My name is Alli Cramer and I’m an Integrative Ecologist specializing in Spatial ecology and Ecoinformatics

I study how environmental processes interact across scales of time and space to impact marine animals and communities, and how our understanding of ecology is formed by the measurements we take.

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American Geophysical Union LANDInG Fellow

AGU Leadership Academy & Network for Diversity and Inclusion in the Geosciences 2022 cohort

Jan 2022 – Present
AGU LANDInG Postdoctoral Research Fellows Program (PRFP) provides DEI training to NSF postdoctoral research fellows. In this two-year, cohort-based professional development program participants practice competencies in DEI leadership, strategic planning, and best practices as they develop independent professional identities and personal values as researchers, educators and mentors.

NSF Postdoctoral Fellow

University of Washington Friday Harbor Laboratories

Dec 2021 – Present Monterey Bay, CA and San Juan Island, WA

National Science Foundation fellowship studying how to measure substrate mobility in hard rock communities and whether or not substrate mobility acts as a characteristic disturbance within those communities.

This project stems from an idea published in Cramer and Katz 2020.


Postdoctoral Researcher


Jul 2020 – Nov 2021 California

Modelled spawning movements of Green Sturgeon within the Sacramento River and the shade component of the FHAST model.

Responsibilities include:

  • Analysing
  • Modeling
  • Data Synthesis

Graduate Research Assistant

Washington State University

Jan 2015 – May 2020 Washington
Founded R Working Group', teaching R skills and analysis through a peer-to-peer learning model. Teaching Assistant for Oceanography 230.

Graduate Research Assistant

CSU Monterey Bay

Jan 2012 – Dec 2014 California
Data collection and analysis for California Baseline MPA monitoring. Collected data and developed sampling protocols for image analaysis.

Social Media Intern

Monterey Area Research Institutions’ Network for Education (MARINE)

Jan 2012 – Dec 2014 California
Cross platform media communication with graduate students from seven different marine focused research institutions. Created online community using Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


Disturbance, including fluid forces via waves on rocky shores, is well understood as a community organizing and structuring force. Foundational concepts within ecology, such as Connell’s Intermediate Disturbance Hypothesis and Menge and Sutherland’s Competition/Predation/Disturbance model, recognize that communities exist within a complex mosaic of physical and biological disturbance. This mosaic presents challenges when measuring disturbance regimes since the scales, causes, and consequences of disturbance vary between systems. However, in the marine environment, substrate mobility represents an explicit measure of disturbance impact present across marine ecosystems. This project will determine how to measure substrate mobility on hard substrates through collaboration with USGS geologists. In addition, this research will investigate a mechanism for disturbance via substrate mobility on benthic organisms through lab experiments and use field surveys to compare patterns of substrate mobility with the distribution of benthic communities and species functional groups. Explicitly quantifying the realized movement of hard substrate in response to fluid forcing integrates hard substrates into the already well understood sediment disturbance paradigm. This results in a universal framework of marine disturbance that is potentially revolutionary as it allows for comparative questions spanning a huge diversity of marine ecosystems, from coral reefs to the abyssal plain. This mechanistic framework provides a new connection between the disciplines of geomorphology and marine ecology. This project is funded by the National Science Foundation Award 2126729.

The goal of this working group is to bring researchers in the fields of population genomics and spatial ecology together to understand how individual dispersal patterns are reflected in genomic population structure. To bridge the gap between population connectivity estimates from the perspectives of population genomics and spatial ecology we must reconcile different definitions of connectivity and the influence of different data types on common connectivity estimations. Identifying a common framework for unifying these branches of population research will allow for increased syntheses of disparate data types and ultimately an increased understanding of population dynamics and the distribution of genetic diversity across the sea. This project is funded by NSF’s RCN for Evolution in Changing Seas.

Classification of ocean biomes and communities based on physical processes. We looked at multiple candidate variables for classification - light, depth, nutrients, grain size, primary produciton, and substrate mobility. The classificaiton which sorted and grouped biomes and communities best was Primary Production and Substrate Mobilty

Investigating regional and global patterns in lake surface area trends

Determining the movement patterns of the endangered Green Sturgeon in the Sacramento watershed.

Recent Publications

Interdisiplinary research highlights the importance of a dynamic, community-led approach to managing marine protected areas

Three case studies demonstrating concrete applications of the Global Lake Area, Climate, and Population dataset with emphasis on natural resource management at local, regional, and national scales.