Prof. Selina S. Heppell, PhD


Head, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Oregon State University


Dr. Selina S. Heppell is a conservation biologist with expertise in population modeling and marine conservation. Her research generally focuses on how populations respond to perturbations. Some current research projects include: comparative life history analysis of Oregon groundfish, changes in habitat structure and fish communities in de facto marine reserves off the Oregon coast, grouper population dynamics and marine protected area design in Florida, maternal effects on offspring quality and changes in recruitment variability with age of maternal stock, sea turtle population dynamics in response to management and longline bycatch, bullfrog dispersal, habitat use and impacts on native amphibians in Oregon.


  • Ph.D. - Duke University, Department of Zoology. 1998. Dissertation title: Eigenvalue elasticity analysis of species life histories for
    conservation and management: methods and applications.
  • M.Sc. - North Carolina State University, Department of Zoology. 1993. Thesis title: Matrix model analyses for endangered species management.
  • B.Sc. - University of Washington, Department of Zoology. 1991.

Adjunct Appointments

  • Duke University, Center for Marine Conservation, Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, USA
  • Oregon State University, Marine Resource Management Program, College of Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, USA
  • Oregon State University, Coastal Marine Experiment Station, College of Agricultural Science, USA

Classes taught

  • Quantitative Conservation Biology
  • Marine Conservation Biology
  • Introduction to Population Dynamics
  • Fishery Biology
  • Ecology and Management of Marine Fishes
  • Essential Models in Ecology

Selected References

McCarthy, A. L., S.S. Heppell, F. Royer, and T. Dellinger In Press. Identification of likely foraging habitat of pelagic loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) in the North Atlantic through analysis of telemetry track sinuosity. Progress in Oceanography.

Gallagher, M.B. and S.S. Heppell In Press. Essential habitat identification for young-of-the-year rockfishes along the central Oregon coast. Marine and Coastal Fisheries.

Litz, M.N.C., R. L. Emmett, S.S. Heppell and R. D. Brodeur, L. O’Higgins, and M.S. Morris  In Press. Effects of variable oceanographic conditions on forage fish lipid content and fatty acid composition in the northern California Current. Marine Ecology Progress Series.

Marshall, D.J., S.S. Heppell, S. B. Munch, and R. R. Warner In Press. The relationship between maternal phenotype and offspring quality: Do older mothers really produce the best offspring? Ecology.

Coleman, F. C., C.C. Koenig, K. Scanlon, S.A. Heppell, S.S. Heppell, and M.W. Miller 2010. Benthic habitat modification through excavation by red grouper Epinephelus morio (Valenciennes) in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico. The Open Fish Science Journal 3:1-15.doi:10.2174/1874401X01003010001

Snover, M.L. and S.S. Heppell 2009. Application of diffusion approximation for risk assessments of sea turtle populations. Ecological Applications 19(3): 774–785.

Boersma, K. S., C. H. Ryer, T. P. Hurst, and S. S. Heppell 2008. Influences of divergent behavioral strategies upon risk allocation in juvenile flatfishes. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 62: 1959-1968.

Litz, M. N. C., R.  L. Emmett, S.S. Heppell and R. D. Brodeur 2008. Ecology and distribution of the northern subpopulation of northern anchovy (Engraulis mordax) off the U.S. West Coast. Cal-COFI Reports 49: 167-182.

Wallace, B.P., S.S. Heppell, R.L. Lewison, S. Kelez, and L.B. Crowder 2008. Reproductive values of loggerhead turtles in fishery bycatch worldwide. Journal of Applied Ecology 45: 1076-1085.

Chelgren, N.D., D.K. Rosenberg, S.S. Heppell, and A.I. Gitelman 2008. Individual variation affects departure rate from the natal pond in an ephemeral pond-breeding anuran. Canadian Journal of Zoology 86: 260-267.

Gunderson, D.R., A.M. Parma, R. Hilborn, J.M. Cope, D.L. Fluharty, M.L. Miller, R.D. Vetter, H.G. Green, and S.S. Heppell 2008. The challenge of managing temperate rocky reef resources. Fisheries 33: 172-179.

Hepell, S.S. 2007. Life history analysis of green sturgeon, Acipenser medirostris. Environmental Biology of Fishes 79:357-368.

Heppell, S.S., S.A. Heppell, F. Coleman and C. Koenig. 2006. A model to assess conservation strategies for a protogynous fish. Ecological Applications 16:238-249.

Chelgren, N., Rosenberg, D.K, Heppell, S.S., and Gitelman, A. 2006. Carry-over aquatic effects on survival of metamorphic frogs during pond emigration. Ecological Applications 16:250-262.

Granek, E. F., D. R. Brumbaugh, S.A. Heppell, S.S. 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, S.S., D. Crouse, L. Crowder, S. Epperly, W. Gabriel, T. Henwood and R. Marquez. 2005. A population model to estimate recovery time, population size and management impacts on Kemp’s ridley sea turtles. Chelonian Conservation and Biology 4:761-766.

Heppell, S.S., S.A. Heppell, A. Read, and L. B. Crowder. 2005. Effects of fishing on long-lived marine organisms. Pp. 211-231 in E.A. Norse and L.B. Crowder, eds. Marine Conservation Biology. Island Press, Washington, DC.

Gerber, L.R., S.S. Heppell, F. Ballantyne, and E. Sala. 2005. The role of dispersal and demography in determining the efficacy of marine reserves. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 62:863-871.

Gerber, L. and S.S. Heppell. 2004. The use of demographic sensitivity analysis in marine species conservation planning. Biological Conservation 120:121-128.

Ruckelshaus, M., P. McElhany, M. McClure and S.S. Heppell. 2004. Chinook salmon in Puget Sound: Effects of spatially correlated catastrophes on persistence. Pp. 208-218, In R. Ackakaya, M. Burgman, O. Kindvall, C.C. Wood, P. Sjogren-Gulve, J. S. Hatfield and M. A. McCarthy (eds.) Species Conservation and Management: Case Studies. Oxford University Press.

Heppell, S.S., D. Crouse, L. Crowder, S. Epperly and N. Frazer. 2003. Population models for Atlantic loggerheads: past, present and future. Pp. 255-273 in A. Bolten and B. Witherington, eds. Loggerhead Sea Turtles. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C.

Heppell, S.S., M.L. Snover and L. Crowder. 2002. Sea turtle population dynamics. Pages 275-306 in P. Lutz, J. Wyneken and J. Musick, editors. Biology of Sea Turtles, Vol. 2. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.

Heppell S.S., D.T. Crouse, and L.B. Crowder. 2000. Using matrix models to focus research and management efforts in conservation. Pp. 148-168 in S. Ferson and M. Burgman (eds.): Quantitative Methods for Conservation Biology. Springer-Verlag, New York.

Heppell, S.S., H. Caswell and L. B. Crowder. 2000. Life histories and elasticity patterns: perturbation analysis for species with minimal demographic data. Ecology 81(3):654-665.

Heppell, S.S., C. Pfister and H. de Kroon. 2000. Elasticity analysis in population biology: methods and applications. Ecology 81(3):605-606.