Katharyn E Boyer

Katharyn Boyer

Professor; Interim Director of EOS
UCLA (Ph.D.), San Diego State (M.S.), University of Maryland, College Park (B.S.)
Phone: (415) 338-3751
Email: katboyer@sfsu.edu
Location: Estuary Ocean Science Center, Building 36; Office Hensil Hall Room 545

At SF State since: 2004

Specialties: Wetland and coastal ecology and restoration, community ecology, biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, nutrient dynamics, trophic interactions, habitat structure.

External Personal Website:

I am broadly interested in the restoration and conservation of coastal habitats, working primarily in salt marshes and seagrass beds. My research focuses on how species interact with and structure their environments and influence fundamental ecosystem processes. I use such basic ecological research to inform the restoration of damaged habitats. I earned a BS in Zoology at the University of Maryland, College Park, an MS in Biology at San Diego State, and a PhD in Biology at UCLA. I completed postdoctoral work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before beginning my faculty position at San Francisco State in 2004. In my lab at the EOS Center, we work mainly with vascular plants, macroalgae, and invertebrates as well as the water and sediments on and in which they live. Our work is mostly experimental, conducted in field, greenhouse, and outdoor mesocosm (tank or pot) settings. I am actively involved in multiple working groups to advance the science of habitat restoration in an era of changing climate, with a focus on protecting shorelines, increasing carbon sequestration, and reducing ocean acidification, as well as increasing equity and agency in shoreline restoration outcomes for low-lying underserved communities. I am the lead scientist on several living shorelines projects that restore habitats such as eelgrass and native oysters while evaluating their roles in shore protection. I recently contributed to the Resilient by Design Bay Area Challenge and am co-project lead on a multi-year effort to restore eelgrass and assess the habitat for spawning herring following the Cosco Busan oil spill. In addition, my students and I have current projects evaluating factors that influence spread of invasive species and the conservation and restoration of rare species, including an endangered plant that may promote high tide refuge and shoreline resiliency with sea level rise.

  • Gross, C., J. Duffy, K. Hovel, M. Kardish, P. Reynolds, C. Boström, K. Boyer, et al. 2022. The biogeography of community assembly: latitude and predation drive variation in community trait distribution in a guild of epifaunal crustaceans. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 289: 20211762; doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2021.1762 
  • Zabin, C. J., L. J. Jurgens, J. M. Bible, M. V. Patten, A. L. Chang, E. D. Grosholz, and K. E. Boyer. 2022. Increasing the resilience of ecological restoration to extreme climatic events. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment doi:10.1002/fee.2471
  • Beheshti**, K. M., S. L. Williams, K. E. Boyer, C. Endris, A. Clemons, T. Grimes, K. Wasson, B. B. Hughes. 2021. Small scale restoration with large scale impact: seagrass restoration success fosters recovery of key ecosystem services. Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America 103(1):e01945.
  • Beheshti**, K. M., S. L. Williams, K. E. Boyer, C. Endris, A. Clemons, T. Grimes, K. Wasson, B. B. Hughes. 2021. Rapid restoration of multiple ecosystem services associated with a coastal foundation species. Ecological Applications 32(1), 2022, e02466.
  • Schneider**, R. S. and K. E. Boyer. 2021. Limiting life history stages in the endangered wetland plant, Cirsium hydrophilum var. hydrophilum (Asteraceae). Madroño 68:39–51.
  • Pinnell**, C. M., M. V. Patten, G. S. Ayala**, and K. E. Boyer. 2021. Seagrass and oyster reef restoration in living shorelines: Effects of habitat configuration on invertebrate community assembly. Diversity 13(6), 246; doi.org/10.3390/d13060246
  • Burdick, D. M., G. E. Moore, and K. E. Boyer. 2021. Impacts of exotic and native species invading tidal marshes. Chapter 14 in Salt Marshes, Z. Hughes and D. Fitzgerald, eds., Cambridge University Press.
  • Cloern, J. E., S. Safran, L. S. Vaughn, A. Robinson, A. A. Whipple, K. E. Boyer, J. Z. Drexler, R. J. Naiman, J. L. Pinckney, E. R. Howe, E. A. Canuel, and J. L. Grenier.  2021. On the human appropriation of wetland primary production. Science of the Total Environment. doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.147097
  • Hovel, K. A., J. E. Duffy, J. J. Stachowicz, P. Reynolds, C. Boström, K. E. Boyer, M. Cusson, F. J. Fodrie, K. Gagnon, C. M. Hereu, M. Hori, P. Jorgensen, C. Kruschel, K. Lee, M. Nakaoka, N. E. O’Connor, F. Rossi, J. Ruesink, F. Tomas, and S. Ziegler. 2021. Joint effects of patch edges and habitat degradation on faunal predation risk in a widespread marine foundation species. Ecology 102(5), e03316.
  • Hernán, G., M. J. Ortega, J. Henderson, J. Alos, K. Boyer, S. Cimon, V. Combes, M. Cusson, C. M. Hereu, M. Hessing-Lewis, K. Hovel, P. Jorgensen, S. Kiriakopolos**, N. Kollars, M. I. O´Connor, J. Olsen, P. L. Reynolds, J. Ruesink, E. Voigt and F. Tomas. 2021. Latitudinal variation in plant defense against herbivory in a marine foundation species does not follow a linear pattern: the importance of resource availability. Global Ecology and Biogeography 30:220-234.
  • Hansen***, M. L., K. Crow, M. V. Buchbinder**, and K. E. Boyer. 2020. Invasive mangroves produce unsuitable habitat for endemic goby and burrowing shrimp pairs in Kāne'ohe Bay, Oahu, Hawai'i. Ciencias Marinas 46(4). doi.org/10.7773/cm.v46i4.3185
  • Grimes**, T. M., M. T. Tinker, B. B. Hughes, K. E. Boyer, L. Needles, K. Beheshti**, and R. L. Lewison. 2020. Characterizing the impact of recovering sea otters on commercially important crab in California estuaries. Marine Ecology Progress Series 655: 123–137.
  • Rudebusch**, J., B. Hughes, K. E. Boyer, and E. Hines. 2020. Assessing anthropogenic risk to sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis) for reintroduction into San Francisco Bay. PeerJ 8:e10241.
  • Parker, V. T and K. E. Boyer. 2019. Sea-level rise and climate change impacts on an urbanized Pacific Coast Estuary. Wetlands. doi.org/10.1007/s13157-017-0980-7
  • Hughes, B. B., K. Wasson, T. Tinker, S. L. Williams, L. P. Carswell, K. E. Boyer, et al. 2019. Species recovery and recolonization of past habitats: lessons for science and conservation from sea otters in estuaries. PeerJ 7:e8100.
  • Harrison, C. D., et al. (76 authors, including K. E. Boyer). 2019. Investigating instructor talk in novel contexts: widespread use, unexpected categories, and an emergent sampling strategy. CBE: Life Sciences Education 18:ar47.
  • Wittyngham**, S. S., J. Moderan, and K. E. Boyer. 2019. Temperature and salinity effects on submerged aquatic vegetation traits and susceptibility to grazing. Aquatic Botany 158:103119.
  • Rohr, M. E. et al. (36 authors, including K. E. Boyer). 2018. Blue carbon storage capacity of temperate eelgrass (Zostera marina) meadows. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 32:1457-1475.

**graduate student, ***undergrad