Assoc. Prof. Scott A. Heppell, PhD


Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Oregon State University



Dr. Scott A. Heppell is a fish biologist with research interests in the physiological ecology of fishes, in particular how physiology, behavior, and life history traits affect the interactions between fish populations and their respective fisheries. He has worked on bluefin tuna on the Atlantic high seas, Mediterranean, and east coast of the United States, on groupers throughout the southeast Atlantic, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico, on rockfish in Oregon and Alaska, and on trout, steelhead, and salmon in Japan and the high deserts of eastern Oregon and Northern Nevada. His work allows him to collaborate with academic scientists, state and federal agencies, foreign agencies and universities, and commercial and recreational fishermen, working together to try and address issues related to the sustainability of marine and freshwater resources and their ecosystems. He also works on investigating the impacts that fishing gear and practices can have on benthic habitats and the fish communities that inhabit them.


  • Ph.D. - North Carolina State University, Department of Zoology. 1988. Dissertation title: „The reproductive physiology of gag grouper (Mycteroperca microlepis)“.
  • M.Sc. - North Carolina State University, Department of Zoology. 1994. Thesis title: „Development of universal vertebrate vitellogenin antibodies“.
  • B.Sc. - University of Washington, Biology. 1990.

Adjunct Appointments

  • Oregon State University, Marine Resource Management Program, College of Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Oregon State University, Coastal Marine Experiment Station, College of Agricultural Science

Classes taught

  • Marine Biology
  • Fishery Biology
  • Investigations in Population Dynamics
  • Coastal Ecology and Resource Management
  • Sampling and Analysis Marine Fish Stocks
  • Environmental Phyisiology of Fish
  • The Groundfish Crisis
  • Principles of Pacific salmon management in the Northwest
  • Group Problem Solving - Marine Fisheries

Selected References

Egerton, JP, AF Johnson, L Le Vay, CM McCoy, BX Semmens, SA Heppell, and JR Turner. 2017. Hydroacoustics for the discovery and quantification of Nassau grouper (Epinephelus striatus) spawning aggregations. Coral Reefs. DOI 10.1007/s00338-017-1542-4

Gračan, R, SA Heppell, G Lacković and B Lazar. 2016. Age and growth dynamics of spiny dogfish, Squalus acanthias, in the Adriatic Sea (Eastern Mediterranean Sea). Marine and Freshwater Research 67: 357–367.

Jackson AM, Semmens BX, Sadovy de Mitcheson Y, Nemeth RS, Heppell SA, PG Bush, A Aguilar-Perera, JAB Claydon, MC Calosso, KS Sealey, MT Schärer, and G Bernardi. (2014) Population structure and phylogeography in Nassau Grouper (Epinephelus striatus), a mass-aggregating marine fish. PLoS ONE 9(5): e97508.

Grüss, A, J Robinson, SS Heppell, SA Heppell, and BX Semmens. 2014. Conservation and fisheries effects of spawning aggregation marine protected areas: What we know, where we should go, and what we need to get there. ICES Journal of Marine Science 71: 1515-1534.

Paredes, R, RA Orben, RM Suryan, DB Irons, DD Roby, AMA Harding, RC Young, KJ Benoit-Bird, C Ladd, H Renner, SA Heppell , RA Phillips, and A Kitaysky. 2014. Foraging responses of Black-Legged Kittiwakes to prolonged food shortages around colonies on the Bering Sea shelf. PLoS ONE 9(3): e92520.

Benoit-Bird, KJ, NM McIntosh, and SA Heppell. 2013. Nested scales of spatial heterogeneity of juvenile walleye pollock (Theragra chalcogramma) in the southeastern Bering Sea. Marine Ecology Progress Series 484: 219-238

Benoit-Bird, KJ, BC Battaile, SA Heppell, B Hoover, D Irons, N Jones, KJ Kuletz, CA Nordstrom, R Paredes, RM Suryan, CM Waluk, and AW Trites. 2013. Prey patch patterns predict habitat use by top marine predators with diverse foraging strategies. PLoS ONE 8: e53348 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0053348

Kammerer, BD and SA Heppell. 2012. Individual condition indicators of thermal habitat quality in field populations of redband trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss gairdneri). Env. Biol. Fishes. 96: 823-835

Heppell SA, BX Semmens, SK Archer, CV Pattengill-Semmens, PG Bush, CM McCoy, SS Heppell, and BC Johnson. 2012. Documenting recovery of a spawning aggregation through size frequency analysis from underwater laser calipers measurements. Biological Conservation 155: 119-127

Dauble, AD, SA Heppell, and M Johansson. 2012. Settlement Patterns of Young-of-the-Year Rockfish among Six Oregon Estuaries Experiencing Different Levels of Human Development. Marine Ecology Progress Series 448: 143-154

Benoit-Bird, KJ, K Kuletz, SA Heppell, N Jones, and B Hoover. 2011. Active acoustic examination of the diving behavior of murres foraging on patchy prey during the breeding season. Marine Ecology Progress Series 443: 217–235

Feldhaus, JW, SA Heppell, HW Li, and MG Mesa. 2010. Heat Shock Proteins and Physiological Stress in Redband Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss gairdneri) in the South Fork John Day River, Oregon. Environmental Biology of Fishes 87: 277–290

Coleman, FC, CC Koenig, K Scanlon, SA Heppell, SS Heppell, and MW Miller. 2010. Benthic habitat modification through excavation by red grouper Epinephelus morio in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico. The Open Fish Science Journal 3: 1-15

Goldstein, J, SA Heppell, A Cooper, S Brault and M Lutcavage. 2007.  Reproductive Status and Body Condition of Atlantic Bluefin Tuna in the Gulf of Maine, 2000-2002.  Marine Biology 151: 2063–2075.

Heppell, SS, SA Heppell, FC Coleman and CC Koenig.  2006.  Models to compare management scenarios for a protogynous fish.  Ecological Applications 16: 238-249.

Bellman, MA, SA Heppell, and C Goldfinger.  2005. Evaluation of a US West coast groundfish habitat conservation regulation via spatial and temporal patterns of trawl fishing effort.  Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Science 62: 2886-2900.

Granek, EF, DR Brumbaugh, SA Heppell, SS Heppell, and D Secord.  2005.  A Blueprint for the Oceans: Implications of Two National Commission Reports for Conservation Practitioners. Conservation Biology 19: 1008–1018.

Heppell, SA, and CV Sullivan.  2000.  Identification of gender and reproductive maturity in the absence of gonads: muscle tissue levels of sex steroids and vitellogenin in gag (Mycteroperca microlepis).  Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 57:148-159.

Heppell, SA, and CV Sullivan.  2000.  Reproduction of bluefin tuna:  assessing maturity using sex specific compounds present in muscle. Collected Volume of Scientific Papers, International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) 51: 860-865.