More about Bruce Kendall

More about Bruce Kendall

Curriculum Vitae | Biography | Campus Affiliations | Grants | Information for Prospective Students | Links | Publications | Research Interests | Thesis supervision - MESM | Thesis supervision - PhD | PhD Students | Back to Bruce Kendall Faculty Page


Curriculum Vitae



Bruce Kendall (PhD University of Arizona, 1996) is an associate professor at the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, where he has been located since 1998. He is a quantitative ecologist with a focus on animal and plant population dynamics.

He received his BA in physics, with an environmental studies minor, from Williams College (Massachusetts) in 1986, and a PhD in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Arizona in 1996. His dissertation work focussed on chaos theory, spatial population models, and models of small populations. From 1996 through 1998, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (UC Santa Barbara), where he studied the causes of population cycles.

The highlights of his years between college and grad school include bicycling across the country, working at the environmental education center for the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, spending a year as an agricultural intern at the Land Institute in Kansas, and working at a commercial trout hatchery in Massachusetts.

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Campus Affiliations

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  • Dan Reed, PI, and 21 CoIs. Land/ocean interactions and the dynamics of kelp forest communities. NSF (LTER). $4,200,000 (3/00 - 3/06).

  • R. Nisbet, A. Brooks, B. Kendall, P. Holden, K. Lafferty, E. Muller, C. Paige, and A. Stewart-Oaten. 2001-2006. Western Center for Estuarine Ecosystem Indicator Research: Ecological Indicators (EPA: $1,880,000).

  • D.A. Siegel and B.E. Kendall. 2001-2003. Marine protected area design and monitoring using satellite data: a prototype study in the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary (NOAA: $320,000).

  • C. Costello and B. Kendall. 2001-2003. On the preservation of transboundary, non-harvested species (Institute for Global Conflict and Cooperation: $15,000).

  • B. Kendall and G. Fox. 2002-2004. Individual variability, environmental stressors, and sampling uncertainty in wildlife risk assessment (EPA: $427,000).

  • B. E. Kendall and C. McAusland. 2002-2003. Assessment of chemical and non-chemical stressors on fall-run chinook salmon (California EPA: $18,000).

  • B. E. Kendall and B. G. Bierwagen. 2002-2004. Dissertation research: Ecological and evolutionary effects of land use changes on butterflies (NSF: $8,139).

  • B. Kendall, C. McAusland, and J. Love. 2002-2003. Dry Creek ecological risk assessment (County of Placer: $7,855)

  • D. Siegel, C. Costello, B. Kendall, S. Gaines, and R. Warner. 2003-2008. Flow, Fish and Fishing: Disparate Scales of Process Make Nearshore Fishery Management a Difficult Task (NSF: $1,600,000).

  • C. White and B. Kendall. 2005-2008. Population Connectivity and the Management of Coastal Fishery Species across the US-Mexico Border (AAAS: $39,000).

  • T. Dunne, F. Davis, B. Kendall, and H. Lenihan. 2006-2009. How abiotic processes, biotic processes, and their interactions sustain habitat characteristics and functions in river channels and floodplains: An investigation of the response of a gravel-bed reach of the Merced River to restoration (CalFed: $1,400,000).

  • B. Kendall and S. MacIntyre. 2006-2008. Determining factors for Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum L.) spread in and around Lake Tahoe, CA-NV (UC Water Center: $60,000).

  • B. Kendall, G. Fox, and R. Gomulkiewicz. 2006-2009. Demographic heterogeneity within populations and its consequences (NSF: $502,293).

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Information for Prospective PhD Students

Prospective Master's (MESM) Students

The Bren School MESM (Masters in Environmental Science & Management) degree is a non-thesis program, and you will not have an individual advisor in the way that you would in an MS or MA program. There is a faculty member who provides curriculum advice to the students in each specialization, but those positions rotate frequently among faculty. In addition to coursework, you will perform a year-long "group project," in which you work in a group of 3-6 students to solve a real-world problem. Each group project has a faculty advisor, but both the groups and their advisors will be selected after you start the program. For more details, please see the MESM program description.

