David A. Siegel

Director, Earth Research Institute, and Professor of Marine Sciences, Department of Geography
(805) 893-4547
6844 Ellison Hall


Professor Siegel received a B.A. in Chemistry and a B.S. in Engineering Sciences from University of California, San Diego and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Geological Sciences from the University of Southern California. In 1989, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Since 1990, he has been on the faculty at University of California, Santa Barbara and is a Professor in the Department of Geography, Director of the Earth Research Institute and an Affiliated Professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology. Professor Siegel is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union and American Association for the Advancement of Science.


Professor Siegel’s research focuses on aquatic ecosystems and their functioning using the tools of an applied physicist, radiative transfer and fluid mechanics. His work specifically addresses the coupling of marine ecosystems and physical oceanographic processes using circulation models, marine bio-optics, and satellite ocean color remote sensing. Using these tools he has worked on a wide suite of problems ranging from microbial and population diversity, open ocean biogeochemical cycling, ocean bio-optics, kelp forest metapopulation dynamics, larval transport and nearshore fisheries management, fisherman behavior and too many more.

Selected Publications

  • Siegel, D.A., M.J. Behrenfeld, S. Maritorena, C.R. McClain, and many others, 2013: Regional to Global Assessments of Phytoplankton Dynamics from the SeaWiFS Mission. Remote Sensing of the Environment, 135, 77-91.
  • Behrenfeld, M.J. S.C. Doney, I. Lima, E.S. Boss, D.A. Siegel, 2013: Annual cycles of ecological disturbance and recovery underlying the subarctic Atlantic spring plankton bloom. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 27, DOI: 10.1002/gbc.20050.
  • Cavanaugh, K.C., B.E. Kendall, D.A. Siegel, D.C. Reed, F. Alberto, and J. Assis, 2013: Synchrony in dynamics of giant kelp forests is driven by both local recruitment and regional environmental controls. Ecology, 94, 499–509.
  • Simons, R.D., D.A. Siegel, K.S. Brown, 2013: Model sensitivity and robustness in the estimation of larval transport: A study of particle tracking parameters. Journal of Marine Systems, 119-120, 19-29.
  • White, J.W., A.J. Scholz, A. Rassweiler, C. Steinback, L.W. Botsford, S. Kruse, C. Costello, S. Mitarai, D.A. Siegel, P.T. Drake, C.A. Edwards, 2013: A comparison of approaches used for economic analysis in marine protected area network planning in California. Ocean & Coastal Management.
  • Nelson, N.B., & Siegel D.A., 2013: Global distribution and dynamics of chromophoric dissolved organic matter. Annual Review of Marine Science, 5, 447-476.
  • Rassweiler, A., Costello, C., and D.A. Siegel, 2012: Marine protected areas and the value of spatially optimized fishery management. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109, 11884-11889.
  • Watson, J.R., B.E. Kendall, D.A. Siegel and S. Mitarai, 2012: Changing seascapes, stochastic connectivity, and marine metapopulation dynamics. American Naturalist. 180, 99-112.
  • Harrison, C.S., D.A. Siegel and S. Mitarai, 2012: The role of filamentation and eddy-eddy interactions in marine larval accumulation and transport. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 472, 27-44.
  • Owens, S.A., K.O. Buesseler, C.H. Lamborg, J.R. Valdes, M.W. Lomas, R.J. Johnson, D.K. Steinberg, D.A. Siegel, 2013: A new time series of particle export from neutrally buoyant sediment traps at the Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Study site. Deep-Sea Research, Part I, 72, 34-47.
  • Reed, D.C., A. Rassweiler, M.H. Carr, K.C. Cavanaugh, D.P. Malone and D.A. Siegel, 2011: Wave disturbance overwhelms top-down and bottom-up control of primary production in California kelp forests. Ecology, 92, 2108-2116.
  • Watson, J.R., D.A. Siegel, B.E. Kendall, S. Mitarai, A. Rassweiller, S. D. Gaines, 2011: Identifying critical regions in small-world marine metapopulations, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108, E907–E913.
  • Siegel, D.A., P. Peterson, D.J. McGillicuddy, Jr., S. Maritorena and N.B. Nelson, 2011: Bio-optical footprints created by mesoscale eddies in the Sargasso Sea. Geophysical Research Letters, 38, L13608, doi:10.1029/2011GL047660.
  • Goldberg, S.J., C.A. Carlson, M. Brzezinski, N.B. Nelson and D.A. Siegel, 2011: Systematic removal of neutral sugars within dissolved organic matter across ocean basins. Geophysical Research Letters, 38, L17606, doi:10.1029/2011GL048620.
  • Watson J.R., CG. Hays, P.T. Raimondi S. Mitarai, C. Dong, J.C. McWilliams, C.A. Blanchette, J.E. Caselle, and D.A. Siegel, 2011: Currents connecting communities: Nearshore community similarity and ocean circulation. Ecology, 92, 1193–1200.
  • Cavanaugh, K.C., D.A. Siegel, D.C. Reed, and P.E. Dennison, 2011, Environmental controls of giant kelp biomass in the Santa Barbara Channel, California. Marine Ecology-Progress Series, 429, 1-17.
  • Alberto, F. P.T. Raimondi, D.C. Reed, J.R. Watson, D.A. Siegel, S. Mitarai, N. Coelho, E.A. Serrao, 2011: Isolation by oceanographic distance explains genetic structure for Macrocystis pyrifera in the Santa Barbara Channel. Molecular Ecology, 20, 2543-2554.
  • Anderson, C.R., R.M. Kudela, C. Benitez-Nelson, E. Sekula-Wood, C. Burrell, Y. Chao, G. Langlois, J. Goodman, and D.A. Siegel, 2011: Detecting toxic diatom blooms from ocean color and a regional ocean model. Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1029/2010GL045858.

External Publication List

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