kyle cavanaugh

Kyle Cavanaugh

Vice Director, Marine Center; Assistant Professor

UCLA Department of Geography

Bunche 1156
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Cavanaugh is an Assistant Professor at the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and the UCLA Geography Department.

Kyle Cavanaugh studies the drivers and consequences of changes in coastal foundation species such as giant kelp forests and mangroves. He is especially interested in what controls large-scale changes in the distribution and abundance of these species. Much of his research utilizes remote sensing (e.g. satellite, aerial, and UAV imagery) to document ecological change over large space and time scales.

He was a postdoctoral researcher at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, examining how coastal ecosystems respond to climate variability and direct human impacts. He likes to observe coastal ecosystems from a variety of perspectives: under the sea, waist deep in a mangrove swamp, or via a satellite orbiting 700 km above the earth.


  • PhD, Marine Science, University of California, Santa Barbara (2011)
  • B.S., Geosciences, Trinity University (2003)


sts -e- lrg

Coastal Mangroves and Climate Change

Integrating physiological threshold experiments, remote sensing, and climate modeling to characterize the sensitivity of coastal ecosystems to climate change