Admission to the program does not depend on sponsorship from an individual faculty member, and indeed I have no direct influence on admissions decisions. However, I would be happy to answer any questions you might have about the Conservation Planning specialization in particular or the MESM program in general.


Prospective PhD students

I am looking for smart, creative, self-motivated students to pursue Ph.D. research in my lab. You should only consider working with me if your research interests are broadly within the area of population biology; past and current student research has included invasion biology, fisheries modeling, and the evolution of dispersal.

I do not do field work or laboratory studies; I do modeling and quantitative analysis of existing data. Students in my lab are welcome to have an empirical component to their dissertation (although at least one chapter should be some sort of modeling study), and several have successfully done so. However, it requires that you be entrepeneurial about finding funding for such research, as well as finding mentors for the practical and logistical aspects of field research. I can certainly provided advice on finding these resources, but the initiative will need to come from you.

Most of my students enroll in the Bren School; take a look at the program description. This is entirely appropriate if you are interested in applied ecology or interdisciplinary research, and envision your future either as an academic in an applied department (e.g., as an academic conservation biologist) or in a non-academic position (e.g., in a government agency or nonprofit). If your interests are more in basic ecology, and you envision a future as a professor in a good ecology department, you may do better to apply to the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology (EEMB), in which I hold an affiliated appointment. If you do this, you will want to identify a full-time faculty member of the department to be your co-advisor. Finally, if you are interested in marine science, you may prefer to enroll in the Interdepartmental Graduate Program in Marine Science.

A final issue to consider is funding (stipend, tuition and fees). Neither I nor any of the programs with which I am affiliated can absolutely guarantee funding for a set time. That said, however, none of my students have had much difficulty finding funding. There are a number of options: being a teaching assistant (TA) for coures in the Bren School, EEMB, or the undergraduate Environmental Studies Program; being a graduate student researcher (GSR), either on one of my projects or at NCEAS; or by obtaining fellowships and grants of your own (in regard to the latter, I strongly urge you to apply for the NSF and EPA STAR doctoral fellowships now; there are others you can apply to once you are here). If you are applying from outside the US, I encourage you to seek funding sources from your government, as you will be ineligible for many for the funding sources here. Again, if you are entrepreneurial, you will have no difficulty finding financial support; but I can't provide any guarantees.

If you are interested in working with me, please send me an email with the following information:

1. Your educational background (including GPA and GRE scores), research experience, and the name of someone who can provide a reference (this can be in the form of a resume);

2. Why you want to pursue a Ph.D. (i.e., what you want to do when you grow up);

3. About a page describing the research areas in which you might want to work. This is not binding, and obviously you can develop new ideas once you are here; but I want to see (a) that you can come up with interesting research ideas and (b) that your interests are broadly appropriate to being in my lab.

That can start a dialog, and if I decide you would be a good fit for my lab, I will agree to be your faculty sponsor and you can start the formal application process.

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  • Ecological Society of America -- "a non-partisan, nonprofit organization of scientists founded in 1915 to: promote ecological science by improving communication among ecologists; raise the public's level of awareness of the importance of ecological science; increase the resources available for the conduct of ecological science; and ensure the appropriate use of ecological science in environmental decision making by enhancing communication between the ecological community and policy-makers."

  • Invasive and Exotic Species of North America -- Collection of images and descriptions of many invasive plants and animals.

  • Society for Conservation Biology -- "an international professional organization dedicated to promoting the scientific study of the phenomena that affect the maintenance, loss, and restoration of biological diversity."

  • Union of Concerned Scientists -- "UCS is an independent nonprofit alliance of 60,000 concerned citizens and scientists across the country. We augment rigorous scientific analysis with innovative thinking and committed citizen advocacy to build a cleaner, healthier environment and a safer world."

  • The view outside

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Siegel, D.A., S. Mitarai, C.J. Costello, S.D. Gaines, B.E. Kendall, R.R. Warner, and K.B. Winters. 2007. Connectivity among nearshore marine ecosystems: the stochastic nature of larval transport. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the USA, in press.

