Richard Ambrose, Ph.D.

A Short Biography:

Richard F. Ambrose is Professor in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences and the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at UCLA. He received his B.S. from UC Irvine and his Ph.D. from UCLA. He spent seven years at the Marine Science Institute at U.C. Santa Barbara before returning to UCLA in 1992. He teaches graduate courses covering environmental assessment, restoration ecology, conservation biology, and the ecological effects of climate change. His research includes the restoration of degraded coastal habitats, especially wetlands, evaluating the effectiveness of wetland mitigation programs, monitoring change in rocky intertidal habitats using a network of monitoring sites throughout California, evaluating alternatives for managing watershed-level ecological problems resulting from urbanization, evaluating climate change relate to coastal habitats, incluing projected changes in vegetation and carbon sequestration in coastal wetlands as a means for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, and ecological aspects of biofilters used to capture and treat stormwater and other urban runoff. He currently chairs the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission’s Technical Advisory Panel and the Scientific Advisory Panel for the California Coastal Commission’s SONGS mitigation project, and he serves on scientific advisory panels for many organizations, including the California Ocean Protection Council and the Southern California Wetland Recovery Project. He has provided advice about environmental restoration issues to a wide variety of government and private organizations, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, California State Water Resources Control Board, California Coastal Commission, California State Lands Commission, California Coastal Conservancy, California Department of Transportation, City of Malibu, and private organizations.

Work Titles
UCLA Research Professor, Environmental Health Sciences
B.S., University of California, Irvine

Contact Information:

Work Email Address:


Ambrose Lab website

Fax Number:

(310) 794-2106

Lab Number:

(310) 825-6144

Work Phone Number:

(310) 825-6144

Mailing Address:

UCLA Fielding School of Public Health
650 Charles E. Young DR S, 46-078 CHS
Los Angeles, CA 90095


A selected list of publications:

