Adrian Stier

Assistant Professor
(805) 893-5467
2108 Noble Hall
Stier Lab


My research program is motivated by a desire to deepen our basic understanding of how ecosystems are assembled and an urgent need to develop sustainable management strategies for coastal marine ecosystems. The unifying thread linking my work is an interest in how species interactions drive ecosystem assembly, biodiversity, and resilience.


How to re-assemble resilient ecosystems and harness the ecological, economic, and cultural services they provide remains a fundamental yet unanswered question in ecology and conservation biology. My research program focuses on the recovery and assembly of disturbed and degraded ecosystems in the face of ongoing human impact. The following questions guide my current research: (1) How do ecosystems respond to disturbance?, (2) What drives the trajectory of ecosystem recovery? (3) What makes ecosystems resilient?

Selected Publications

  • Stier A.C., Samhouri J.F., Marshall, K.N., Ward E.J., M. Novak, and P.S. Levin. 2016. Ecosystem context and historical contingency in apex predator recoveries. Science Advances. 2.
  • Stier A.C., Samhouri J.F., Gray S., Martone R., Mach M., Scarborough C., Kappel C., B. Halpern B., and P.S. Levin. 2016. Integrating expert opinion into food web conservation and management. Conservation Letters.
  • Stier A.C., Hein A. M., Parravicini V., and M. Kulbicki M. 2014. Biogeography Drives Marine Food Web Structure. Nature Communications. doi:10.1038/ncomms6575.
  • Stier A.C., K.M. Hanson, S.J. Holbrook, R.J. Schmitt, A.J. Brooks. 2014. Predation and landscape characteristics independently affect reef fish community organization. Ecology. 95: 1294-1307.
  • Stier A.C., S.W. Geange, and K.M. Hanson. 2013. Predator density and timing of arrival affect reef fish community assembly. Ecology. 94(5): 1057-1068.
  • Stier A.C., S.W. Geange, and B.M. Bolker. 2013. Predator density and competition modify the shape of inverse density dependence in a shoaling reef fish. Oikos.122: 171-178. PDF. **Editors Choice in Oikos.
  • Stier A.C. and C.W. Osenberg. 2010. Propagule redirection: habitat availability affects colonization and recruitment in reef fishes. Ecology 91 : 2826–2832.

External Publication List

Google Scholar Profile