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Tim Essington


Associate Professor
School of Aquatic & Fishery Sciences

University of Washington

Ph.D., University of Wisconsin
Zoology, 1999

Research Expertise

Aquatic Ecology
Predator-Prey Interaction
Ecological Modeling
Food Webs




Dr. Tim Essington is the Wakefield Endowed Professor in Fisheries at the University of Washington, and since 2003 has been a professor in the School of Aquatic and Fisheries Sciences. His work is focused on studying complex interrelationships between fisheries and marine food webs. He has extensively researched both top-down and bottom-up effects in marine ecosystems, and has examined spatial and temporal variations of predation through the use of various modeling approaches. Dr. Essington’s lab group is currently evaluating the ecological roles of cephalopods, particularly squids, in pelagic and neritic food webs, and determining the potential direct and indirect effects of commercial fisheries on them. His approach is to use novel analytical tools to combine empirical data with quantitative modeling and statistical analyses.

Dr. Essington’s research also includes analysis of tropical tunas, sharks, and fisheries in the central Pacific, analysis of cod and clupeid dynamics in the Baltic Sea, and identifying trophically mediated trade-offs between fisheries. He has authored over 40 peer-reviewed publications, and recently authored a chapter on pelagic ecosystem response to a century of commercial fishing and whaling in the book “Whales, Whaling, and Ocean Ecosystems.” Dr. Essington is currently Assigning Editor for the journal Ecological Applications.


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Recent Selected Publcations

de Mutsert, K., J.H. Cowan, Jr, T.E. Essington, and R. Hilborn. 2008. Reanalyses of Gulf of Mexico fisheries data: Landings can be misleading in assessments of fisheries and fisheries ecosystems. PNAS 105(7): 2740-2744.

Hunsicker, M.E., and T.E. Essington. 2008. Evaluating the potential for trophodynamic control of fish by the longfin inshore squid (Loligo pealeii) in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 65(11): 2524-2535.

Beaudreau, A.H., and T.E. Essington. 2007. Spatial, temporal, and ontogenetic patterns of predation on rockfishes by lingcod. Trans. Am. Fish. Soc. 136: 1438-1452.

Essington, T.E. 2006. Pelagic ecosystem response to a century of commerical fishing and whaling. Pages 38-49 in JA Estes, DP DeMaster, DF Doak, TM Williams, RL Brownell (eds.), Whales and Whaling in Marine Ecosystems. Univ. California Press.

Essington, T.E., A.H. Beaudreau, and J. Wiedenmann. 2006. Fishing through marine food webs. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 103: 3171-3175.

Lessard, R.B., S.J.D. Martell, C.J. Walters, T.E. Essington, and J.F. Kitchell. 2005. Synthesis: Should ecosystem management involve active control of species abundances? Ecol. Soc. 10(2): 1.

Martell, S.J.D., T.E. Essington, B. Lessard, J.F. Kitchell, C.J. Walters, and C.H. Boggs. 2005. Interactions of productivity, predation risk, and fishing effort in the efficacy of marine protected areas for the central Pacific. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 62: 1320-1336.

Essington, T.E. and S. Hansson. 2004. Predator-dependent functional responses and interaction strengths in a natural food web. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 61: 2227-2236.

Essington, T.E. 2004. Getting the right answer from the wrong model: Evaluating the sensitivity of multispecies fisheries advice to uncertain species interactions. Bull. Mar. Sci. 74: 563-581.

Watters, G.M., R.J. Olson, R.C. Francis, P.C. Fiedler, J.J. Polovina, S.B. Reilly, K.Y. Aydin, C.H. Boggs, T.E. Essington, C.J. Walters, and J.F. Kitchell. 2003. Physical forcing and the dynamics of the pelagic ecosystem in the eastern tropical Pacific: simulations with ENSO-scale and global-warming climate drivers. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 60: 1161-1175.

Schindler, D.E., T.E. Essington, J.F. Kitchell, C. Boggs and R. Hilborn. 2002. Sharks and tunas: Trophic interactions and sustainable fisheries in an ecosystem context. Ecol. Appl. 12(3): 735-748.

Essington, T.E. 2001. Precautionary approach in fisheries management: The devil is in the details. Trends Ecol. Evol. 13: 121-122.