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School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment

Faculty and Staff Directory

Ryan Rykaczewski

Title: Associate Professor
Department: Biological Sciences; Earth, Ocean and Environment
College of Arts and Sciences
Phone: 803-777-8159
Office: EWS, Room 612
Resources: Curriculum Vitae [pdf]
School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment
Department of Biological Sciences
My website
Ryan Rykaczewski


I am interested in exploring the responses of ecosystem and fisheries production to past and future climate variability and climate change. This research involves consideration of theory, observations, and models.  Currently, I investigate the biogeochemical implications of changes in physical climate that are particularly robust in the projections of atmosphere-ocean general circulation models (e.g., meridional shifts in zonal winds, increases in ocean stratification, and changes in phenology). In the past, changes in primary production, carbon export, the structure of food webs, and fisheries have often correlated with simple physical climate measures such as SST. However, these relationships rarely reflect an understanding of the actual mechanisms relating the environment to the physics.


  • Biogeochemistry & Geochemistry
  • Climate Change
  • Earth Systems
  • Marine Ecology and Evolution
  • Oceanography


Fisheries Oceanography; Observation of long-term changes in ocean biogeochemistry and climate; Large-scale changes in oceanic and atmospheric properties of the North Pacific; Remote forcing of coastal conditions; Ocean acidification and deoxygenation; Size-structured interactions in ocean ecosystems



  1. Litzow, MA, L Ciannelli, P Puerta, JJ Wettstein, RR Rykaczewski, and MJ Opiekun. 2018. Non-stationary climate-salmon relationships in the Gulf of Alaska. Proc. R. Soc. B 285: 20181855, doi:10.1098/rspb.2018.1855.
  2. Rykaczewski, RR. In Press. Changes in mesozooplankton size structure along a trophic gradient in the California Current Ecosystem and implications for small pelagic fish. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. doi:10.3354/meps12554.
  3. van der Sleen, P, RR Rykaczewski, BD Turley, WJ Sydeman, M García-Reyes, SJ Bograd, CD van der Lingen, JC Coetzee, T Lamont, and BA Black. 2018. Non-stationary responses in anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus) recruitment to coastal upwelling in the Southern Benguela. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 596:155-164, doi:10.3354/meps12567.
  4. García-Reyes, M, T Lamont, WJ Sydeman, BA Black, RR Rykaczewski, SA Thompson, and SJ Bograd. 2018. A comparison of modes of upwelling-favorable wind variability in the Benguela and California current ecosystems. J. Marine Syst. 188:17-26, doi:10.1016/j.jmarsys.2017.06.002.
  5. Black, BA, P van der Sleen; E Di Lorenzo, D Griffin, WJ Sydeman, JB Dunham, RR Rykaczewski, M García-Reyes, M Safeeq, I Arismendi, and SJ Bograd. 2018. Rising synchrony controls western North American ecosystems. Glob. Change Biol. 24(6):2305-2314, doi:10.1111/gcb.14128.


