I received my Bachelor’s of Science degree in 1974 from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln and my doctoral degree in 1979 from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, both in zoology (emphasis: freshwater ecology). Since arriving at the University of California – Santa Barbara in 1979, I have taught a variety of courses and conducted research in the fields of aquatic biology, freshwater ecology, and ecological statistics. I also have served in a variety of administrative capacities at the University of California, including Department Chair, UCSB Natural Reserve System Director, and UC-systemwide Associate Director and Academic Dean of the Education Abroad Program.
My basic research has focused on the effects of scale and spatial heterogeneity on biological interactions in streams and my applied research has concentrated on the impacts of acid deposition, livestock grazing, land use changes, pollutant sources, climate change, exotic species, and wildfire on freshwater ecosystems. Current research foci include investigations of how spatial heterogeneity in resource subsidies to ecological systems affect consumer-resource interactions and integrated examinations of the impacts of land use and wildfire on stream communities. In the latter case, we are comparing physical, chemical, bacterial, algal, invertebrate, and fish communities in streams draining basins that were burned by intensive wildfires to stream in basins that remained unburned. As part of these studies, we are using stable isotope signatures of carbon, nitrogen, and hydrogen and gut content analyses to determine food web structure in streams in burned vs. unburned basins.
Page, H. M., S. D. Cooper, S. W. Wiseman, D. Bennett, K. Klose, S. Sadro, C. E. Nelson, and T. Even. 2017. Comparisons of stable isotope (C, H, N) signatures in revealing organic matter sources and trophic relationships in headwater streams. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Science 74: 2110 - 2121.
Power, M.E., S. J. Kupferberg, S. D. Cooper, and M. L. Deas. Rivers. 2016. Chapter 33 in H. Mooney and E. Zavaleta. Ecosystems of California – A source book. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.
Cooper, S. D., H. M. Page, S. W. Wiseman, K. Klose, D. Bennett, T. Even, S. Sadro, C. E. Nelson, and T. L. Dudley. 2015. Physicochemical and biological responses of streams to wildfire severity in riparian zones. Freshwater Biology 60: 2600-2619. (doi:10.1111/fwb.12523)
Verkaik, I., M. Rieradevall, S. D. Cooper, J. M. Melack, T. L. Dudley and N. Prat. 2013. Fire as a disturbance in Mediterranean climate streams. Hydrobiologia 719: 353-382.
Cooper, S.D., P.S. Lake, S. Sabater, J.M. Melack, and J.L. Sabo. 2013. The effects of land use changes on streams and rivers in Mediterranean climates. Hydrobiologia 719: 383-425.
Englund, G. and S.D. Cooper. 2003. Scale effects and extrapolation in ecological experiments. Advances in Ecological Research 33: 161-213.
Shurin, J.B., E.T. Borer, E.W. Seabloom, K. Anderson, C.A. Blanchette, B. Broitman, S.D. Cooper, and B. Halpern. 2002. A cross-ecosystem comparison of the strength of trophic cascades. Ecology Letters 5: 785-791.
Diehl, S., S. D. Cooper, K. W. Kratz, R. M. Nisbet, S. K. Roll, S. W. Wiseman, and T. M. Jenkins, Jr. 2000. Effects of multiple, predator-induced behaviors on short-term producer-grazer dynamics in open systems. American Naturalist 156: 293-313.
Osenberg, C.W., O. Sarnelle, S. D. Cooper, and R. D. Holt. 1999. Resolving ecological questions through meta-analysis: goals, metrics, and models. Ecology 80: 1105-1117.
Cooper, S.D., L. Barmuta, O. Sarnelle, K. Kratz, and S. Diehl. 1997. Quantifying spatial heterogeneity in streams. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 16: 174 -188.