Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Discovery Lecture California Grunion

April 6, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Surf, Sand, and Silversides: Research and Outreach with California Grunion

By Dr. Karen Martin, Pepperdine University

The spectacular midnight runs of California Grunion are well known to patrons of Cabrillo Marine Aquarium. This endemic silverside fish, found only off California and Baja California, shares critical spawning habitat with millions of beach goers along one of the world’s most heavily populated coastlines. Spawning occurs during spring and summer, the times of heaviest human use. Although regulations offer some protection, human impacts on California Grunion include a recreational fishery with bare-handed catching, and habitat loss from shoreline armoring and beach erosion. The focus of this talk will be the adaptations and adventures of these amazing fish in the California beach sand, and the grunion’s influence on beach goers and beach management. From the ability to arrest development, to the recent expansion of their spawning runs far north of Point Conception, these surfing silversides are full of surprises. Our favorite fish will be compared with other beach-spawning fishes from around the world to show how the rewards of this behavior may outweigh the risks in many different ecosystems.

Karen Martin is a Distinguished Professor of Biology and Frank R. Seaver Chair in Natural Science at Pepperdine University. A doctorate in biology at UCLA was followed by a post-doctoral fellowship at Friday Harbor Laboratories, University of Washington. She has published three scholarly books and over 50 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters on coastal ecology, amphibious fishes, and the vertebrate transition from water to land. She co-founded the Beach Ecology Coalition, a nonprofit organization to bring together beach maintenance workers, managers, ecologists, surfers, lifeguards, and resource managers to balance human recreation with wildlife conservation on sandy beaches. She co-founded the Grunion Greeters, a citizen scientist group that provides data on grunion populations throughout their habitat range, and this group has worked with aquariums, environmental groups, government agencies, and coastal cities and counties. She received the “Environmental Partnership Award” from the America Shore and Beach Preservation Association and the “Conservation Achievement Award” from the American Fisheries Society.

Click here to reserve your free ticket on Eventbrite.


April 6, 2018
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Category:


Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
3720 Stephen M. White Drive
San Pedro, CA 90731 United States
+ Google Map
View Venue Website