Levine, J.M., E. Pachepsky, B.E. Kendall, S.G. Yelenik, and J.H.R. Lambers. 2006. Plant-soil feedbacks and invasive spread. Ecology Letters 9: 1005-1014.

Coulson, T., T.G. Benton, P. Lunderg, S.R.X. Dall, and B.E. Kendall. 2006. Putting evolutionary biology back in the ecological theatre: a demographic framework mapping genes to communities. Evolutionary Ecology Research 8: 1155-1171.

Fox, G.A., B.E. Kendall, J.W. Fitzpatrick, and G.E. Woolfenden. 2006. Consequences of heterogeneity in survival probability in a population of Florida Scrub-Jays. Journal of Animal Ecology 75: 921-927.

Boyce, M.S., C.V. Haridas, C.T. Lee, and the NCEAS Stochastic Demography Working Group. 2006. Demography in an increasingly variable world. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 26: 141-148.

Coulson, T., T.G. Benton, P. Lundberg, S.R.X. Dall, B.E. Kendall, and J.-M. Gaillard. 2006. Calculating individual contributions to population growth: evolutionary fitness in ecological time. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 273: 547-555.

Doak, D.F., W.F. Morris, C. Pfister, B.E. Kendall, and E.M. Bruna. 2005. Correctly estimating how environmental stochasticity influences fitness and population growth. American Naturalist 166: E14-E21.

Fujiwara, M., B.E. Kendall, R.M. Nisbet, and W.A. Bennett. 2005. Analysis of size trajectory data using an energetic-based growth model. Ecology 86: 1441-1451.

Kendall, B.E., S.P. Ellner, E. McCauley, S.N. Wood, C.J. Briggs, W.W. Murdoch, and P. Turchin. 2005. Population cycles in the pine looper moth (Bupalus piniarius): dynamical tests of mechanistic hypotheses. Ecological Monographs 75: 259-276.

Gram, W.K., E.T. Borer, K.L. Cottingham, E.W. Seabloom, V.L. Boucher, L. Goldwasser, F. Micheli, B.E. Kendall, and R.S. Burton. 2004. Distribution of plants in a California serpentine grassland: are rocky hummocks spatial refuges for native species? Plant Ecology 172: 159–171.

Armsworth, P. R., B. E. Kendall, and F. W. Davis. 2004. An Introduction to Biodiversity Concepts for Environmental Economists. Resource & Energy Economics 26: 115-136.

Fujiwara, M., B. E. Kendall, and R. M. Nisbet. 2004. Growth autocorrelation and animal size variation. Ecology Letters 7: 106-113.

Kendall, B. E., and G. A. Fox. 2003. Unstructured individual variation and demographic stochasticity. Conservation Biology 17: 1170-1172.

Seabloom, E. W., E. T. Borer, V. L. Boucher, R. S. Burton, K. L. Cottingham, L. Goldwasser, W. K. Gram, B. E. Kendall, and F. Micheli. 2003. Competition, seed limitation, disturbance, and reestablishment of California native annual forbs. Ecological Applications 13: 575-592.

Murdoch, W. W., C. J. Briggs, R. M. Nisbet, B. E. Kendall, and E. McCauley. 2003. Natural enemy specialization and the period of population cycles: Reply. Ecology Letters 6: 384-387.

Turchin, P., S. N. Wood, S. P. Ellner, B. E. Kendall, W. W. Murdoch, A. Fischlin, J. Casas, E. McCauley, and C. J. Briggs. 2003. Dynamical effects of plant quality and parasitism on population cycles of larch budmoth. Ecology 84: 1207-1214

Turchin, P., C. J. Briggs, S. P. Ellner, A. Fischlin, B. E. Kendall, E. McCauley, W. W. Murdoch, and S. N. Wood. 2002. Population cycles of the larch budmoth in Switzerland. Pp. 130-141 in A. A. Berryman, ed. Population Cycles: the Case for Trophic Interactions (Oxford University Press, New York).

