Dr. Alan Shanks, Professor of Biology


I have broad research interests (biological oceanography, animal behavior, intertidal ecology, larval biology). If I had to point to a general theme to my research I think that it is my fascination with the interaction of the physical realm and the biological. Much of my work seems to be at the interface between physical and biology oceanography. For example, much of my present research effort is directed at understanding how the dispersal of larval invertebrates and fish is affected by currents and the behavioral of larvae. There is probably a second theme that runs through my work; I am strongly driven by my curiosity. Early in my career, I discovered that if I was observant and followed my curiosity, I could make novel discoveries. Through out my career, I have tried to pay attention to my observations and serendipity and to actively follow these leads. A number of papers have come from this effort. When training students (undergraduate or graduate), one of my primary goals is to persuade them to follow their curiosity as this leads to novel and creative discovers (and besides it is fun).


Contact Information


Research Interests

Professional Experience

Oregon Institute of Marine Biology, Department of Biology, University of Oregon. Professor            Biology. January 1994 - present.

College of Charleston, Department of Biology, Grice Marine Biological Laboratory: Assistant Professor. August 1990 - December 1993.

Skidaway Institute of Oceanography: Post-doctoral Fellowship, September

1989 to August 1990.

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Institute of Marine Sciences: Research Assistant Professor, November 1984 to September 1989.

Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego: Research Assistant, September 1979 to October 1984. Junior Specialist (an academic position), September 1978 to September 1979. Consultant to Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Marine Life Research Group, June 1976 to January 1978.

Environmental Research Consultants: Biological Oceanographer, March 1975 to

May 1976.


    Science (of course)


    Camping (tent, no RV stuff)






Dr. Shanks reading on the deck in Chile

Biological Oceanography BI458/558 - Spring 2004, Fall 2004 through 2009

Animal Behavior BI390 - Fall 2003, Spring 2005 through 2009

Seminar Current Issues in Marine Biology BI607 - Spring 2004, Fall 2006 and 2008,

Winter 2005, 2006, and 2007

Research in Marine Biology BI601 - All Terms

Seminar in Marine Biology BI407 - Spring 2006 and 2008, Fall 2009

GK12 Seminar - Fall, Winter, Spring 2004 to present

Teaching since 2004

Currently Funded

NSF Biological Oceanography. Collaborative Research: Does coupling between the inner shelf and surf zone regulate larval supply to intertidal populations? PI A.L. Shanks, S. Morgan, J. MacMahan, and Ad. Reniers. 1 Oct. 2009 to 30 Sept. 2012. U of Oregon portion $334,149

Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission. 2010: The annual recruitment of Dungeness crab megalopae and the prediction of the future commercial catch. PI. A.L. Shanks. 1 June 2010 to 31 May 2011. Total Grant $9,964

Jordan Cove Energy, LLC. Year 2: Ballasting at Jordan Cove; What will be the

Take of Plankton? PI A.L. Shanks. 1 May 2010 to 31 April 2011. $135,000.


Celebrate Literacy Award from the Driftwood Reading Council, the Coos and Curry County chapter of the Oregon Reading Association. My wife, Lori, and I were presented this award for our “continued efforts and support of literacy in education.”

Coos County Fair, August 2004, First Place in Blackberry Syrup and Second

Place Apricot Jam

Honors and awards since 2003

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last updated Nov 4 2011mailto:marley@uoregon.edushapeimage_2_link_0