College of Natural and Computational Sciences

David B. Field, Ph.D.

Visiting Assistant Professor of Marine Sciences                David Field                                                                   

Office Telephone: (808) 356-5231

Professional Experience:

Hawaii Pacific University; Visiting Assistant Professor Marine Sciences, 1/09-present

University of California Santa Cruz; Research Fellow, 4/06-present

Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute; Postdoctoral Fellow, 11/05-1/09

National Science Foundation International; Postdoctoral Fellow, 4/06-2/08

National Research Council Postdoctoral Associate, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, La Jolla, 9/04-11/05


Ph.D. 2004      Scripps Institution of Oceanography (UCSD):  Oceanography        

B.S. 1995        University of California, San Diego: Biology (Ecology, Behavior

                          and Evolution), Minor: Spanish Literature

OAP, 1994      Universidad Arturo Prat, Iquique, Chile; (Opportunities Abroad


Courses Taught at HPU:

Biol 3081         Ecology Laboratory

MARS 6002    Marine Systems II (Chemical Oceanography)

MARS 6110    Graduate student seminar

MARS 6210    Graduate student seminar

Research Interests:  Global change, decadal-to millennial-scale variability, paleoceanography, geobiology, sedimentary processes, geochemical tracers, fisheries oceanography, plankton ecology


Barron, J.A., D. Bukry, D.B. Field, 2008. Santa Barbara Basin diatom and silicoflagellate

            response to global climate anomalies during the past 2200 years, Quaternary

            International, doi:10.1016/j.quaint.2008.08.007.   [Barron et al. pdf]

Sifeddine, A., D. Gutierrez, L. Ortlieb, H. Boucher, F. Velazco, D.B. Field, G. Vargas, M. 

            Boussafir, R. Salvatteci, V. Ferreira, M. García, J. Valdes, S. Caquineau, M. Mandeng

            Yogo, F.  Cetin, J. Solis, P. Soler, T. Baumgartner, 2008. Changes in terrestrial runoff,

            water mass oxygenation and upwelling productivity recorded in laminated sediments off

            the Central Peruvian Coast spanning the last centuries, Progress in Oceanography, 79,

            190-197. [Sifeddine et al. pdf]

Ohman, M.D., G.E. Durbin, J. Runge, B.K. Sullivan, D.B. Field, 2008. Relationship of predation

            potential to mortality of Calanus finmarchicus on Georges Bank, northwest Atlantic,

            Limnology and Oceanography, 53 (4), 1643-1655. [Ohman et al. pdf]

Field, D.B., T.R. Baumgartner, C. Charles, V. Ferriera-Bartrina, and M.D. Ohman, 2006.

Planktonic foraminifera of the California Current reflect 20th century warming,

Science, 311, 63-66. [Field et al. pdf]

Field, D.B., D. Cayan, and F. Chavez, 2006.  Secular warming in the California Current and

North Pacific, CalCOFI Reports, 47, 92-108. [pdf]

Gutiérrez, D., A. Sifeddine, J. L. Reyss, G. Vargas, F. Velazco, R. Salvatteci,  V. Ferreira, L.

Ortlieb, D. Field, T. Baumgartner, M. Boussafir,  H. Boucher, J. Valdés, L. Marinovic, P.

Soler, P. Tapia, 2006. Anoxic sediments off Central Peru as a record of interannual to

multidecadal changes of climate and upwelling ecosystem during the last few centuries,

Advances in Geosciences, 6, 119-125.

Morales, M., D.B. Field, S. Mayor, D. Gutiérrez, A. Sifeddine, L. Ortlieb, V. Ferreira, R.

            Salvatteci, and F. Velazco, 2006. Variaciones de foraminíferos de los últimos 460 años

en sedimentos laminados de la plataforma continental peruana, Boletín de la Sociedad

            Geológica del    Perú, 101: 5-18.

Field, D.B., 2004.  Variability in vertical distributions of planktonic foraminifera in the

            California Current: Relationships to vertical ocean structure, Paleoceanography, 19,

            PA2014, doi:10.1029/2003PA000970.    

Ohman, M.D., J.A. Runge, E.G. Durbin, D.B. Field, and B. Niehoff, 2002, On birth and death

            in the sea, Hydrobiologia, 480, 55-68.

Field, D.B., and T.R. Baumgartner, 2000.  A 900 year stable isotope record of inter-decadal and  

            centennial change from the California Current, Paleoceanography, 15, 695-708.           

In press or review:

D. Gutiérrez, A. Sifeddine, D.B. Field, L. Ortlieb, G. Vargas, F. Chávez, F. Velazco,

            V. Ferreira, P. Tapia, R. Salvatteci, H. Boucher, M. C. Morales, J. Valdés, J.-L. Reyss,

            A. Campusano, M. Boussafir, M. Mandeng-Yogo, M. García, and T. Baumgartner. Rapid

            reorganization in ocean biogeochemistry off Peru towards the end of the Little Ice Age.

            Biogeosciences Discuss., 5, 3919-3943, 2008 (in online review).