Fox, G. A., and B. E. Kendall. 2002. Demographic stochasticity and the variance reduction effect. Ecology 83: 1928-1934.

Murdoch, W. W., B. E. Kendall, R. M. Nisbet, C. J. Briggs, E. McCauley, and R. Bolser. 2002. Single-species models for many-species food webs. Nature 417:541-543. [Supplementary Information]

Kendall, B. E., and G. A. Fox. 2002. Variation among individuals reduces demographic stochasticity. Conservation Biology 16: 109-116.

Kendall, B. E. 2002. Chaos and cycles. Pp. 209-215 in H.A. Mooney and J.G. Canadell, eds. Encyclopedia of Global Environmental Change, Vol. 2 (Wiley, Chichester).

Ellner, S. P., E. McCauley, B. E. Kendall, C. J. Briggs, P. Hosseini, S. Wood, A. Janssen, M. W. Sabelis, P. Turchin, R. M. Nisbet, and W. W. Murdoch. 2001. Habitat structure and population persistence in an experimental community. Nature 412: 538-543. [Supplementary Information]

Kendall, B. E. 2001. Nonlinear dynamics and chaos. Pp. 255-262 in Encyclopedia of Life Sciences, Vol. 13 (Nature Publishing Group, London).

Kendall, B. E. 2001. Cycles, chaos, and noise in predator-prey dynamics. Chaos, Solitons & Fractals 12: 321-332.

McCauley, E., B. E. Kendall, A. Janssen, M. W. Sabelis, S. Wood, W. W. Murdoch, P. Hosseini, R. M. Nisbet, C. J. Briggs, S. P. Ellner, and P. Turchin. 2000. Inferring colonization processes from population dynamics in spatially-structured predator-prey systems. Ecology 81: 3350-3361.

Kendall, B.E., O.N. Bjørnstad, J. Bascompte, T.H. Keitt, and W.F. Fagan. 2000. Dispersal, environmental correlation, and spatial synchrony in population dynamics. American Naturalist 155: 628-636.

Kendall, B. E. 1999. Incentives for prompt reviewers. Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America 80: 256.

Kendall, B. E., C. J. Briggs, W. W. Murdoch, P. Turchin, S. P. Ellner, E. McCauley, R. M. Nisbet, and S. N. Wood. 1999. Why do populations cycle? A synthesis of statistical and mechanistic modeling approaches. Ecology 80: 1789-1805.

Micheli, F., K.L. Cottingham, J. Bascompte, O.N. Bjørnstad, G.L. Eckert, J.M. Fischer, T.H. Keitt, B.E. Kendall, J.L. Klug, and J.A. Rusak. 1999. The dual nature of community variability. Oikos 85: 161-169.

Kendall, B.E., J. Prendergast, and O.N. Bjørnstad. 1998. The macroecology of population dynamics: taxonomic and biogeographic patterns in population cycles. Ecology Letters 1: 160-164.

Kendall, B. E., and G. A. Fox. 1998. Spatial structure, environmental heterogeneity, and population dynamics: analysis of the coupled logistic map. Theoretical Population Biology 54: 11-37.

Postdocs at NCEAS. 1998. An individual-based model of data sharing. NCEAS EcoEssay Discussion Forum.

Kendall, B. E. 1998. Estimating the magnitude of environmental stochasticity in survivorship data. Ecological Applications 8: 184-193.

Ellner, S. P., B. E. Kendall, S. N. Wood, E. McCauley, and C. J. Briggs. 1997. Inferring mechanism from time-series data: delay-differential equations. Physica D 110: 182-194.

Kendall, B. E., W. M. Schaffer, C. W. Tidd, and L. F. Olsen. 1997. The impact of chaos on biology: promising directions for research. Pp. 190-218 in C. Grebogi and J. A. Yorke, eds. The Impact of Chaos on Science and Society (United Nations University Press, Tokyo).

