Michael Espinoza

Michael Espinoza


B.S. Biological Science with concentration in Molecular Biology Expected Spring 2016

Assessing Long-term Temporal and Spatial Variation in Settlement of Ostrea lurida in Newport Bay, CA

My name is Michael Espinoza and I am an undergraduate majoring in Biology at CSUF. I have been part of the Zacherl lab for the past 3 years and my time here has been nothing short of great. Although I am not directly conducting research related to my concentration in Molecular Biology, I have grown to have an affinity for marine organisms, especially oysters. I highly encourage undergraduates to join the Zacherl lab regardless of your major because you will have a superb mentor that will guide you throughout your academic career and also have a lot of fun!

I am currently the lead researcher on a project that has been ongoing for almost 7 years involving oyster settlement. The continued lack of recovery of the United States west coast populations of the Olympia oyster, Ostrea lurida has piqued recent interest in restoration projects. Knowledge about temporal and spatial variation in larval settlement provides baseline information about which locations receive the most larval input and have the potential to support large populations, facilitating selection of future restoration sites. Larval settlement has been monitored by placing replicate ceramic tiles at six locations within Upper and Lower Newport Bay, Newport, California from 2007 to 2013. Tiles are replaced at 2-week intervals during the oyster reproduction season (May-Oct), and 1-month intervals during the remainder of the year. O. lurida settlers are counted using a dissecting microscope.