Field, D.B., T.R. Baumgartner, V. Ferreira, D. Gutierrez, H. Lozano-Montes, R. Salvatteci, and

A. Soutar, Variability in small pelagic fishes from scales in marine sediments and other

historical records, Chpt. 4, In Climate Change and Small Pelagic Fish, Checkley, D.M.,

C. Roy, J. Alheit, and Y. Oozeki (Eds.), Cambridge University Press, in press. 

[Field et al in press. pdf]

Finney, B. J. Alheit, K.-C. Emeis, U. Struck, D. Gutierrez and D.B. Field, Paleoecological

            Studies on Variability in Marine Fish Populations: A Long-Term Perspective on the

            Impacts of Climatic Change on Marine Fisheries, Progress in Oceanography, in press.

Field, D.B., C. Lange, D. Cayan, F. Chavez, M. Dalton, and P. Smith, Sardines and anchovies: 

            Natural variations and fisheries in complex ocean environments, In Using the Past to

            Inform the Future: The Known, Unknown, and Unknowable (KUU) Conference 2003,

            J.B.J. Jackson and E. Sala (Eds.), Chicago University Press, in press.

Ph.D. Dissertation:      

Field, D.B., 2004.  Planktonic foraminifera in the California Current: Vertical distributions,

            decadal climate variability and 20th century warming, Scripps Institution of

            Oceanography, UCSD, 177.

Research Grant and Support Awards:

2006-2008         “Ocean Variability and Fish Population Response Beyond El Niño from

                        Laminated Sediments of the Peruvian Margin Spanning the Last Millennium”,

                        NSF, International Postdoctoral Fellowship to David Field.

2004-2005         “Paleo-reconstruction of population dynamics of anchovy and sardine off the

                        Peruvian/northern Chilean coast related to climate shifts during the last 200

                        years”, Interamerican Institute for Global Change (IAI), PI: Dimitri Gutierrez

2004-2005         National Research Council Postdoctoral Associate

2001-2002         "Retrospective Monitoring of Variability in Ocean Climate and Marine        

                        Populations in the California Current.",  UC Coastal Environmental Quality

                        Initiative Research Grant, PIs: David Field and Chris Charles.

2001                 UC shipfunds support; Student Cruise (box coring Santa Barbara Basin)

2001                 UC shipfunds support; Student Cruise (MOCNESS plankton tows)

2000                 CILAS (Center for Iberian and Latin American Studies) Tinker Award

Research Interests

An overarching interest is to understand natural variability in ocean climate and marine ecosystems and distinguish natural variability from anthropogenic effects on ocean systems.  Such work is done by linking knowledge of ocean processes observed in modern records with historical observations and geological archives, and thus spans both ecological and geological timescales and processes.  I have largely worked with fossils within marine sedimentary records but aim to work with fossil and living corals.

Much of my investigations of past climate changes have been done with sediment cores from laminated sediments. Sediments accumulating in extremely low oxygen environments, such as the Santa Barbara Basin, are not exposed to benthic organisms that usually mix and bioturbate ocean sediments.  Thus sediment from disoxic environments preserve seasonal or annual differences in sediment type, which provides very high-resolution records within the sediments.  Fossil plankton within the sediments, such as foraminifera, diatoms, coccolithophorids, etc., as well as their isotopic signatures reveal changes in water temperature and ocean climate.  There are many other geochemical approaches to inferring past changes as well.

David Field

In order to interpret these records from marine sediments I have also examined how environmental factors affect the abundance and distribution of living foramininfera by taking plankton tows across the California Current. 

David Field

Another fossil found within ocean sediments are fish remains, scales, bones, and otoliths, of very abundant pelagic fishes like sardines and anchovies.  By quantifying the changes in abundance of fish scales in different layers of ocean sediments, we can infer past changes in population sizes prior to the onset of industrial fishing.  We also fish scale records with other paleo records, historical records of fish catch, guano harvest, or archived shipboard measurements of Sea surface temperature and/or wind speed to understand how pelagic fish populations respond to environmental changes over long timescales.

Another tool for inferring some of the potential mechanisms responsible for variability in fish populations is to examine their isotopic signatures of δ15N and δ13C.  I have measured δ15N and δ13C on tissues of living sardines in the California Current as well as making measurements from sardines raised in laboratory setting of controlled temperatures and on different diets to understand how isotopic signatures are acquired in scales and muscle tissue.  Such information is useful for understanding population variability and trophic dynamics.  Another potential goal is to use δ15N and δ13C of fish scales preserved in sedimentary records to test for long-term relationships between nutrient input and trophic level on relative changes in the population sizes of sardines and anchovies, as inferred from fish scale deposition rates.   

I am interested in starting research in Hawai’i in the areas of 1) history of Hawaiian fish ponds (by taking sediment cores in the ponds), 2) reconstructing past changes in ocean climate from isotopes and trace elements found in fossil coral skeletons, 3) examining changes in runoff and nutrients with trace elements that have been incorporated into living and fossil coral skeletons. 

An interesting link: