Paul Tompkins

Rhodoliths are free-living coralline algae (Rhodophyta) that form large beds on the seafloor.  Globally, these beds serve as a benthic habitat that support diverse communities, often including unique species.  Fragile and slow growing, rhodoliths are sensitive to disturbance and threatened by a range of human impacts.  While rhodolith beds have been found in California waters, and particularly at Catalina Island, no literature exists regarding their extent or significance.  For my thesis, I am seeking to; (1) map the distribution and characterize the rhodolith beds around Catalina, (2) determine rhodolith growth and internal banding rates and (3) examine the sensitivity of the rhodolith habitat to common sources of disturbance.

a rhodolith

 

Contact InformationImage of rhodolith patch at Emerald Cove

Paul Tompkins

Phycology Lab

Moss Landing Marine Labs

8272 Moss Landing Rd

Moss Landing, Ca. 95039

(831) 771 4421 Lab

(831) 633 7022 Small Boat Ops.