Ryan Kelly, Ph.D., JD

Assistant Professor

Research areas

Trained as both an ecologist and a lawyer, Ryan Kelly has a broad set of interests, focused both on hard scientific data and policymakers’ use of those data. From the science side, he studies the interplay between geography, ecology, and genetics in marine species. His more applied research joins genetic and ecological research with real-world implementation in law and policy, particularly with respect to environmental monitoring, resource management, endangered species, and ocean acidification. In general, he is drawn to projects that have significant elements of both scientific and policy relevance as we work towards more sustainable use of marine resources. Dr. Kelly received his Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology from Columbia University, and his JD from University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.

Dr. Kelly teaches:

  • SMEA 515: US Coastal and Ocean Law
  • SMEA 550: Marine Biodiversity: Science, Law, and Policy
  • SMEA 591: Marine Science in the Coastal Zone
  • ENV 250: Environmental Studies: Data Types and Collection Methods

Selected publications

Kelly, R.P. 2016. Making Environmental DNA Count. Molecular Ecology Resources 16: 10-12.

Lowell, N. and R.P. Kelly. 2016. Evaluating Agency Use of “Best Available Science” Under the United States Endangered Species Act. Biological Conservation 196:53-59.

Port, J.A., J.L. O’Donnell, O.C. Romero-Maraccini, P.R. Leary, S.Y. Litvin, K.J. Nickols, and R.P. Kelly. 2016. Assessing the Vertebrate Community of a Kelp Forest Ecosystem using Environmental DNA. Molecular Ecology 25(2):527-541.

O’Donnell, J.L., R.P. Kelly, N. Lowell, and J.A. Port. 2016. Indexed PCR Primers Induce Template-Specific Bias in Large-Scale DNA Sequencing Studies. PLoS One 11(3): e0148698.

Shelton, A.O., J. L. O’Donnell, J.F. Samhouri, N. Lowell, G.D. Williams, and R.P. Kelly. 2016. A Framework for Inferring Biological Communities from Environmental DNA (in press, Ecological Applications).

Gattuso, J.-P., A. Magnan, R. Billé, W.W.L. Cheung, E.L. Howes, F. Joos, D. Allemand, L. Bopp, S. Cooley, C.M. Eakin, O. Hoegh-Guldberg, R.P. Kelly, H.-O. Pörtner, A.D. Rogers, J.M. Baxter, D. Laffoley, D. Osborn, A. Rankovic, J. Rochette, U.R. Sumaila, S. Treyer, C. Turley. 2015. Contrasting Futures for Ocean and Society from Different CO2 Emissions Scenarios. Science 349 (6243): aac4722.

Marshall, K., A. Stier, J. Samhouri, R.P. Kelly, E. Ward. 2015. Conservation Challenges of Predator Recovery. Conservation Letters 9(1): 70-78.

Kelly, R.P., A.L. Erickson, and L.A. Mease. 2015. How Not to Fall Off a Cliff, or, Using Tipping Points to Improve Environmental Management. 41 Ecology Law Quarterly 843.

Kelly, R.P. 2015. Will More, Better, Cheaper, and Faster Monitoring Improve Environmental Management? 44 Environmental Law 1111-1147.

Kelly, R.P., J.A. Port, K.M. Yamahara, R.G. Martone, N. Lowell, P.F. Thomsen, M.E. Mach, E. Prahler, M.R. Caldwell, and L.B. Crowder. 2014. Harnessing DNA to Improve Environmental Management, Science 344 (6191): 1455-1456. doi:10.1126/science.1251156.

Kelly, R.P., J.A. Port, K.M. Yamahara, and L. Crowder. 2014. Using Environmental DNA to Census Marine Fishes in a Large Mesocosm. PLoS ONE 9(1): e86175. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0086175.