DAVID J. GILLETT – Ecologist


EDUCATION:

Ph.D., Marine Science, The College of William and Mary, 2010
M.S., Marine Biology, University of Charleston, 2003
B.S., Marine Science, Eckerd College, 1997

AREAS OF EXPERTISE:

Dr. Gillett is an ecologist who specializes in studying the influence of anthropogenic disturbances and habitat quality on the community structure and ecosystem functioning of marine, estuarine and freshwater benthic communities. His research has focused primarily on ecosystem-scale field studies and experiments, but also incorporates biogeochemical and toxicological information into ecological field data to better understand biotic structure-function relationships. He has begun developmentDr. Gillett is leading the efforts to develop of a causal assessment/stressor ID framework for California’s freshwater and coastal habitats in order to better understand and characterize the sources of impacts to biotic resources in these systems. He is also involved with the development of habitat assessment tools using both traditional monitoring information and newly emerging, genetic/molecular-based information.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE:

Scientist, Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. Costa Mesa, CA. 2010-Present
Graduate Research Fellow, Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve of Virginia. Gloucester Point, VA. 2006-2008
Graduate Fellow, Virginia Institute of Marine Science. Gloucester Point, VA. 2003-2006; 2008-2010
Research Assistant, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. Charleston, SC. 1999-2003
Teaching Assistant, College of Charleston. Charleston, SC. 1998-1999

PROFESSIONAL APPOINTMENTS:

US Environmental Protection Agency National Coastal Condition Assessment Program Great Lakes Benthic Indicator Development Workshop panel (2016)

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RESTORE Act Science Program proposal review panel (2015)

HONORS AND AWARDS:

National Estuarine Research Reserve Graduate Research Fellowship (2006-2008)
Program Chair, Atlantic Estuarine Research Society (2006-2007)
Best Student Poster Presentation, Atlantic Estuarine Research Society Spring Conference (2006)
Outstanding Student Presentation, Estuarine Research Federation Conference (2005)
Outstanding Graduate Student Award, University of Charleston (Spring 2003)
Virginia Institute of Marine Science Graduate Fellowship (2003-2005)

PROFESSIONAL SOCIETIES:

Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography

California Estuarine Research Society

Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation

Society of Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology

Southern California Association of Marine Taxonomists

PUBLICATIONS:

Mazor, R.D., A.C. Rehn, P.R. Ode, M. Engeln, K.C. Schiff, E.D. Stein, D.J., Gillett, D.B. Herbst, and C.P. Hawkins. 2016. Bioassessment in complex environments: designing an index for consistent meaning in different settings. Freshwater Science. 35:240-271.

Ode, P.R., A.C. Rehn, R.D. Mazor, K.C. Schiff, E.D. Stein, J.T. May, L.R. Brown, D.B. Herbst, D. Gillett, K. Lunde, and C.P. Hawkins. 2016. Evaluating the adequacy of a reference-site pool for ecological assessments in environmentally complex regions. Freshwater Science. 35:237-248

Schiff, K., D. Greenstein, N. Dodder, and D.J. Gillett. 2016. Southern California Bight regional monitoring. Regional Studies in Marine Science. 4: 34-46. 

Gillett, D.J., S.B. Weisberg, T. Grayson, A. Hamilton, V. Hansen, E.W. Leppo, M.C. Pelletier, A. Borja, D. Cadien, D. Dauer, R. Diaz, M. Dutch, J.L. Hyland, M. Kellog, P.F. Larsen, J.S. Levinton, R. Llansó, L.L. Lovell, P.A. Montagna, D. Pasko, C.A. Phillips, C. Rakocinski, J.A. Ranasinghe, D.M. Sanger, H. Teixeira, R.F., Van Dolah, R.G. Velarde, and K.I. Welch. 2015. Effect of ecological group classification schemes on performance of the AMBI benthic index in US coastal waters. Ecological Indicators 50:99-107.

Gillett, D.J., K.C. Schiff, D.J. Pondella II, J. Freiwald, J.E. Casselle, C. Shuman, and S.B. Weisberg. 2012. Comparing volunteer and professionally collected monitoring data from the rocky subtidal reefs of southern California, USA. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 184:3239-3257.

Gillett, D.J. 2010. Effects of Habitat Quality on Secondary Production in Shallow Estuarine Waters and the Consequences for the Benthic-Pelagic Food Web. Ph.D. Dissertation, The College of William and Mary. Williamsburg, VA.

Gillett, D.J. and L.C. Schaffner. 2009. Benthos of the York River. Journal of Coastal Research SI57:80-98.

Gillett, D.J. and L.C. Schaffner. 2009. Benthos of the York River. pp. 77-94 in: K.A. Moore and W.G. Reay (eds.), A Site Profile of the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Virginia. VIMS Special Scientific Report No. 149. The Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary. Gloucester Point, VA.

Gillett, D.J., A.F. Holland, and D.M. Sanger. 2007. On the ecology of oligochaetes: Variation in community composition and environmental characteristics of two South Carolina tidal creeks at monthly scales. Estuaries and Coasts 30:238-252.

Gillett, D.J., A.F. Holland, and D.M. Sanger. 2005. Secondary production of a dominant oligochaete (Monopylephorus rubroniveus) in the tidal creeks of South Carolina and its relation to ecosystem characteristics. Limnology and Oceanography 50:566-577.

Gillett, D.J. 2003. The ecology of tidal creek oligochaetes: changes in abundance and secondary production of the numerically dominant species Monopylephorus rubroniveus (Levinsen, 1884). Master’s Thesis, University of Charleston. Charleston, SC.

