Bonnie Becker

Bonnie J Becker


Professional larval shellfish tracker | Passionate, authentic educator | Collaborative, curriculum-building administrator

My professional life is dedicated to empowering the public, especially those traditionally not included in higher education, to appreciate, conserve, and restore our shared natural resources and biodiversity. In my role as a faculty member and administrator at a public university, I work towards this mission in three main endeavors: research, teaching, and service. I have been doing this work since 2006 at the University of Washington Tacoma, a relatively new and rapidly growing, urban-serving university that serves mostly 'non-traditional' students.

My research focuses broadly on marine conservation biology and monitoring, with an emphasis on population movements of commercially or ecologically important shellfish like geoduck clams and Olympia oysters. In 2005, I earned my PhD in Biological Oceanography from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, working with Drs. Lisa Levin and Paul Dayton on the population connectivity of two common species of mussels. Since moving to the Puget Sound, I have worked on the larval distribution of geoduck clams in Quartermaster Harbor and Olympia oysters in Fidalgo Bay. Currently, I have funding to do apopulation connectivity work with Olympia oysters throughout the Sound and to study the small-scale behavior of geoduck and Pacific oyster larvae in response to ocean acidification. I have also worked on smaller projects including the uptake of excess nutrients by mussel aquaculture, the monitoring of benthic invertebrates around Superfund sites, and various student projects.

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Fellow at a Glance

Fellowship Year:
Academic Background:
Current Position:
Associate Dean of Curriculum and Academic Initiatives/Associate Professor of Marine Ecology
U of Washington Tacoma
Coastal & Marine Issues
Conservation Science & Biology
Natural Resource Management
Currently Working On:
Conservation of commercially important shellfish in Puget Sound, curriculum development.
Box 358436 1900 Commerce Street
Tacoma, Washington 98402
(253) 692-4546

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