PhD Research - Laura Urbisci

BS Environmental Science and Management, University of California, Davis

Most managed stocks rely on single-species stock assessments to provide the necessary information to support sustainable harvest. In many cases these approaches have worked, especially when fisheries data and enforcement are adequate and the environmental regime is highly productive. However, single-species models stop short of understanding broader ecosystem concepts, because they do not adequately incorporate ecosystem processes such as energy transfer through food-webs and species interactions. Fisheries failures have occurred in cases where single-species models have not accounted for changes in ecosystem dynamics. Therefore to meet the needs of more comprehensive management and assure sustainable fishing, ecosystem-based models have been developed to explore the direct and indirect interactions of species with their environment. My dissertation explores the limitations and advantages of an ecosystem-based approach.

Year Admitted: 2013
Research Areas: Fisheries, statistics
Faculty Advisor: Hunter Lenihan

Office: Bren Hall 1306


Curriculum Vitae


Urbisci, L. C., Stohs, S. M., and Piner, K. P. 2015. From sunrise to sunset in the California drift gillnet fishery: An examination of the effects of time and area closures on the catch and catch rates of four key pelagic species: thresher shark (Alopias vulpinus), swordfish (Xiphias gladius), blue shark (Prionace glauca), and shortfin mako (Isurus oxyrinchus). Marine Fisheries Review. In progress.

Urbisci, L. C., Sippel, T., Teo, L. H., Piner, K. R., and Kohin, S. 2013 Size composition and spatial distribution of shortfin mako sharks by size and sex in U.S. West Coast fisheries. Submitted to ISC Shark Working Group Workshop July 6-11, 2013.

Urbisci, L. C., Runcie, R., Sippel, T., Piner, K., Dewar, H., and Kohin, S. 2012 Examining size-sex segregation among blue sharks (Prionace glauca) from the Eastern Pacific Ocean using drift gillnet fishery and satellite tagging data. Submitted to ISC Shark Working Group Workshop January 7-14, 2013.

Urbisci, L. C. 2011. Testing the unknown: the distribution, size and abundance of intertidal Haliotis rufescens (red abalone) and Haliotis cracherodii (black abalone) within Marine Protected Areas. (Unpublished student report. On file at the Cadet Hand Library, U.C. Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory).


NMFS – Sea Grant Fellowship in population dynamics (2014-2017)

ERI Summer Fellowship, 2014

Dr. Daniel Vapnek Fellowship and Award 2013 – 2014