Iliana Ruiz-Cooley

Dr. Iliana Ruiz-Cooley





Iliana Ruiz-Cooley is a Research Faculty at the Moss Landing Marine Laboratories. She received her Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Biology (Evolutionary Ecology) from New Mexico State University, and held two postdoctoral positions at the National Research Council and National Academies at Southwest Fisheries Science Center (NMFS-NOAA), and at the Ocean Sciences Department, University of California Santa Cruz.


My research experience and interests include a wide range of topics that encompass the ecology of species and the effect of natural and anthropogenic perturbations over population dynamics of species, food web dynamics and habitat biochemistry. My research has focused on understanding different topics that are unknown for some oceanic species such as: (1) feeding habits, habitat use and migration of predators such as sperm whales and mesopelagic cephalopods, (2) predator-prey relationships, (3) the response of deep water communities to environmental variation such as decreasing dissolved oxygen concentrations in the water column and primary production, (4) geographic and temporal variation in biochemical cycling using predators as indicators, and (5) variability in food web length in response to El Nino Southern Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, and climate change.  I use different approaches, such as analysis of stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen from bulk tissue and individual amino acids, morphometrics, age determination methods, among other tools, to investigate my research questions.

Hobbies: exploring, kayaking, hiking, swimming, painting