Richard Ambrose

Type of Faculty: 
Appointment Title: 
UCLA Fielding School of Public Health 650 Charles E. Young Drive South, 46-078 CHS Los Angeles, CA 90095
310.206.1984 (office)/ 310.794.9726 (lab)
Biographical Information: 

Richard F. Ambrose is Professor in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at UCLA. He received his B.S. in Biological Sciences from University of California, Irvine and his Ph.D. in Marine Ecology from University of California, Los Angeles. After conducting postdoctoral research at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia, he spent seven years at the Marine Science Institute at University of California, Santa Barbara before returning to UCLA in 1992. Professor Ambrose is a member of UCLA’s Institute of the Environment. He teaches graduate courses covering environmental assessment, restoration and conservation ecology, and effects of climate change. Professor Ambrose serves on a variety of different advisory boards and committees. He chairs the Scientific Advisory Panel of the California Coastal Commission overseeing a large mitigation project, and the Technical Advisory Committee for the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission (SMBRC), and serves on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Environmental Advisory Board (EAB), the California Ocean Protection Council's Science Advisory Team, the Southern California Wetland Recovery Project’s Science Advisory Panel, and the SMBRC Marine Resources Advisory Committee. He has provided advice about environmental restoration issues to a wide variety of government and private organizations, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, California State Water Resources Control Board, California Coastal Commission, California State Lands Commission, California Coastal Conservancy, California Department of Transportation, City of Malibu, Pacific Gas and Electric, Aspen Environmental Group and Geosyntec Consultants. 

PhD, Marine Ecology, University of California, Los Angeles
BS, Biological Sciences, University of California, Irvine
Selected Publications: 

Needles, Lisa A., Sarah E. Lester, Richard Ambrose, Anders Andren, Marc Beyeler, Michael S. Connor, James E. Eckman, Barry A. Costa-Pierce, Steven D. Gaines, Kevin D. Lafferty, Hunter S. Lenihan, Julia Parrish, Mark S. Peterson, Amy E. Scaroni, Judith S. Weis, Dean E. Wendt. 2013.  Managing bay and estuarine ecosystems for multiple services.  Estuaries and Coasts.


Willette, D.A. and R.F. Ambrose.  2012.  Effects of the invasive seagrass Halophila stipulacea on the native seagrass, Syringodium filiforme, and associated fish and epibiota communities in the eastern Caribbean.  Aquatic Botany 103: 74-82.


Grant, S.B., J-D Saphores, D.L Feldman, A.J. Hamilton, T.D. Fletcher, P.L.M. Cook, M. Stewardson, B.F. Sanders, L.A. Levin, R.F. Ambrose, A. Deletic, R. Brown, S.C. Jiang, D. Rosso, W.J. Cooper and I. Marusic.  2012.  Taking the “waste” out of “wastewater” for human water security and ecosystem sustainability.  Science 337: 681-686.


Peterson, C.H.,S.S. Anderson, G.N. Cherr, R.F. Ambrose, S. Anghera, S. Bay, M. Blum, R. Condon, T.A. Dean, M. Graham, M. Guzy, S. Hampton, S. Joye, J. Lambrinos, B. Mate, D. Meffert, S.P. Powers, P. Somasundaran, R.B. Spies, C.M. Taylor, R. Tjeerdema, and E.E. Adams.  2012.  A Tale of Two Spills: Novel Science and Policy Implications of an Emerging New Oil Spill Model.  Bioscience 62: 461-469.


Coffman, G.C., R.F. Ambrose and P.W. Rundel.  2011.  Wildfire promotes dominance by the invasive Giant Reed (Arundo donax) in riparian ecosystems.  Biological Invasions 12: 2723-2734.


Rothenberg, S.E., M.B. DeRose, C. Lin, M.E. Kirby, B.W. Bird, R.F. Ambrose and J.A. Jay.  2010.  The impact of over 100 years of wildfires on mercury levels and accumulation rates in two lakes in southern California, USA.  Environmental Earth Sciences 60: 993–1005.


Myers, M.R. and Ambrose, R.F. Differences in benthic cover inside and outside marine protected areas on the Great Barrier Reef: influence of protection or disturbance history?. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 2009; 19: 736-747.


Smith, J.R., Fong, P., and Ambrose, R.F. Spatial patterns in recruitment and growth of the mussel Mytilus californianus (Conrad) in southern and northern California, USA, two regions with differing oceanographic conditions. Journal of Sea Research 2009; 61: 165-173.