  1. Lynch, AL, RG Asch, WWL Cheung, CP Paukert, RR Rykaczewski, and WHH Sauer. 2017. Special issue: Impacts of climate change on marine and inland fishes and fisheries. Rev. Fish Biol. Fisher. 27(2):293-296, doi:10.1007/s11160-017-9483-0.
  2. *Brady, RX, MA Alexander, NS Lovenduski, and RR Rykaczewski. 2017. Emergent anthropogenic trends in California Current upwelling. Geophys. Res. Lett. 44:5044-5052, doi:10.1002/2017GL072945.
  3. Tommasi, D, CA Stock, AJ Hobday, R Methot, IC Kaplan, JP Eveson, K Holsman, TJ Miller, S Gaichas, M Gehlen, A Pershing, GA Vecchi, R Msadek, T Delworth, CM Eakin, MA Haltuch, R Sefarian, CM Spillman, JR Hartog, S Siedlecki, JF Samhouri, B Muhling, RG Asch, ML Pinsky, VS Saba, SB Kapnick, CF Gaitan, RR Rykaczewski, MA Alexander, Y Xue, KV Pegion, P Lynch, MR Payne, T Kristiansen, P Lehodey, and FE Werner. 2017. Managing living marine resources in a dynamic environment: the role of seasonal to decadal climate forecasts. Prog. Oceanogr. 152:15-49, doi:10.1016/j.pocean.2016.12.011.
  4. Stock, CA, JG John, RR Rykaczewski, RG Asch, WWL Cheung, JP Dunne, KD Friedland, VWY Lam, JL Sarmiento, and RA Watson. Reconciling fisheries catch and ocean productivity. 2017. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 114:E1441-E1449, doi:10.1073/pnas.1610238114.
  5. Checkley, DM Jr., RG Asch, and RR Rykaczewski. 2017. Climate, anchovy, and sardine. Annu. Rev. Mar. Sci. 9:469-493, doi:10.1146/annurev-marine-122414-033819.


  1. Grieve, BD, EN Curchitser, and RR Rykaczewski. 2016. Range expansion of the invasive lionfish in the Northwest Atlantic with climate change. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 546:225-237, doi:10.3354/meps11638.
  2. Cheung, WWL, TL Frölicher, RG Asch, M Jones, ML Pinsky, G Reygondeau, KB Rodgers, RR Rykaczewski, JL Sarmiento, CA Stock, and JR Watson. 2016. Building confidence in projections of the responses of living marine resources to climate change. ICES J. Mar. Sci. 73:1283-1296, doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsv250.


  1. García-Reyes, M, WJ Sydeman, DS Schoeman, RR Rykaczewski, BA Black, AJ Smit, and SJ Bograd. 2015. Under pressure: Climate change, upwelling and eastern boundary upwelling ecosystems. Front. Mar. Sci. 2:109, doi:10.3389/fmars.2015.00109.
  2. Fisher, JL, WT Peterson, and RR Rykaczewski. 2015. The impact of El Niño events on the pelagic food chain in the northern California Current. Glob. Change Biol. 21:4401–4414, doi:10.1111/gcb.13054.
  3. Rykaczewski, RR, JP Dunne, WJ Sydeman, M García-Reyes, BA Black, and SJ Bograd. 2015. Poleward displacement of coastal upwelling-favorable winds in the ocean's eastern boundary currents through the 21st century. Geophys. Res. Lett. 42:6424–6431, doi:10.1002/2015GL064694.
  4. Bakun, A, BA Black, SJ Bograd, M García-Reyes, AJ Miller, RR Rykaczewski, and WJ Sydeman. 2015. Anticipated effects of climate change on coastal upwelling ecosystems. Curr. Clim. Change Rep. 1:85-93, doi:10.1007/s40641-015-0008-4.
  5. *Willis-Norton, E, EL Hazen, S Fossette, G Shillinger, RR Rykaczewski, DG Foley, JP Dunne, and SJ Bograd. 2015. Climate change impacts on leatherback turtle pelagic habitat in the southeast Pacific. Deep-Sea Res. Part II Top. Stud. Oceanogr. 113:260-267, doi:10.1016/j.dsr2.2013.12.019.
  6. McOwen, CJ, WWL Cheung, RR Rykaczewski, RA Watson, and LJ Wood. 2015. Is fisheries production within Large Marine Ecosystems determined by bottom-up or top-down forcing? Fish Fish. 16:623–632, doi:10.1111/faf.12082.


  1. Black, BA, WJ Sydeman, DC Frank, D Griffin, DW Stahle, M García-Reyes, RR Rykaczewski, SJ Bograd, and WT Peterson. 2014. Six centuries of variability and extremes in a coupled marine-terrestrial ecosystem. Science 345:1498-1502, doi:10.1126/science.1253209.
  2. Sydeman, WJ, M García-Reyes, DS Schoeman, RR Rykaczewski, SA Thompson, BA Black, and SJ Bograd. 2014. Climate change and wind intensification in coastal upwelling ecosystems.Science 345:77-80, doi:10.1126/science.1251635.


