Melissa Foley

I currently work on the Elwha River in Washington investigating the effects of dam removal on coastal and marine ecosystems. My research focuses on understanding how landscape connectivity alters the structure and functioning of these ecosystems.


Research Ecologist, USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center, Santa Cruz, CA (2013 - present)

Research Associate, University of California Santa Cruz (2009 - present)

Early Career Fellow, Center for Ocean Solutions, Stanford University (2009 - 2013)

PhD, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California Santa Cruz (2009)

Research Technician, Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans, Oregon State University (1999-2003)

B.S., Zoology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon (1999)

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Melissa M. Foley, Lindley A. Mease, Rebecca G. Martone, Erin E. Prahler, Tiffany H. Morrison, Cathryn Clarke Murray, and Deborah Wojcik. The challenges and opportunities in cumulative effects assessment. 2017. Environmental Impact Assessment Review 62:122-134. doi: 10.1016/j.eiar.2016.06.008

Brian Helmuth, Francis Choi, Allison Matzelle, Jessica Torossian, Scott Morello, K.A.S. Mislan, Lauren Yamane, Denise Strickland, P Lauren Szathmary, Sarah Gilman, Alyson Tockstein, Thomas Hilbish, Michael Burrows, Anne Marie Power, Elizabeth Gosling, Nova Mieszkowska, Christopher Harley, Michael Nishizaki, Emily Carrington, Bruce Menge, Laura Petes, Melissa Foley, Angela Johnson, Megan Poole, Mae Noble, Erin Richmond, Matt Robart, Jonathan Robinson, Jerod Sapp, Jackie Sones, Bernardo Broitman, Mark Denny, Katharine Mach, Luke Miller, Michael O'Donnell, Philip Ross, Gretchen Hofmann, Mackenzie Zippay, Carol Blanchette, J.A. Macfarlan, Eugenio Carpizo-Ituart, Ben Ruttenberg, Carlos Peña Mejía , Christopher McQuaid, Justin Lathlean, Cristián Monaco, Katy Nicastro, and Gerardo Zardi. Long-term, high frequency in situ measurements of intertidal mussel bed temperatures using biomimetic sensors. 2016. Scientific Data. doi: 10.1038/sdata.2016.87

John A. Cigliano, Amy Bauer, Megan M. Draheim, Melissa M. Foley, Carolyn J. Lundquist, Julie-Beth McCarthy, Katheryn W. Patterson, Andrew J. Wright, and E. C. M. Parsons. The kraken in the aquarium: questions that urgently need to be addressed in order to advance marine conservation. 2016. Frontiers in Marine Science. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2016.00174

Melissa M. Foley, Rebecca G. Martone, Michael D. Fox, Carrie V. Kappel, Ashley L. Erickson, Lindley A. Mease, Peter Taylor, Benjamin S. Halpern, Kimberly A. Selkoe, and Courtney Scarborough. Addressing the challenges of detecting, predicting, and managing for ecosystem thresholds. 2015. Frontiers in Marine Science. doi:10.3389/fmars.2015.00095

Megan Saunders, Christopher Brown, Melissa M. Foley, Catherine Febria, Molly Mehling, Rebecca Albright, Dana Burfeind, and Maria Kavanaugh. Connectivity in a changing world: a synthesis of anthropogenic stressors on marine and freshwater ecosystems. 2015. Marine and Freshwater Research. doi: 10.1071/MF14358

Melissa M. Foley, Jeffrey J. Duda, Matthew M. Beirne, Rebecca Paradis, Jonathan A. Warrick. Rapid physical change in the Elwha River estuary complex during dam decommissioning. 2015. Limnology and Oceanography. doi: 10.1002/lno.10129

J.N. Kittinger, J.Z. Koehn, E. Le Cornu, N.C. Ban, M.H. Armsby, X. Basurto, C. Brooks, M.H. Carr, J.E. Cinner, A. Cravens, M. D’Iorio, A.L. Erickson, E.M. Finkbeiner, M.M. Foley, R. Fujita, S. Gelcich, M. Gopnik, L. Hazen, M. Lopuch, K. St. Martin, E.E. Prahler, D.R. Reineman, J. Shackeroff, C. White, M.R. Caldwell, L.B. Crowder. Putting people into ocean planning: a framework for incorporating social data. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. doi:10.1890/130267

E.C.M. Parsons, B. Favaro, A.A. Aguirre, A.L. Bauer, L.K. Blight, J.A. Cigliano, M.A. Coleman, I.M. Côté, M. Draheim, S. Fletcher, M.M. Foley, R. Jefferson, M.C. Jones, B.P. Kelaher, C.J. Lundquist, J. McCarthy, A. Nelson, K. Patterson, L. Walsh, A.J. Wright, W.J. Sutherland. 71 important questions for conservation of marine biodiversity. 2014. Conservation Biology 28(5): 1206-1214. doi: 10.1111/cobi.12303

Melissa M. Foley, Matthew H. Armsby, Erin E. Prahler, Margaret R. Caldwell, Larry B. Crowder, Ashley Erickson, John Kittinger. Improving ocean management through the use of ecological principles and integrated ecosystem assessments. 2013. BioScience 63: 619-631.

