Jeff A. Crooks, PhD

Research Coordinator, Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve

  • Ph.D., Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Oceanography
  • M.S., San Diego State University, Marine Ecology
  • B.S., Colorado State University, Zoology

Dr. Crooks has been the Research Coordinator of the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve, a Marine Protected Area just north of the US / Mexico border, since 2002. Jeff runs the Reserve's research and monitoring program, which focuses on using sound science to adaptively manage urban marine ecosystems such as salt marshes and lagoons. The Reserve is currently focusing on using restoration to increase resilience of coastal wetlands in the face of climate change, as well as the ecology and management of invasive species.

Scholarly Work

Crooks has been working on the ecology of San Diego's coastal wetlands for over 25 years, and has examined biological and physical changes in these systems over time. Much of this work has focused on viewing invasive species as both causes and consequences of environmental change. He has examined the ability of exotics to impact invaded areas by changing physical habitat structure via ecosystem engineering, and has explored the temporal dynamics of invasion, particularly related to an often-observed "lag effect." Another current theme of his research is understanding how management and restoration of coastal wetlands can be used to improve ecosystem functioning now and into the future.