Cathleen Vestfals

Ph.D. candidate/Graduate Research Assistant
Biological Oceanography

My Ph.D. research examines the effects of ocean currents on the transport of two commercial fish species, Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis) and Greenland halibut (Reinhardtius hippoglossoides), in the eastern Bering Sea (EBS) during their early life history stages.

Climate variation can influence ocean circulation patterns, potentially affecting these species’ ability to take advantage of circulation features required to transport their larvae to or retain them within appropriate habitats for successful recruitment to the juvenile phase. To understand how changes in circulation may influence recruitment and population dynamics in these flatfish, my work focuses on reconstructing their dispersal pathways from spawning areas along the continental slope to juvenile settling locations on the EBS shelf.

In addition to providing valuable life history information to fisheries scientists and managers, my research will help to determine the influence of projected future climate change on larval drift and settlement.


  • Developing Eddy Activity and Transport Indices for the Bering Slope Current

  • Physical factors affecting the distribution of Greenland halibut and Pacific halibut early life history stages in the Eastern Bering Sea

Mailing address:
Oregon State University
104 CEOAS Admin Bldg
Corvallis, OR 97331-5503
Office: Burt 234
Phone: 541.737.3965
Fax: 541.737.2064