Fujita, R., J.H. Moxley, H. DeBey, T. Van Leuvan, A. Leumer, K. Honey, S. Aguilar, and M.M. Foley. Managing for a resilient ocean. 2013. Marine Policy 38: 538-544.

Bracken, M.E.S., B.A. Menge, M.M. Foley, C.J.B. Sorte, J. Lubchenco, D.R. Schiel. Mussel selectivity for high-quality food drives carbon inputs into open-coast intertidal ecosystems. 2012. Marine Ecology Progress Series 459: 53-62.

A.L. Erickson, M.M. Foley, E.E. Prahler, and M.R. Caldwell. Incorporating Ecological Principles into California Ocean and Coastal Management: Examples from Practice. 2012. Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University, California. [Link]

Krenz, C., B. Menge, T. Freidenburg, J. Lubchenco, F. Chan, M. Foley, K. Nielsen. Ecological subsidies to rocky intertidal communities: linear or non-linear changes along a consistent geographic upwelling transition? 2011. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 409: 361-370.

R.P. Kelly*, M.M. Foley*, W.S. Fisher, R.A. Feely, B.S. Halpern, G.G. Waldbusser, and M.R. Caldwell. Mitigating local causes of ocean acidification with existing laws. 2011. Science 332: 1036-1037. (*equal co-authors)

H. Coleman, M. Foley, E. Prahler, M. Armsby, and G. Shillinger. Decision Guide: Selecting Decision Support Tools for Marine Spatial Planning. Center for Ocean Solutions. 2011. The Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University, California. [Link]

Bruce A. Menge, Melissa M. Foley, Jacque Pamplin, Gayle Murphy, and Camryn Pennington. Supply-side ecology, barnacle recruitment, and rocky intertidal community dynamics: Do settlement surface and limpet disturbance matter? 2010. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 392: 160-175.

Melissa M. Foley and Paul Koch. Investigating the correlation between allochthonous subsidy input and isotopic variability in the giant kelp Macrocystis pyrifera in central California. 2010. Marine Ecology Progress Series 409: 41-50.

M.M. Foley, B.S. Halpern, F. Micheli, M.H. Armsby, M.R. Caldwell, C.M. Crain, E. Prahler, N. Rohr, D. Sivas, M.W. Beck, M.H. Carr, L.B. Crowder, J.E. Duffy, S.D. Hacker, K. McLeod, S.R. Palumbi, C.H. Peterson, H.M. Regan, M.H. Ruckelshaus, P.A. Sandifer, R.S. Steneck. Guiding ecological principles for marine spatial planning. 2010. Marine Policy 34: 955-966.

B.R. Broitman, C.A. Blanchette, B.A. Menge, J. Lubchenco, C. Krenz, M. Foley, P.T. Raimondi, D. Lohse, and S.D. Gaines. Spatial and temporal patterns of invertebrate recruitment along the West coast of the United States. 2008. Ecological Monographs 78(3): 403-421.

C.B. Woodson, D.I. Eerkes-Medrano, A. Flores-Morales, M.M. Foley, S. Henkel, M. Hessing-Lewis, D. Jacinto, L. Needles, M. Nishizaki, J. O’Leary, C.E. Ostrander, M. Pespeni, K. Schwager, J.A. Tyburczy, K.A. Weersing, A. Kirincich, J. Barth, M. A. McManus, and L. Washburn. Diurnal upwelling driven by sea breezes in northern Monterey Bay: A local mechanism for larval delivery to the intertidal? 2007. Continental Shelf Research 27(18): 2289-2302.

Bruce A. Menge, Carol Blanchette, Pete Raimondi, Steve Gaines, Jane Lubchenco, Dave Lohse, Gregory Hudson, Melissa Foley, Jacque Pamplin. Species interaction strength: Testing model predictions along an upwelling gradient. 2004. Ecological Monographs 74(4): 663-684.

Bruce A. Menge, Matthew Bracken, Melissa Foley, Tess Freidenburg, Gregory Hudson, Christopher Krenz, Heather Leslie, Jane Lubchenco, Roland Russell, Steven D. Gaines, and Michael Webster. Coastal oceanography sets the pace of rocky intertidal community dynamics. 2003. Proceedings from the National Academy of Science 100(21): 12229-12234.