma homochroa mist-netting and capture rates in the California Channel Islands, 2004–2007
The California Channel Islands (CCI) provide essential nesting habitat for a significant portion of the world’s Ashy Storm-Petrel Oceanodroma homochroa (ASSP) breeding population, but true abundance at this locality is not well known. Land-based nocturnal mistnetting has been conducted sporadically in the CCI since 1976, with variation in...Adams, Josh
Occurrence, morphometrics, and plumage variability among Leach’s Storm-Petrels Oceanodroma leucorhoa in the California Channel Islands, 1976–2015
We mist-netted and examined Leach’s Storm-Petrels Oceanodroma leucorhoa (LESP) caught during 1991–2015 at three locations in the California Channel Islands (CCI): Prince Island, Santa Barbara-Sutil islands and Scorpion Rock. Although mist-netting methods and effort varied between two study periods (1991–1995, 2004–2007 and...Adams, Josh; Carter, Harry R.; McChesney, Gerard; Whitworth, Darrell L.
Predictive mapping of seabirds, pinnipeds and cetaceans off the Pacific Coast of Washington
About this report This report supports Washington-led marine spatial planning and responsible stewardship of natural and cultural resources by the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. Washington state agencies and the sanctuary continually seek the best available science to improve management of marine uses and stewardship of resources (...Menza, Charles; Leirness, Jeffery B.; White, Tim; Winship, Arliss; Kinlan, Brian P.; Kracker, Laura; Zamon, Jeannette E.; Ballance, Lisa; Becker, Elizabeth; Forney, Karin A.; Barlow, Jay; Adams, Josh; Pereksta, David; Pearson, Scott; Pierce, John; Jeffries, Steven J.; Calambokidis, John; Douglas, Annie; Hanson, Bradford C.; Benson, Scott R.; Antrim, Liam
Stomach contents of a Cuvier's Beaked Whale (Ziphius cavirostris) stranded in Monterey Bay, California
No abstract available.Adams, Josh; Walker, William A; Burton, Erica J; Harvey, James T.
Pacific Continental Shelf Environmental Assessment (PaCSEA): aerial seabird and marine mammal surveys off northern California, Oregon, and Washington, 2011-2012
Marine birds and mammals comprise an important community of meso- and upper-trophic-level predators within the northern California Current System (NCCS). The NCCS is located within one of the world’s four major eastern boundary currents and is characterized by an abundant and diverse marine ecosystem fuelled seasonally by wind-driven upwelling...Adams, Josh; Felis, Jonathan J.; Mason, John W.; Takekawa, John Y.
Summer-time use of west coast U. S. National Marine Sanctuaries by migrating sooty shearwaters (Puffinus griseus)
Non-breeding sooty shearwaters are the most abundant seabird in the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem (CCLME) during boreal spring and summer months. This, combined with relatively great energy demands, reliance on patchy, shoaling prey (krill, squid, and forage fishes), and unconstrained mobility free from central-place-foraging demands—...Adams, Josh; MacLeod, Catriona; Suryan, Robert M.; Hyrenbach, K. David; Harvey, James T.
Population divergence and gene flow in an endangered and highly mobile seabird
Seabirds are highly vagile and can disperse up to thousands of kilometers, making it difficult to identify the factors that promote isolation between populations. The endemic Hawaiian petrel (Pterodroma sandwichensis) is one such species. Today it is endangered, and known to breed only on the islands of Hawaii, Maui, Lanai and Kauai. Historical...Welch, A. J.; Fleischer, R. C.; James, H. F.; Wiley, A. E.; Ostrom, P. H.; Adams, J.; Duvall, F.; Holmes, N.; Hu, D.; Penniman, J.; Swindle, K. A.