David Hyrenbach


khyrenbach 'at' hpu 'dot' edu

Last Updated January 2022


I joined the HPU College of Natural and Computational Sciences in January 2008, adding expertise in multi-variate statistics, geo-spatial statistics, seabird ecology and the conservation of pelagic systems. I was originally born in Spain, and completed a Bachelor's of Science at UCSD and a Ph.D. at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. I worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the Duke University Marine Lab and was a visiting scholar at the University of Washington's School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences. In 2007, I was awarded a Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation to work on the distributions of marine birds, turtles and mammals in the Alboran Sea, Western Mediterranean.

My research at HPU addresses three main questions: (i) how do the trophic links and ecological interactions amongst large marine vertebrates influence the flow of energy and pollutants in pelagic ecosystems, (ii) how does oceanographic variability in time and space shape the distribution and community structure of these marine vertebrates, (iii) how do these habitat associations influence the efficacy of spatially-explicit management strategies for their management and conservation.

My lab's research on marine birds, turtles, mammals, and predatory fishes seeks to characterize the habitats of these marine predators and their responses to local and regional oceanographic variability.

The conservation applications of this research include identifying important habitats for the development of spatially-explicit protective measures (e.g., marine protected areas), highlighting potential threats on protected species from anthropogenic activities (e.g., fisheries overlap), and using these far-ranging species as biological sensors of the incidence and magnitude of marine pollution (e.g., plastic ingestion).

In addition to teaching and mentoring undergraduate and graduate students, I contribute towards collaborative initiatives for seabird conservation, marine debris research, and marine protected areas..

Currently, I am participating in the following marine conservation fora:

Biological Indicators of Ocean Plastic Pollution (BioPs)

Center for Marine Debris Research (CMDR)

Blue Parks Science Council


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