Willette, D.A. and Ambrose, R.F. The distribution and expansion of the invasive seagrass Halophila stipulacea in Dominica, West Indies, with a preliminary report from St. Lucia. Aquatic Botany 2009; 91: 137-142.


Rothenberg, S.E., Ambrose, R.F., and Jay, J.A. Evaluating the potential efficacy of mercury Total Maximum Daily Loads on aqueous methylmercury levels in four coastal watersheds. Environmental Science and Technology 2008; 42: 5400-5406.


Rothenberg, S.E., Ambrose, R.F., and Jay, J.A. Mercury cycling in surface water, pore water and sediments of Mugu Lagoon, CA., USA. Environmental Pollution 2008; 154: 32-45.


Smith, J.R., Fong, P., and Ambrose, R.F The impacts of human visitation on mussel bed communities along the California coast: Are regulatory marine reserves effective in protecting these communities?. Environmental Management 2008; 41: 599-612.


Raimondi, P. T. Sagarin, R. D. Ambrose, R. F. Bell, C. George, M. Lee, S. F. Lohse, D. Miner, C. M. Murray, S. N. Consistent frequency of color morphs in the sea star Pisaster ochraceus (Echinodermata : Asteriidae) across open-coast habitats in the northeastern Pacific. Pacific Science. 2007; 61(2): 201-210.


Miller, A. W. Ruiz, G. M. Minton, M. S. Ambrose, R. F. Differentiating successful and failed molluscan invaders in estuarine ecosystems. Marine Ecology-Progress Series. 2007; 332: 41-51.


Sagarin, R. D. Ambrose, R. F. Becker, B. J. Engle, J. M. Kido, J. Lee, S. F. Miner, C. M. Murray, S. N. Raimondi, P. T. Richards, D. Roe, C. Ecological impacts on the limpet Lottia gigantea populations: human pressure over a broad scale on island and mainland intertidal zones. Marine Biology. 2007; 150(3): 399-413.


Harmon, T. C. Ambrose, R. F. Gilbert, R. M. Fisher, J. C. Stealey, M. Kaiser, W. J. High-resolution river hydraulic and water quality characterization using rapidly deployable networked infomechanical systems (NIMS RD). Environmental Engineering Science. 2007; 24(2): 151-159.


Tetreault, I. Ambrose, R. F. Temperate marine reserves enhance targeted but not untargeted fishes in multiple no-take mpas. Ecological Applications. 2007; 17(8): 2251-2267.


Armitage, A. R. Jensen, S. M. Yoon, J. E. Ambrose, R. F. Wintering shorebird assemblages and behavior in restored tidal wetlands in southern California. Restoration Ecology. 2007; 15(1): 139-148.


Swenson, D. P. Ambrose, R. F. A spatial analysis of cumulative habitat loss in Southern California under the Clean Water Act Section 404 program. Landscape and Urban Planning. 2007; 82(1-2): 41-55.


Smith, J. R. Fong, P. Ambrose, R. F. Dramatic declines in mussel bed community diversity: Response to climate change?. Ecology. 2006; 87(5): 1153-1161.


Smith, J. R. Fong, P. Ambrose, R. F. Long-term change in mussel (Mytilus californianus Conrad) populations along the wave-exposed coast of southern California. Marine Biology. 2006; 149(3): 537-545.


Reed, D. C. Schroeter, S. C. Huang, D. Anderson, T. W. Ambrose, R. F. Quantitative assessment of different artificial reef designs in mitigating losses to kelp forest fishes. Bulletin of Marine Science. 2006; 78(1): 133-150.


Armitage, A. R. Boyer, K. E. Vance, R. R. Ambrose, R. F. Restoring assemblages of salt marsh halophytes in the presence of a rapidly colonizing dominant species. Wetlands. 2006; 26(3): 667-676.


Evanson, M. Ambrose, R. F. Sources and growth dynamics of fecal indicator bacteria in a coastal wetland system and potential impacts to adjacent waters. Water Research. 2006; 40(3): 475-486.


Shuman, C. S. Hodgson, G. Ambrose, R. F. Population impacts of collecting sea anemones and anemonefish for the marine aquarium trade in the Philippines. Coral Reefs. 2005; 24(4): 564-573.


Shuman, C. S. Ambrose, R. F. A comparison of remote sensing and ground-based methods for monitoring wetland restoration success. Restoration Ecology. 2003; 11(3): 325-333.


Vance, R. R. Ambrose, R. F. Anderson, S. S. MacNeil, S. McPherson, T. Beers, I. Keeney, T. W. Effects of sewage sludge on the growth of potted salt marsh plants exposed to natural tidal inundation. Restoration Ecology. 2003; 11(2): 155-167.


