Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve
In order to determine baseline characteristics of water quality and estuarine populations, Rikke works on long-term monitoring of, and short-term research on relationships between water quality, algal abundance and invertebrate populations, such as native and non-native crabs and fish. Rikke is currently working in collaboration with multiple researchers on the relationships of invasive invertebrates and their predators. She works closely with volunteers and coordinates monthly water quality sampling events, and she mentors interns from local universities, as well as summer interns. Additionally, Rikke works on a large scale marsh restoration project, where she assists with anything from writing proposals and reviewing permits, to organizing stakeholder meetings and writing project reports to various agencies. She has a Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from UC Santa Cruz and her interests are invasive invertebrates, and how water quality and nutrients affect estuarine species.
Graduate Research Fellow at the Elkhorn Slough Reserve 2006 – 2009
As a Research Fellow Rikke investigated the biogeographic variation in abundance, morphology, and behavior of the European green crab, Carcinus maenas. Results from crab monitoring in Elkhorn Slough have shown that while relative abundances of native crabs have been declining since 2001, relative abundance of the European green crab has been increasing. This intriguing pattern brought to our attention that the invasion success of the European green crab is highly variable in different estuaries and bays. Rikke quantified and compared success of the green crab in estuaries and bays on the US West Coast, the US East Coast, and in Europe by measuring green crab size distributions, fecundity, relative abundance and behavior.