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Profiles from the Peninsula: Dr. Drew Talley

Profiles from the Peninsula is a series dedicated to spotlighting the partners who make up the Baja Working Group, and their projects. This week’s profile is on Dr. Drew Talley, a marine ecologist and professor of environmental and ocean sciences, and his work on connectivity, both in science and in the communities where he works. 

Puedes leer este blog en español aquí.

Profiles from the Peninsula is a series dedicated to spotlighting the partners who make up the Baja Working Group, and their projects. Each week, we will bring you a new profile in the form of a blog like this one. More information about the working group can be found here.

Dr. Drew Talley is a marine ecologist and associate professor of environmental and ocean sciences at the University of San Diego. Drew’s research topics include habitat connectivity at the land-sea interface in the Gulf of California, food web dynamics of coastal ecosystems in northern Baja, and the impacts of invasive species on ecosystems in the Tijuana Estuary.

Since the mid-1990s, Drew has worked in the San Quintín Bay on the Pacific coast of Baja California, studying fish and infaunal communities. In 2000, Drew expanded his research in Baja when he began spatial subsidy research in the Los Ángeles Bay. Drew’s emphasis on connectivity informs his views on climate resilience in the border region. As he puts it, “we need each other. Mexico lacks the infrastructure and capacity, and the US lacks the resolve, especially in the border region.”

In addition to his passion for science, and in particular the California killifish, Drew is also passionate about education and access to science. It’s no surprise that Drew is immensely popular with his students, who describe him as someone who “wants all of his students to succeed”, and “is willing to go the extra mile” for them. Drew himself describes his approach to teaching as “spending a lot of time thinking about how places, things, and ideas that seem quite disparate are often deeply interconnected,” and how his experiences make him “pay a lot of attention to diversity - diversity of processes, habitats, organisms, disciplines, and people, and how critical this diversity is to success.”

Drew also serves as the Science Director for the Ocean Discovery Institute, and in 2017, Drew received the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation (CERF) William Niering Outstanding Educator Award. Just as he finds connections in his research, Drew looks for connections in his community, bringing science to historically underserved young people, helping them see their potential as future scientists.

The Baja Working Group is a collaboration between the Climate Science Alliance and the International Community Foundation. Learn more here.


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