Raimondi, P. T. Wilson, C. M. Ambrose, R. F. Engle, J. M. Minchinton, T. E. Continued declines of black abalone along the coast of California: are mass mortalities related to El Nino events?. Marine Ecology-Progress Series. 2002; 242: 143-152.


Sudol, M. F. Ambrose, R. F. The US Clean Water Act and habitat replacement: Evaluation of mitigation sites in Orange County, California, USA. Environmental Management. 2002; 30(5): 727-734.


Sudol, M.F. and R.F. Ambrose The Clean Water Act and habitat replacement: Evaluation of mitigation sites in Orange County , California . Environmental Management 2002; 30: 727-734.


Moeller, A. Ambrose, R. F. Hee, S. S. Q. A comparison of techniques for preparing fish fillet for ICP-AES multielemental analysis and the microwave digestion of whole fish. Food Additives and Contaminants. 2001; 18(1): 19-29.


Stein, E. D. Ambrose, R. F. Landscape-scale analysis and management of cumulative impacts to riparian ecosystems: Past, present, and future. Journal of the American Water Resources Association. 2001; 37(6): 1597-1614.


Boyer, K. E. Fong, P. Vance, R. R. Ambrose, R. F. Salicornia virginica in a Southern California salt marsh: Seasonal patterns and a nutrient-enrichment experiment. Wetlands. 2001; 21(3): 315-326.


Downs, T. J. Ambrose, R. F. Syntropic ecotoxicology: A heuristic model for understanding the vulnerability of ecological systems to stress. Ecosystem Health. 2001; 7(4): 266-283.


Cohen, T. Hee, S. S. Q. Ambrose, R. F. Trace metals in fish and invertebrates of three California coastal wetlands. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 2001; 42(3): 224-232.


Stein, E.D. and R.F. Ambrose Landscape-scale analysis and management of cumulative impacts to riparian ecosystems: Past, present and future. Journal of American Water Resources Association 2001; 37(6): 1597-1614.


Miller, A. W. Ambrose, R. F. Sampling patchy distributions: comparison of sampling designs in rocky intertidal habitats. Marine Ecology-Progress Series. 2000; 196: 1-14.


Stein, E. D. Tabatabai, F. Ambrose, R. F. Wetland mitigation banking: A framework for crediting and debiting. Environmental Management. 2000; 26(3): 233-250.


Lafferty, K. D. Swift, C. C. Ambrose, R. F. Extirpation and recolonization in a metapopulation of an endangered fish, the tidewater goby. Conservation Biology. 1999; 13(6): 1447-1453.


Ambrose, R. F. Meffert, D. J. Fish-assemblage dynamics in Malibu Lagoon, a small, hydrologically altered estuary in southern California. Wetlands. 1999; 19(2): 327-340.


Murray, S. N. Ambrose, R. F. Bohnsack, J. A. Botsford, L. W. Carr, M. H. Davis, G. E. Dayton, P. K. Gotshall, D. Gunderson, D. R. Hixon, M. A. Lubchenco, J. Mangel, M. MacCall, A. McArdle, D. A. Ogden, J. C. Roughgarden, J. Starr, R. M. Tegner, M. J. Yoklavich, M. M. No-take reserve networks: Sustaining fishery populations and marine ecosystems. Fisheries. 1999; 24(11): 11-25.


Lafferty, K., C. Swift and R.F. Ambrose Extirpation and recovery of local populations of the endangered tidewater goby, Eucyclogobius newberryi. Conservation Biology 1999; 13: 1447-1453.


Stein, E. D. Ambrose, R. F. Rapid impact assessment method for use in a regulatory context. Wetlands. 1998; 18(3): 379-392.


Palmer, M. A. Ambrose, R. F. Poff, N. L. Ecological theory and community restoration ecology. Restoration Ecology. 1997; 5(4): 291-300.


Altstatt, J. M. Ambrose, R. F. Engle, J. M. Haaker, P. L. Lafferty, K. D. Raimondi, P. T. Recent declines of black abalone Haliotis cracherodii on the mainland coast of central California. Marine Ecology-Progress Series. 1996; 142(1-3): 185-192.


Johnson, T. D. Barnett, A. M. Demartini, E. E. Craft, L. L. Ambrose, R. F. Purcell, L. J. Fish Production and Habitat Utilization on a Southern California Artificial Reef. Bulletin of Marine Science. 1994; 55(2-3): 709-723.


