Bonnie J. Becker, Ph.D.

Associate Professor; Associate Director of Strategic Initiatives ; Graduate Faculty

Specialty: Marine Ecology, Conservation Biology

Becker, Bonnie J.

Contact information

Dept: Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences
Room: SCI 224
Phone: 253-692-4546


  • Ph.D., Oceanography, Scripps Institution of Oceanography (UCSD), 2005.
  • A.B., Biology, Harvard University, 1995.


I am an associate professor in marine ecology at the University of Washington Tacoma. My research focuses on marine conservation biology, including invertebrate larval connectivity, remediation and restoration, and habitat monitoring. I teach courses focused on ecology, zoology, and conservation biology and am interested in experiential- and service-based learning in undergraduate education.


I am currently working on the early life history of commercially and ecologically important shellfish in Puget Sound. Recent work includes:

  • The early life history and restoration success of Olympia oysters (Ostrea lurida) in northern Puget Sound (Fidalgo Bay, Anacortes WA)
  • The spatial and temporal distribution of Pacific geoduck clams (Panopea generosa) in central Puget Sound (Quartermaster Harbor, Vashon Island WA)
  • The use of bivalve aquaculture to remediate nutrient eutrophication in an urban waterway (Thea Foss Waterway, Tacoma WA)
  • Benthic invertebrate community monitoring in polluted marine habitats (Commencement Bay, Tacoma WA)


I teach courses that focus on ecology, conservation biology, and marine invertebrate zoology. I enjoy teaching majors as well as non-majors. My courses include many opportunities for experiential learning and service learning, including collecting biodiversity data for state agencies, creating outreach materials for local non-profits, and conducting independent research projects in the classroom.

Courses I regularly teach include:

  • TESC 232 Issues in Conservation Biology
  • TESC 332 Conservation Biology in Practice
  • TESC 340 Ecology and Its Applications
  • TESC 402 History and Ecology of Biological Invasions
  • TESC 438 Marine Invertebrates
  • TESC 442 Marine Ecology
  • TESC 495 Environmental Research Experience

Courses I occasionally teach are:

  • TESC 120 Introductory Biology I
  • TESC 200 Environmental Seminar
  • TESC 310 Environmental Research Seminar
  • TCORE 111 Everybody Eats: Food in the Landscape

In addition, I always advise a number of independent study students, including those doing Directed Research (TESC 499), Internships (TESC 496), and Directed Research (TESC 498).

Selected Publications

  • Carson H, L√≥pez-Duarte P, Cook G, Fodrie F, Becker B, DiBacco C, Levin L. 2013. Temporal, spatial, and interspecific variation in geochemical signatures within fish otoliths, bivalve larval shells, and crustacean larvae. Marine Ecology Progress Series 473:133148.
  • Becker, B.J., Behrens, M.D., Shevalier, Y.R.A.**, Henzler, C.M., Hoaglund, E.A., and Lemay, B.K.* 2012. Determining distribution and size of larval Pacific geoduck clams (Panopea generosa) in Quartermaster Harbor (Washington, USA) using a novel sampling approach. Journal of Shellfish Research 31(3):711-723.
  • Lopez-Duarte PC, Carson HS, Cook GS, Fodrie FJ, Becker BJ, DiBacco C, Levin LA. 2012. What controls connectivity? An empirical, multi-species approach. Integrative and Comparative Biology. 52:511524.
  • Fodrie, F.J., Becker, B.J., Levin, L.A., Gruenthal, K., and McMillan, P. 2011. Connectivity clues from short-term variability in settlement and geochemical tags of mytilid mussels. Journal of Sea Research 65(1):141-150.
  • Ford, H.L., Schellenberg, S.A., Becker, B.J., Deutschman, D.L., Dyck, K.A., and P.L. Koch. 2010. Evaluating the skeletal chemistry of Mytilus californianus as a temperature proxy: Effects of microenvironment and ontogeny. Paleoceanography 25: PA1203, 14pp. doi:10.1029/2008PA001677
  • Becker, B.J. and P.A. Selkin. 2009. Marine reserve design: simulating stakeholder options. Teaching Issues and Experiments in Ecology. Volume 6.
  • Becker, B.J., Levin, L.A., Fodrie, F.J., McMillan, P.A. 2007. Complex larval connectivity patterns among marine invertebrate populations. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. 104(9):3267-3272.
  • Sagarin, R.D., Ambrose, R.F., Becker, B.J., Engle, J.M., Kido, J., Lee, Steven F., Miner, C. Melissa, Murrary, Steven N., Raimondi, Peter T., Richards, D., Roe, C. 2007. Ecological impacts on the limpet Lottia gigantea populations: human pressure over a broad scale on island and mainland intertidal zones. Marine Biology 150:399-413.
  • Becker, B.J., Fodrie, F.J., McMillan, P., and L.A. Levin. 2005. Spatial and temporal variation in trace elemental fingerprints of mytilid mussel shells: a precursor to invertebrate larval tracking. Limnology and Oceanography 50:48-61.
  • Roy, K., Collins, A.G., Becker, B.J., Begovic, E., and J.M. Engle. 2003. Anthropogenic impacts and historical decline in body size of rocky intertidal gastropods in southern California. Ecology Letters 6:205-211.


Member of the following professional societies:

  • Western Society of Naturalists
  • National Shellfisheries Association

Professional Service

  • Citizens for a Healthy Bay: Secretary, Board of Directors; Policy Technical Committee (2008-present); Co-Founder and Member, Communications Committee.
  • Reviewer for various publications and granting agencies.