UC San Diego SearchMenu

Carolyn Kurle

Carolyn Kurle

Assistant Professor
Section of Ecology, Behavior and Evolution, UCSD

Email: ckurle@ucsd.edu
Website: Kurle Lab

Research in the Kurle lab examines what happens to a community's structure, trophic interactions, and native species composition when ecosystems are modified via human perturbations that result in biodiversity loss, species invasions, habitat alteration, and changes in food availability. I integrate theoretical principles, modeling, and experimental field and laboratory investigations to address these issues and much of my research has had strong conservation applications. Research spans marine, aquatic, and terrestrial communities and a variety of vertebrates from rats to fish to marine mammals and seabirds. I also incorporate the use of stable isotope analysis to assess foraging ecology of vertebrates.


Pubications can be accessed through the Kurle Lab.

Kurle, CM, Sinclair, EH, Edwards, AE, Gudmundson, CJ (2011) Temporal and spatial variation in the δ15N and δ13C values of fish and squid from Alaskan waters.  Marine Biology.  DOI 10.1007/s00227-011-1741-4

Kurle, CM and Cardinale, BJ (2011) Ecological factors associated with the strength of trophic cascades in streams.  Oikos.  doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0706.2011.19465.x

Kurle CM and Cardinale, BJ (in press) Ecological factors associated with the strength of trophic cascades in streams.  Oikos

Kurle CM (2009) Interpreting temporal variation in omnivore foraging ecology via stable isotope modeling. Functional Ecology 23:733-744.

Kurle CM, Croll DA, Tershy BT (2008) Introduced rats indirectly change marine intertidal communities from algae to invertebrate dominated. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105:3800-3804.

Kurle CM and Gudmundson CJ (2007) Regional differences in foraging of young-of-the-year Steller sea lions Eumetopias jubatus in Alaska: stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios in blood. Marine Ecology Progress Series 342:303-310.

Newsome SD, Etnier MA, Kurle CM, Waldbaur JR, Chamberlain CP, and Koch PL (2007) Historic decline in primary productivity in western Gulf of Alaska and eastern Bering Sea: Isotopic analysis of northern fur seal teeth. Marine Ecology Progress Series 332:211-224.

Kurle CM and Worthy GAJ (2002) Stable nitrogen and carbon isotope ratios in multiple tissues of the northern fur seal Callorhinus ursinus: implications for dietary and migratory reconstructions. Marine Ecology Progress Series 236:289-300.

Kurle CM (2002) Stable-isotope ratios of blood components from captive northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus) and their diet: applications for studying the foraging ecology of wild otariids. Canadian Journal of Zoology 80:902-909.

Kurle CM and Worthy GAJ (2001) Stable isotope assessment of temporal and geographic differences in feeding ecology of northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus) and their prey. Oecologia 126:254-265.


    Dr. Kurle studies how human perturbations such as habitat alteration, invasive species, and biodiversity loss impact communities, especially trophic interactions. She also strives to incorporate concrete conservation actions into her research projects so that she can both study and contribute to restoring ecosystems.