  1. García-Reyes, M, WJ Sydeman, BA Black, RR Rykaczewski, DS Schoeman, SA Thompson, and SJ Bograd. 2013. Relative influence of oceanic and terrestrial pressure systems in driving upwelling-favorable winds. Geophys. Res. Lett. 40:5311-5315, doi:10.1002/2013GL057729.
  2. Österblom, H, A Merrie, M Metian, WJ Boonstra, T Blenckner, JR Watson, RR Rykaczewski, Y Ota, JL Sarmiento, V Christensen, M Schlüter, S Birnbaum, BG Gustavsson, C Humborg, C Mörth, B Müller-Karulis, MT Tomczak, M Troel, and C Folke. 2013. Modeling social-ecological scenarios in marine systems. BioScience 63:735-744, doi:10.1525/bio.2013.63.9.9.
  3. García-Reyes, M, WJ Sydeman, SA Thompson, BA Black, RR Rykaczewski, JA Thayer, and SJ Bograd. 2013. Integrated assessment of wind effects on Central California’s pelagic ecosystem. Ecosystems 16(5):722-735, doi:10.1007/s10021-013-9643-6.
  4. Beaulieu, C, SA Henson, JL Sarmiento, JP Dunne, SC Doney, RR Rykaczewski, and L Bopp. 2013. Factors challenging our ability to detect long-term trends in ocean chlorophyll.Biogeosciences 10:2711-2724, doi:10.5194/bg-10-2711-2013.
  5. Hazen, EL, S Jorgensen, RR Rykaczewski, SJ Bograd, DG Foley, ID Jonsen, SA Shaffer, JP Dunne, DP Costa, LB Crowder, and BA Block. 2013. Predicted habitat shifts of Pacific top predators in a changing climate. Nat. Clim. Change. 3:234-238, doi:10.1038/nclimate1686.


  1. Sydeman, WJ, SA Thompson, JA Santora, JC Field, WT Peterson, RW Tanasichuk, HJ Freeland, SJ Bograd, and RR Rykaczewski. 2011. Does positioning of the North Pacific Current affect downstream ecosystem productivity? Geophys. Res. Lett. 38:L12606, doi:10.1029/2011GL047212.
  2. Rykaczewski, RR and JP Dunne. 2011. A measured look at ocean chlorophyll trends. Nature 472:E5-E6, doi:10.1038/nature09952.
  3. †Decima, M, MR Landry, and RR Rykaczewski. 2011. Broad-scale patterns in mesozooplankton biomass and grazing in the eastern equatorial Pacific. Deep-Sea Res. Part II Top. Stud. Oceanogr. 58:387-399, doi:10.1016/j.dsr2.2010.08.006.
  4. Stock, CA, MA Alexander, NA Bond, K Brander, WWL Cheung, EN Curchitser, TL Delworth, JP Dunne, SM Griffies, MA Haltuch, JA Hare, AB Hollowed, P Lehodey, SA Levin, JS Link, KA Rose, RR Rykaczewski, JL Sarmiento, RJ Stouffer, FB Schwing, GA Vecchi, and FE Werner. 2011. On the use of IPCC-class models to assess the impact of climate on living marine resources. Prog. Oceanogr. 88:1-27, doi:10.1016/j.pocean.2010.09.001.


  1. Rykaczewski, RR and JP Dunne. 2010. Enhanced nutrient supply to the California Current Ecosystem with global warming and increased stratification in an earth system model.Geophys. Res. Lett. 37:L21606, doi:10.1029/2010GL045019.


  1. Rykaczewski, RR and DM Checkley. 2008. Influence of ocean winds on the pelagic ecosystem in upwelling regions. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 105:1965-1970, doi:10.1073/pnas.0711777105.