Peterson, C.H.,S.S. Anderson, G.N. Cherr, R.F. Ambrose, S. Anghera, S. Bay, M. Blum, R. Condon, T.A. Dean, M. Graham, M. Guzy, S. Hampton, S. Joye, J. Lambrinos, B. Mate, D. Meffert, S.P. Powers, P. Somasundaran, R.B. Spies, C.M. Taylor, R. Tjeerdema, and E.E. Adams   A Tale of Two Spills: Novel Science and Policy Implications of an Emerging New Oil Spill Model Bioscience , 2012; (62): 461-469.
Coffman, G.C., Ambrose, R.F., and Rundel, P.W.   Wildfire promotes dominance by the invasive Giant Reed (Arundo donax) in riparian ecocystems Biological Invasion, 2011; (12): 2723-2734.
Rothenberg, S.E., DeRose, M.B., Lin, C., Kirby, M.E., Bird, B.W., Ambrose, R.F., and Jay, J.A.   The impact of over 100 years of wildfires on mercury levels and accumulation rates in two lakes in southern California, USA Environmental Earth Sciences, 2010; 60: 993-1005.
Zimmer-Faust Amity G, Ambrose Richard F, Tamburri Mario N   Evaluation of approaches to quantify total residual oxidants in ballast water management systems employing chlorine for disinfection Water science and technology : a journal of the International Association on Water Pollution Research, 2014; 70(10): 1585-93.
Myers, M.R. and Ambrose, R.F.   Differences in benthic cover inside and outside marine protected areas on the Great Barrier Reef: influence of protection or disturbance history? Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 2009; 19: 736-747.
Smith, J.R., Fong, P., and Ambrose, R.F.   Spatial patterns in recruitment and growth of the mussel Mytilus californianus (Conrad) in southern and northern California, USA, two regions with differing oceanographic conditions Journal of Sea Research, 2009; 61: 165-173.
Willette, D.A. and Ambrose, R.F.   The distribution and expansion of the invasive seagrass Halophila stipulacea in Dominica, West Indies, with a preliminary report from St. Lucia Aquatic Botany, 2009; 91: 137-142.
Rothenberg, S.E., Ambrose, R.F., and Jay, J.A.   Evaluating the potential efficacy of mercury Total Maximum Daily Loads on aqueous methylmercury levels in four coastal watersheds Environmental Science and Technology, 2008; 42: 5400-5406.
Rothenberg, S.E., Ambrose, R.F., and Jay, J.A.   Mercury cycling in surface water, pore water and sediments of Mugu Lagoon, CA., USA Environmental Pollution, 2008; 154: 32-45.
Smith, J.R., Fong, P., and Ambrose, R.F   The impacts of human visitation on mussel bed communities along the California coast: Are regulatory marine reserves effective in protecting these communities? Environmental Management, 2008; 41: 599-612.
Swenson, D. P. Ambrose, R. F.   A spatial analysis of cumulative habitat loss in Southern California under the Clean Water Act Section 404 program Landscape and Urban Planning, 2007; 82(1-2): 41-55.
Raimondi, P. T. Sagarin, R. D. Ambrose, R. F. Bell, C. George, M. Lee, S. F. Lohse, D. Miner, C. M. Murray, S. N.   Consistent frequency of color morphs in the sea star Pisaster ochraceus (Echinodermata : Asteriidae) across open-coast habitats in the northeastern Pacific Pacific Science, 2007; 61(2): 201-210.
Miller, A. W. Ruiz, G. M. Minton, M. S. Ambrose, R. F.   Differentiating successful and failed molluscan invaders in estuarine ecosystems Marine Ecology-Progress Series, 2007; 332: 41-51.
Sagarin, R. D. Ambrose, R. F. Becker, B. J. Engle, J. M. Kido, J. Lee, S. F. Miner, C. M. Murray, S. N. Raimondi, P. T. Richards, D. Roe, C.   Ecological impacts on the limpet Lottia gigantea populations: human pressure over a broad scale on island and mainland intertidal zones Marine Biology, 2007; 150(3): 399-413.
Harmon, T. C. Ambrose, R. F. Gilbert, R. M. Fisher, J. C. Stealey, M. Kaiser, W. J.   High-resolution river hydraulic and water quality characterization using rapidly deployable networked infomechanical systems (NIMS RD) Environmental Engineering Science, 2007; 24(2): 151-159.
Tetreault, I. Ambrose, R. F.   Temperate marine reserves enhance targeted but not untargeted fishes in multiple no-take mpas Ecological Applications, 2007; 17(8): 2251-2267.
Armitage, A. R. Jensen, S. M. Yoon, J. E. Ambrose, R. F.   Wintering shorebird assemblages and behavior in restored tidal wetlands in southern California Restoration Ecology, 2007; 15(1): 139-148.
Smith, J. R. Fong, P. Ambrose, R. F.   Dramatic declines in mussel bed community diversity: Response to climate change? Ecology, 2006; 87(5): 1153-1161.
Smith, J. R. Fong, P. Ambrose, R. F.   Long-term change in mussel (Mytilus californianus Conrad) populations along the wave-exposed coast of southern California Marine Biology, 2006; 149(3): 537-545.