Demartini, E. E. Barnett, A. M. Johnson, T. D. Ambrose, R. F. Growth and Production Estimates for Biomass-Dominant Fishes on a Southern California Artificial Reef. Bulletin of Marine Science. 1994; 55(2-3): 484-500.


Ambrose, R. F. Mitigating the Effects of a Coastal Power-Plant on a Kelp Forest Community - Rationale and Requirements for an Artificial Reef. Bulletin of Marine Science. 1994; 55(2-3): 694-708.


Coyer, J. A. Ambrose, R. F. Engle, J. M. Carroll, J. C. Interactions between Corals and Algae on a Temperate Zone Rocky Reef - Mediation by Sea-Urchins. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 1993; 167(1): 21-37.


Holbrook, S. J. Schmitt, R. J. Ambrose, R. F. Biogenic Habitat Structure and Characteristics of Temperate Reef Fish Assemblages. Australian Journal of Ecology. 1990; 15(4): 489-503.


Ambrose, R. F. Anderson, T. W. Influence of an Artificial Reef on the Surrounding Infaunal Community. Marine Biology. 1990; 107(1): 41-52.


Ambrose, R. F. Swarbrick, S. L. Comparison of Fish Assemblages on Artificial and Natural Reefs Off the Coast of Southern-California. Bulletin of Marine Science. 1989; 44(2): 718-733.


Ambrose, R. F. Leighton, B. J. Hartwick, E. B. Characterization of Boreholes by Octopus-Dofleini in the Bivalve Saxidomus-Giganteus. Journal of Zoology. 1988; 214: 491-503.


Hartwick, E. B. Robinson, S. M. C. Ambrose, R. F. Trotter, D. Walsh, M. Inshore-Offshore Comparison of Octopus-Dofleini with Special Reference to Abundance, Growth and Physical Condition during Winter. Malacologia. 1988; 29(1): 57-68.


Ambrose, R. F. Population-Dynamics of Octopus-Bimaculatus - Influence of Life-History Patterns, Synchronous Reproduction and Recruitment. Malacologia. 1988; 29(1): 23-39.


Coyer, J. A. Engle, J. M. Ambrose, R. F. Nelson, B. V. Utilization of Purple and Red-Sea Urchins (Strongylocentrotus-Purpuratus Stimpson and S-Franciscanus-Agassiz) as Food by the White Sea-Urchin (Lytechinus-Anamesus Clark) in the Field and Laboratory. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 1987; 105(1): 21-38.


Ambrose, R. F. Effects of Octopus Predation on Motile Invertebrates in a Rocky Subtidal Community. Marine Ecology-Progress Series. 1986; 30(2-3): 261-273.


Hartwick, E. B. Ambrose, R. F. Robinson, S. M. C. Den Utilization and the Movements of Tagged Octopus-Dofleini. Marine Behaviour and Physiology. 1984; 11(2): 95-110.


Hartwick, E. B. Ambrose, R. F. Robinson, S. M. C. Dynamics of Shallow-Water Populations of Octopus-Dofleini. Marine Biology. 1984; 82(1): 65-72.


Ambrose, R. F. Food Preferences, Prey Availability, and the Diet of Octopus-Bimaculatus Verrill. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 1984; 77(1-2): 29-44.


Ambrose, R. F. Midden Formation by Octopuses - the Role of Biotic and Abiotic Factors. Marine Behaviour and Physiology. 1983; 10(2): 137-144.


Ambrose, R. F. Nelson, B. V. Inhibition of Giant-Kelp Recruitment by an Introduced Brown Alga. Botanica Marina. 1982; 25(6): 265-267.


Ambrose, R. F. Shelter Utilization by the Molluscan Cephalopod Octopus-Bimaculatus. Marine Ecology-Progress Series. 1982; 7(1): 67-73.


Ambrose, R. F. Observations on the Embryonic-Development and Early Post-Embryonic Behavior of Octopus-Bimaculatus (Mollusca, Cephalopoda). Veliger. 1981; 24(2): 139-146.


Ambrose, R. F. Importance of Octopus Predation in a Southern-California Subtidal Community. American Zoologist. 1980; 20(4): 884-884.


Ambrose, R. F. Meehan, T. E. Aggressive-Behavior of Perognathus-Parvus and Peromyscus-Maniculatus. Journal of Mammalogy. 1977; 58(4): 665-668.

Shuman, C. S. Hodgson, G. Ambrose, R. F. Managing the marine aquarium trade: is eco-certification the answer?. Environmental Conservation. 2004; 31(4): 339-348.


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