Sylvia B. Yamada

Assistant Professor, Senior Research

University of British Columbia, B.Sc, M.S; University of Oregon Ph.D.

E-Mail:, Phone: 541-737-5345, FAX: 541-737-0501, Address: Department of Zoology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon 97331-2914.

RESEARCH INTERESTS: My research focuses on marine ecology, population ecology, predator-prey interactions, the management of invertebrate fisheries and on the ecological role of introduced species in the marine environment. I have studied geographic and local variations in the life history of snails in the genus Littorina, explored the feasibility of using natural and induced chemical tags in the stock identification of salmon, evaluated the aquaculture potential of sea mussels (Mytilus californianus) and looked at the role crab predators play in altering their prey’s distribution, abundance and life history. I am interested in the impact of introduced species on native communities and in testing novel control techniques in marine reserves and on commercial shellfish beds. Current interests include the link between ocean conditions and recruitment strength of estuarine decapods and the feasibility of using sea mussel growth increments as chronometers of past ocean conditions.

TEACHING: In all my courses I encourage students to engage in their own learning process by having them particiapate in independent research projects. I have taught courses in conservation biology, general ecology, marine ecology, community ecology, invertebrate zoology, and wildlife conservation. I led orientation classes for freshmen and team taught in the Marine Biology course (Bi 450/451) at Hatfield Marine Science Center. I enjoy mentoring graduate and undergraduate students in research. Many of my undergraduates have completed senior theses, presented their findings at international meetings and co-authored papers with me.

COMMUNITY: I have a strong interest in science education and in encouraging women and under-represented minorities to enter the sciences. Many undergraduates participated in my research projects, including six students from the Native Americans in Marine Science Program (NAMSS, OSU) and three Minority Blinks Fellows at the University of Washington Friday Harbor Labs. As Zoology Club Advisor, I helped our students exhibit live animals during Museum Days, and led field trips to the Sororan desert, Death Valley, the Montery Aquarium and Friday Harbor Labs. As a visiting scientist at the University of Washington Friday Harbor Labs, I co-founded a Summer Science School for young learners and facilitated the transition of this program to the Whale Museum. I co-organized the 7th and 8th Grade Girls’ Science Workshop for our local chapter of the Association for Women in Science and served on the steering committee for the Women in Graduate Symposium.


Behrens Yamada, S., T.M. Davidson & S. Fisher 2010. Claw morphology and feeding rates of introduced European green crabs (Carcinus maenas) and native Dungeness crabs (Cancer magister). Journal of Shellfish Research. In press. reprint

Behrens Yamada, S. & P.M. Kosro (2009). Linking ocean conditions to year class strength of the invasive European green crab,Carcinus maenas. Biol. Invasions. DOI 10.1007/s10530-009-9589-y.pdf reprint

Behrens Yamada, S. G. E. Gillespie (2008). Will the European green crab (Carcinus maenas) persist in the Pacific Northwest? Fifth International Conference on Marine Bioinvasions. International Journal for the Exploration of the Sea Journal of Marine Science 65:725-729. doi10.1093/icesjms/fsm191. pdf reprint

Behrens Yamada, S,. B.R. Dumbauld, A. Kalin, C. Hunt, , R. Figlar-Barnes and A. Randall 2005. Growth and persistence of a recent invader Carcinus maenas in estuaries of the Northeastern Pacific. Biological Invasions 7(2) pp. 309-321. pdf reprint

R.J. Losey, S. Behrens Yamada and L. Largaespada 2004. Dungeness Crab (Cancer magister) Harvest at a Southern Northwest Coast Estuary. Journal of Archaeological Science 31:1603-1612. pdf reprint

Hunt. C.E. and S. Behrens Yamada 2003. Biotic resistance experienced by an invasive crustacean in a temperate estuary. Biological invasions 5(1-2):33-43. pdf reprint

Behrens Yamada, S. and L. Hauck. 2001. Field identification of the European Green crab species: Carcinus maenas (Linnaeus, 1758) and C. aestuarii Nardo, 1847. Journal of Shellfish Research 20(3):905-912.

Behrens Yamada, S. 2001. Global Invader: The European Green Crab.  Oregon Sea Grant, Washington Sea Grant, Corvallis, Oregon. 123 pages. (Blue Ribbon Award and People’s Choice Award)

Behrens Yamada, S. and E.G. Boulding. 1998. Claw morphology, prey size selection, and foraging efficiency in generalists and specialist shell-breaking crabs. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 220:191-211. pdf reprint

Behrens Yamada, S., S.A. Navarrete and C. Needham 1998. Predation induced changes in growth rate and behavior in three populations of the intertidal snail, Littorina sitkana. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 220:213-226.pdf reprint

Behrens Yamada, S. and E.G. Boulding. 1996. The role of highly mobile crab predators in the intertidal zonation of their gastropod prey. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 204:59-83.pdf reprint

Behrens Yamada, S. and T.J. Mulligan, 1990. Screening of elements for the chemical marking of hatchery salmon. Proceedings to the International Symposium and Educational Workshop on Fish Marking Techniques. June 1988, Seattle, Washington. American Fisheries Society Symposium 7:550-561.

Behrens Yamada, S. 1989. Are direct developers more locally adapted than planktonic developers? Marine Biology. 103:403-411.

      1  Non-native Species in Oregon Estuaries -->

      2  Sample Student Field Reports -->



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