TECHNICAL REPORTS:

M. Sutula, J. Butcher, C. Boschen, M. Molina, D. Gillett. 2016.Application of Watershed Loading and Estuary Water Quality Models to Inform Nutrient Management in the Santa Margarita River Watershed. Technical Report 933. Southern California Coastal Water Research Project Authority. Costa Mesa, CA.

Ranasinghe, J.A., E.D. Stein, M.R. Frazier, and D.J. Gillett. 2013. Development of Puget Sound Benthic Indicators. Report to the Washington State Department of Ecology. Southern California Coastal Water Research Project Technical Report 755.

Schiff, K., D. Gillett, A. Rehn, and M. Paul. 2013. Causal Assessment Evaluation and Guidance for California. Southern California Coastal Water Research Project Technical Report 750.

Sutula, M., P. Fong, J. Kaldy, D. Gillett, K. McLaughlin, C. Madden, M. Howard, L. Green, R. Kennison, J.A. Ranasinghe, and N. Beck. 2011. Review of indicators for development of nutrient numeric endpoints in California Estuaries. Technical Report 646. Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. Costa Mesa, CA.

Mazor, R.D., D.J. Gillett, K. Schiff, K. Ritter, and E. Stein. 2011. Ecological condition of watersheds in coastal southern California: Summary of the Stormwater Monitoring Coalition Stream Monitoring Program First Year (2009). Technical Report 639. Southern California Coastal Water Research Project, Costa Mesa CA

Gillett, D.J., D.J. Pondella, K.C. Schiff, J. Freiwald, J.E. Casselle, C. Shuman, and S.B. Weisberg. 2010. Comparing volunteer and professionally collected monitoring data from subtidal rocky reefs in southern California. pp. 219-238 in: K. Schiff and K. Miller (eds.), Southern California Coastal Water Research Project Annual Report. Costa Mesa, CA.

Gillett, D.J. and L.C. Schaffner. 2008. The Influence of Habitat Quality on Benthic Secondary Production and Trophic Transfer Efficiency in Unvegetated Estuarine Shallows. Prepared for the National Estuarine Research Reserve Graduate Research Fellowship. Virginia Institute of Marine Science. Gloucester Point, VA.

Gillett, D.J. and L.C. Schaffner. 2008. The Influence of Habitat Quality on the Abundance and Growth of Benthivoric Nekton in Unvegetated Estuarine Shallows. Prepared for the National Estuarine Research Reserve Graduate Research Fellowship. Virginia Institute of Marine Science. Gloucester Point, VA.

Schaffner, L.C., I.C. Anderson, J.W. Stanhope, D.J. Gillett, W.J. Metcalfe, and A.M.Z. Brylawski. 2008. An Integrated Approach to Understand Relationships Between Shallow Water Benthic Community Structure and Ecosystem Function (SI 1335) Final Technical Report. Prepared for the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. Gloucester Point, VA.

SELECTED PRESENTATIONS AND CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS:

Gillett, D.J. and K.C. Schiff.  2016.  Changes in Condition and Composition of Channel Islands Macrobenthic Communities.  Presentation at the California Islands Symposium in Ventura, CA.

Gillett, D.J. 2015.  Building better bioassessment with ecogenomics.  Invited seminar at City of San Diego Ocean Monitoring Division in San Diego, CA

Gillett, D.J.  2015.  The Benefits and difficulties of defining reference conditions in coastal and estuarine systems.  Presentation at the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation meeting in Portland, OR.

Gillett, D.J., T. Grayson, A. Hamilton, V. Hansen, E. Leppo, M.C. Pelletier, and S. Weisberg. 2013. Effect of three EG classification schemes on the performance of the AMBI benthic index in US coastal waters. Presentation at the Coastal Estuarine Research Federation meeting in San Diego, CA

Gillett, D.J., K. Schiff, and A. Rehn. 2013. Using regional data to improve causal assessments of local bioassessments. Presentation at the Society of Freshwater Science meeting Jacksonville, FL

Gillett, D.J., J.A. Ranasinghe, M.A. Sutula, K. Schiff, and D.B. Cadien. 2012. Using Macrobenthic Community Structure to Identify Stressors in Southern California Estuaries, Bays, and Harbors. Presentation at the Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry meeting. Long Beach, CA.

Gillett, D.J. 2012. Causal Assessment in California: Concepts, Case studies, and a Vision for its Future Application. Invited talk at California Bioassessment Workshop. Sacramento, CA.

Gillett, D.J., J.A. Ranasinghe, M.A. Sutula, K. Schiff, and D.B. Cadien. 2011. Using Macrobenthic Community Structure to Detect Eutrophication in Southern California Estuaries, Bays, and Harbors. Presentation at the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation Meeting. Daytona Beach, FL.

Gillett, D.J. and L.C. Schaffner. 2009. The Relationships among habitat quality, macrobenthos, and nektonic predation in estuarine shallows. Presentation at the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation Meeting. Portland, OR.

Gillett, D.J., L.C. Schaffner, and I.C. Anderson. 2008. Benthic habitat quality and its effects on food web structure and trophic efficiency. Invited seminar at Mokpo National University. Muan-gun, South Korea.

Gillett, D.J. 2008. Measuring pollution and its effects in estuaries and coastal waters: A review. Invited seminar at the KORDI South Sea Research Institute. Jangmok, South Korea.

Gillett, D.J., L.C. Schaffner, and I.C. Anderson. 2007. Benthic habitat quality and its effects on food web structure and trophic efficiency. Presentation at the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation Meeting. Providence RI.

Gillett, D.J. and L.C. Schaffner. 2006. Macrobenthic production and habitat quality along a salinity gradient in Chesapeake Bay, USA. Presentation at the Benthic Ecology Meeting. Atlanta, GA.