Kendall, B. E., W. M. Schaffer, L. F. Olsen, C. W. Tidd, and B. L. Jorgensen. 1994. Using chaos to understand biological dynamics. Pp. 184-203 in J. Grasman and G. van Straten, eds.

Predictability and Nonlinear Modelling in Natural Sciences and Economics (Kluwer Academic, Dordrecht).

Kendall, B. E., W. M. Schaffer, and C. W. Tidd. 1993. Transient periodicity in chaos. Physics Letters A 177: 13-20.

Schaffer, W. M., B. E. Kendall, C. W. Tidd, and L. F. Olsen. 1993. Transient periodicity and episodic predictability in biological dynamics. IMA Journal of Mathematics Applied in Medicine & Biology 10: 227-247.

Kendall, B. E. 1987. Growth and seed yield within a polyculture of Leymus racemosus, Tripsacum dactyloides, and Desmanthus illinoensis. The Land Institute Research Report 4: 36-40.

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Research Interests

  • Understanding temporal oscillations in population density

  • Implications of spatial structure for population dynamics

  • Characterizing, assessing, and understanding the effects of uncertainty and noise in ecological processes

  • Population viability analysis

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Thesis Supervision — MESM

  • Campopiano, M. T., C. M. Denn, E. D. Miller, S. D. Pratt, R. M. Smyk-Newton, and J. S. Yi. 2000. Enhancement alternatives for the Ocean Meadows golf course site, Goleta, California. M.E.S.M Thesis, 195 pp. Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, University of California, Santa Barbara (D. A. Siegel, co-chair).

  • Court, D. B., J. S. Glatzer, S. M. Hard, K. D. Keith, J. M. McDonald, and F. Ogushi. 2000. Prioritizing sites along the Santa Clara River for conservation of threatened and endangered species. M.E.S.M Thesis, 132 pp. Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, University of California, Santa Barbara (C. D. Kolstad, co-chair).

  • Aldrich, K. L., J. R. Curtis, and S. I. Drucker. 2001. Analysis of the ecological and economic impacts associated with the return of the sea otter to the Southern California Bight. M.E.S.M Thesis, 91 pp. Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, University of California, Santa Barbara (C. McAusland, co-chair).

  • Carson, T., A. Deweerd, S. Erickson, M. Hood, and C. Minton. 2002. Casmalia habitat restoration plan for the California red-legged frog & western spadefoot toad. M.E.S.M. Thesis, 198 pp. Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, University of California, Santa Barbara (S. Kamieniecki, co-chair).

  • Ayres, E., E. Knapp, S. Lieberman, J. Love, and K Vodopals. 2003. Assessment of stressors on fall-run chinook salmon in Secret Ravine (Placer County). M.E.S.M. Thesis, 187 pp. Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, University of California, Santa Barbara (C. McAusland, co-chair).

  • Grant, J., J.P. Hardie, J. Mazza, and L. Rizo Patron. 2004. Developing a compliance monitoring framework for conservation easements: Case study – North Irvine Ranch. M.E.S.M. Thesis, 121 pp. Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, University of California, Santa Barbara.

  • Boland, J.E., D.M. Cunningham, C.M. Danko, H.E. Imgrund, J.R. Kreitler, and J.A. Levine. 2005. Classifying sites in the Ventura hillsides for acquisition by the Ventura Hillsides Conservancy. M.E.S.M. Thesis, 71 pp. Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, University of California, Santa Barbara.

  • Chan, A., A. Cundiff, N. Gardner, Y. Hrovat, L. Kircher, and C. Klein. 2006. Marine protected areas along California’s central coast: A multicriteria analysis of network design. M.E.S.M. Thesis, 178 pp. Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, University of California, Santa Barbara.

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Thesis Supervision — PhD

Bierwagen, B.G.-M. 2003. Ecological and microevolutionary effects of urban land-use change on butterfly dispersal. P.D Thesis, 381 pp. Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, University of California, Santa Barbara.

Current PhD Students: Heather Berkley, Crow White

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PhD Students

Research Topic
Britta Bierwagen