Welcome to the page where you can find out about my history as a "real" scientist doing research. The full professional resume of an academic person is called the curriculum vitae or "life summary" (usually abbreviated CV). Mine can be found by following the link below. The main highlights of my research career are summarized below as well as some of the story that brought me to Grossmont College. Links to my publications (most of the work referred to in my history) are provided at the bottom of this page. 


Curriculum Vitae


Brief Professional History

My undergraduate education was at Occidental College in Los Angeles, CA and I graduated with a B. A. in Biology with an emphasis in Marine Biology (and a minor in French) in 1992. During my years as a student there, I worked on research with John Stephens, Jr. who monitored coastal fish populations in King Harbor, Redondo Beach and off Palos Verdes. This work included visual underwater fish counts (using SCUBA), plankton tows and sorting the resulting samples, and various types of gill net, seine and hand sampling of fish. I did a summer research experience project testing for toxic and/or predator-deterring compounds in a species of dorid nudibranch at the Shannon Point Marine Center in Anacortes, WA.


I went straight to graduate school after college and worked with Hal Caswell and Judy McDowell on my thesis research at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole Massachusetts (which is on Cape Cod, about 90 miles south of Boston).  My research included a field component, in which I measured growth, survival and reproduction of a mudflat clam species in several pristine and contaminated areas, and a modeling component, where I used matrix population models to test the effects of variability in larval recruitment and life history strategy components on the population dynamics of clams and other bivalves.


After completing my Ph. D. in 1998, I moved back to California and worked for a year at an environmental consulting firm in Long Beach.  Not happy with this job, I moved to San Diego and started teaching as an adjunct at the University of San Diego (USD), where I quickly began a six-year collaboration with Marie Simovich in her studies of temporary pond crustaceans. I learned to identify freshwater plankton and spent hours walking through the chaparral to sample ponds after it had rained. On these treks, I started learning to identify the plants and animals and with my increasing knowledge developed an interest in local natural history. With undergraduate student collaborators, we also did experiments to investigate the toxic effects of common pesticides on the federally endangered San Diego fairy shrimp and to measure its life history strategy variables.  During this time, I worked hard to build my statistical skills and was able to tackle a complex analysis of the massive set of pond community data that Marie had been building over the years and that I helped finish collecting. 

When I left USD, I worked for a year for the National Marine Fisheries Service on a modeling project evaluating the effect of the population bottleneck--resulting from whaling--on the genetic structure of current bowhead whale populations. Then I worked for another environmental consulting firm where I developed the foundation of a conservation management plan for Sacramento County. 


Since I have been at Grossmont College (hired full-time starting Fall 2007) I have not had the time to pursue further research.  However, as of this writing (summer 2015) I am starting work on a project re-analyzing some of my unpublished thesis data using a new modeling method and have a tentative collaboration with Dr. Howard Whiteman of Murray State University to help him use the modeling techniques I know to analyze his data on life history strategies of alpine salamanders.


Grossmont students always ask me if I am doing any research that they can get involved in and my answer is still "Not yet" but I am investigating collaborations with faculty at UCSD, SDSU, and USD in order to change that.  Stay tuned...



Archer, Frederick I., Karen K. Martien, Barbara L. Taylor, Richard G. LeDuc, Bonnie J. Ripley, Geof H. Givens, and John C. George. (2010) A simulation -based approach to evaluating population structure in non-equlibrial populations. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 11(2):101-113.


Ripley, Bonnie J. and Marie A. Simovich. (2008) Species richness on islands in time: variation in ephemeral pond crustacean communities in relation to habitat duration and size. Hydrobiologia  617: 181-196.


Ripley, Bonnie J. and Hal Caswell. (2008) Contributions of growth, stasis, and reproduction to fitness in brooding and broadcast spawning marine bivalves. Population Ecology 50: 207-214.


Ripley, Bonnie J. and Hal Caswell. (2006) Recruitment variability and population growth of the soft-shell clam, Mya arenaria.  Ecological Modeling 193: 517-530.


Ripley, Bonnie J., Holtz, Janette* and Simovich, Marie A.  (2004) Cyst bank life-history model for a fairy shrimp from ephemeral ponds.  Freshwater Biology 49(3): 221-231.


Ripley, Bonnie J., Kirsten C. DavisB. J. Carter, and Marie A. Simovich. (2002-2003) Toxicity of malathion and Roundup® to the San Diego fairy shrimp.  Transactions of the Western Section of the Wildlife Society 38/39: 13-21.


McDowell, J.E., Lancaster, B.A., Leavitt, D.F., Rantamaki, P., and Ripley, B. J. (1999) The effects of lipophilic organic contaminants on reproductive physiology and disease processes in marine bivalve molluscs. Limnology and Oceanography 44: 903-909.


Parker, E.D., Jr., Forbes, V.E., Nielsen, S.L., Ritter, C.,Barata, C., Baird, D.J., Admiraal, W., Levin, L., Loeschcke, V., Lyytikainen-Saarenmaa, P., Hogh-Jensen, H., Calow, P., and Ripley. B.J. (1999) Stress in ecological systems. Oikos 86:179-184.


Ripley, Bonnie J. (1998) Life history traits and population processes in marine bivalve mollusks. Ph. D. Thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution 98-05.


Ask Me About..

...these cool experiences that I have had the good fortune to have.


  • Getting to see hydrothermal vents with my own eyes from the view port of the Alvin submersible
  • Searching for salps in the Southern Ocean and tripping over penguins at Palmer Station Antarctica
  • Representing the United States at the International Whaling Commission Scientific Meeting