Reed, D. C. Schroeter, S. C. Huang, D. Anderson, T. W. Ambrose, R. F.   Quantitative assessment of different artificial reef designs in mitigating losses to kelp forest fishes Bulletin of Marine Science, 2006; 78(1): 133-150.
Armitage, A. R. Boyer, K. E. Vance, R. R. Ambrose, R. F.   Restoring assemblages of salt marsh halophytes in the presence of a rapidly colonizing dominant species Wetlands, 2006; 26(3): 667-676.
Evanson, M. Ambrose, R. F.   Sources and growth dynamics of fecal indicator bacteria in a coastal wetland system and potential impacts to adjacent waters Water Research, 2006; 40(3): 475-486.
Shuman, C. S. Hodgson, G. Ambrose, R. F.   Population impacts of collecting sea anemones and anemonefish for the marine aquarium trade in the Philippines Coral Reefs, 2005; 24(4): 564-573.
Shuman, C. S. Hodgson, G. Ambrose, R. F.   Managing the marine aquarium trade: is eco-certification the answer? Environmental Conservation, 2004; 31(4): 339-348.
Shuman, C. S. Ambrose, R. F.   A comparison of remote sensing and ground-based methods for monitoring wetland restoration success Restoration Ecology, 2003; 11(3): 325-333.
Vance, R. R. Ambrose, R. F. Anderson, S. S. MacNeil, S. McPherson, T. Beers, I. Keeney, T. W.   Effects of sewage sludge on the growth of potted salt marsh plants exposed to natural tidal inundation Restoration Ecology, 2003; 11(2): 155-167.
Moeller, A. MacNeil, S. D. Ambrose, R. F. Hee, S. S. Q.   Elements in fish of Malibu Creek and Malibu Lagoon near Los Angeles, California Marine Pollution Bulletin, 2003; 46(4): 424-429.
Forrester, G. E. Fredericks, B. I. Gerdeman, D. Evans, B. Steele, M. A. Zayed, K. Schweitzer, L. E. Suffet, I. H. Vance, R. R. Ambrose, R. F.   Growth of estuarine fish is associated with the combined concentration of sediment contaminants and shows no adaptation or acclimation to past conditions Marine Environmental Research, 2003; 56(3): 423-442.
Raimondi, P. T. Wilson, C. M. Ambrose, R. F. Engle, J. M. Minchinton, T. E.   Continued declines of black abalone along the coast of California: are mass mortalities related to El Nino events? Marine Ecology-Progress Series, 2002; 242: 143-152.
Sudol, M. F. Ambrose, R. F.   The US Clean Water Act and habitat replacement: Evaluation of mitigation sites in Orange County, California, USA Environmental Management, 2002; 30(5): 727-734.
Moeller, A. Ambrose, R. F. Hee, S. S. Q.   A comparison of techniques for preparing fish fillet for ICP-AES multielemental analysis and the microwave digestion of whole fish Food Additives and Contaminants, 2001; 18(1): 19-29.
Stein, E. D. Ambrose, R. F.   Landscape-scale analysis and management of cumulative impacts to riparian ecosystems: Past, present, and future Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 2001; 37(6): 1597-1614.
Boyer, K. E. Fong, P. Vance, R. R. Ambrose, R. F.   Salicornia virginica in a Southern California salt marsh: Seasonal patterns and a nutrient-enrichment experiment Wetlands, 2001; 21(3): 315-326.
Downs, T. J. Ambrose, R. F.   Syntropic ecotoxicology: A heuristic model for understanding the vulnerability of ecological systems to stress Ecosystem Health, 2001; 7(4): 266-283.
Cohen, T. Hee, S. S. Q. Ambrose, R. F.   Trace metals in fish and invertebrates of three California coastal wetlands Marine Pollution Bulletin, 2001; 42(3): 224-232.
Miller, A. W. Ambrose, R. F.   Sampling patchy distributions: comparison of sampling designs in rocky intertidal habitats Marine Ecology-Progress Series, 2000; 196: 1-14.
Stein, E. D. Tabatabai, F. Ambrose, R. F.   Wetland mitigation banking: A framework for crediting and debiting Environmental Management, 2000; 26(3): 233-250.
Lafferty, K. D. Swift, C. C. Ambrose, R. F.   Extirpation and recolonization in a metapopulation of an endangered fish, the tidewater goby Conservation Biology, 1999; 13(6): 1447-1453.
Lafferty, K., C. Swift and R.F. Ambrose   Extirpation and recovery of local populations of the endangered tidewater goby, Eucyclogobius newberryi, Conservation Biology , 1999; 13: 1447-1453.
Ambrose, R. F. Meffert, D. J.   Fish-assemblage dynamics in Malibu Lagoon, a small, hydrologically altered estuary in southern California Wetlands, 1999; 19(2): 327-340.
Murray, S. N. Ambrose, R. F. Bohnsack, J. A. Botsford, L. W. Carr, M. H. Davis, G. E. Dayton, P. K. Gotshall, D. Gunderson, D. R. Hixon, M. A. Lubchenco, J. Mangel, M. MacCall, A. McArdle, D. A. Ogden, J. C. Roughgarden, J. Starr, R. M. Tegner, M. J. Yoklavich, M. M.   No-take reserve networks: Sustaining fishery populations and marine ecosystems Fisheries, 1999; 24(11): 11-25.
