John Largier, Ph.D.

A person in a dark jacket and glasses standing in front of an orange background.

Position Title
Director, Bodega Marine Laboratory
Associate Director, Coastal and Marine Sciences Institute

  • Bodega Marine Laboratory
  • Coastal and Marine Sciences Institute
  • Department of Environmental Science and Policy
  • College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
Bodega Marine Laboratory
University of California Davis, Bodega Marine Laboratory, PO Box 247, 2099 Westshore Rd, Bodega Bay CA 94923

spotlightSpotlight on Dr. John Largier


For more information please see the Coastal Oceanography Group

John Largier CV

B.S. (Applied Mathematics, Physics) University of Cape Town, 1981
B.S. Hons. (Applied Mathematics) University of Cape Town, 1983
Ph.D. (Oceanography), University of Cape Town, 1987

John Largier is Professor of Coastal Oceanography at the University of California Davis (UCD), resident at Bodega Marine Laboratory. Prior to 2004, he was Research Oceanographer at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. He has also held positions at the University of Cape Town and the National Research Institute for Oceanology (CSIR) in South Africa.

His research, teaching and public service is motivated by contemporary environmental issues and centered on the role of transport in ocean, bay, nearshore and estuarine waters. His work has addressed transport of plankton, larvae, contaminants, pathogens, heat, salt, nutrients, dissolved oxygen, and sediment – and he places this work in the context of issues as diverse as marine reserves, fisheries, mariculture, beach pollution, wastewater discharge, wildlife health, desalination, river plumes, coastal power plants, kelp forests, wetlands, marine mining, coastal zone management and impacts of coastal development. At UCD he heads the Coastal Oceanography Group. Dr Largier is a leader in developing the field of “environmental oceanography” through linking traditional oceanographic study to critical environmental issues.

Dr Largier serves on the Science Advisory Team for the California Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA), the Governing Council for CeNCOOS (Central and Northern California Ocean Observing System), the Sanctuary Advisory Committee for the Gulf of Farallones, and several other advisory boards. He is president of the California Estuarine Research Society. In 2002- 2004, Dr Largier played a significant role in advising the state on beach pollution and in the late 1990’s, he played a key role in developing the knowledge foundation for the new coastal zone management policy in South Africa. He is an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow. Following undergraduate studies in Maths and Physics, he obtained a Ph.D. in Oceanography from the University of Cape Town (South Africa) in 1987.


My research is in coastal oceanography and ecology, specifically field-based study of water motion and the associated transport of water-borne material. This includes oceanographic study of bays in upwelling regions (open and enclosed bays), small "west coast" estuaries characterized by arid summers, bar-built mouths and pulsed winter inflow, and nearshore circulation (e.g., outflow from rivers, shoaling internal tides, and wind/wave-driven flows). My interest in environmental and ecological issues include larval/juvenile dispersal, coastal water quality (e.g., beach pollution), and primary productivity (including harmful algal blooms). My long-term goal is to better understand coastal ocean systems – to obtain an integrative view of how the diverse components, processes, and scales fit together.


See the Coastal Oceanography Group

The Coastal Oceanography Group 

The UC Davis Coastal Oceanography Group (COG) is directed at the emerging discipline of "environmental oceanography", in which oceanographic study, analysis and insight are directed at resolving environmental issues that are critical to the sustainable interaction between human society and our earthly home.


See Coastal Oceanography Group