Stein, E. D. Ambrose, R. F.   Rapid impact assessment method for use in a regulatory context Wetlands, 1998; 18(3): 379-392.
Palmer, M. A. Ambrose, R. F. Poff, N. L.   Ecological theory and community restoration ecology Restoration Ecology, 1997; 5(4): 291-300.
Altstatt, J. M. Ambrose, R. F. Engle, J. M. Haaker, P. L. Lafferty, K. D. Raimondi, P. T.   Recent declines of black abalone Haliotis cracherodii on the mainland coast of central California Marine Ecology-Progress Series, 1996; 142(1-3): 185-192.
Johnson, T. D. Barnett, A. M. Demartini, E. E. Craft, L. L. Ambrose, R. F. Purcell, L. J.   Fish Production and Habitat Utilization on a Southern California Artificial Reef Bulletin of Marine Science, 1994; 55(2-3): 709-723.
Demartini, E. E. Barnett, A. M. Johnson, T. D. Ambrose, R. F.   Growth and Production Estimates for Biomass-Dominant Fishes on a Southern California Artificial Reef Bulletin of Marine Science, 1994; 55(2-3): 484-500.
Ambrose, R. F.   Mitigating the Effects of a Coastal Power-Plant on a Kelp Forest Community - Rationale and Requirements for an Artificial Reef Bulletin of Marine Science, 1994; 55(2-3): 694-708.
Coyer, J. A. Ambrose, R. F. Engle, J. M. Carroll, J. C.   Interactions between Corals and Algae on a Temperate Zone Rocky Reef - Mediation by Sea-Urchins Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 1993; 167(1): 21-37.
Holbrook, S. J. Schmitt, R. J. Ambrose, R. F.   Biogenic Habitat Structure and Characteristics of Temperate Reef Fish Assemblages Australian Journal of Ecology, 1990; 15(4): 489-503.
Ambrose, R. F. Anderson, T. W.   Influence of an Artificial Reef on the Surrounding Infaunal Community Marine Biology, 1990; 107(1): 41-52.
Ambrose, R. F. Swarbrick, S. L.   Comparison of Fish Assemblages on Artificial and Natural Reefs Off the Coast of Southern-California Bulletin of Marine Science, 1989; 44(2): 718-733.
Ambrose, R. F. Leighton, B. J. Hartwick, E. B.   Characterization of Boreholes by Octopus-Dofleini in the Bivalve Saxidomus-Giganteus Journal of Zoology, 1988; 214: 491-503.
Hartwick, E. B. Robinson, S. M. C. Ambrose, R. F. Trotter, D. Walsh, M.   Inshore-Offshore Comparison of Octopus-Dofleini with Special Reference to Abundance, Growth and Physical Condition during Winter Malacologia, 1988; 29(1): 57-68.
Ambrose, R. F.   Population-Dynamics of Octopus-Bimaculatus - Influence of Life-History Patterns, Synchronous Reproduction and Recruitment, Malacologia, 1988; 29(1): 23-39.
Coyer, J. A. Engle, J. M. Ambrose, R. F. Nelson, B. V.   Utilization of Purple and Red-Sea Urchins (Strongylocentrotus-Purpuratus Stimpson and S-Franciscanus-Agassiz) as Food by the White Sea-Urchin (Lytechinus-Anamesus Clark) in the Field and Laboratory Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 1987; 105(1): 21-38.
Ambrose, R. F.   Effects of Octopus Predation on Motile Invertebrates in a Rocky Subtidal Community Marine Ecology-Progress Series, 1986; 30(2-3): 261-273.
Hartwick, E. B. Ambrose, R. F. Robinson, S. M. C.   Den Utilization and the Movements of Tagged Octopus-Dofleini Marine Behaviour and Physiology, 1984; 11(2): 95-110.
Hartwick, E. B. Ambrose, R. F. Robinson, S. M. C.   Dynamics of Shallow-Water Populations of Octopus-Dofleini Marine Biology, 1984; 82(1): 65-72.
Ambrose, R. F.   Food Preferences, Prey Availability, and the Diet of Octopus-Bimaculatus Verrill Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 1984; 77(1-2): 29-44.
Ambrose, R. F.   Midden Formation by Octopuses - the Role of Biotic and Abiotic Factors Marine Behaviour and Physiology, 1983; 10(2): 137-144.
Ambrose, R. F. Nelson, B. V.   Inhibition of Giant-Kelp Recruitment by an Introduced Brown Alga Botanica Marina, 1982; 25(6): 265-267.
Ambrose, R. F.   Shelter Utilization by the Molluscan Cephalopod Octopus-Bimaculatus Marine Ecology-Progress Series, 1982; 7(1): 67-73.
Ambrose, R. F.   Observations on the Embryonic-Development and Early Post-Embryonic Behavior of Octopus-Bimaculatus (Mollusca, Cephalopoda) Veliger, 1981; 24(2): 139-146.
Ambrose, R. F.   Importance of Octopus Predation in a Southern-California Subtidal Community American Zoologist, 1980; 20(4): 884-884.
Ambrose, R. F. Meehan, T. E.   Aggressive-Behavior of Perognathus-Parvus and Peromyscus-Maniculatus Journal of Mammalogy, 1977; 58(4): 665-668.

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