Bianca Santos is a PhD Candidate in the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources at the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability. Her work focuses on integrating science, policy and society in the management of marine species in the Pacific. Utilizing both natural and social science tools, her research applies interdisciplinary methods from the fields of marine science, ocean governance and policy, and environmental decision-making. Current areas of active research include: (1) The future of ocean governance in the high seas, (2) Climate-driven habitat shifts of migratory species and its implications for fisheries management, and (3) Socio-ecological impacts of climate change on small scale fisheries in Palau. In addition to her research, Bianca is passionate about science communication and outreach.

Prior to Stanford, Bianca served as an International Activities Analyst as a 2018 National Sea Grant Knauss Marine Policy Fellow in NOAA Research’s Office of International Activities. She also worked with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to support issues related to spatial marine management.

Education & Certifications

  • M.S., Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary, Marine Science, concentrations in Fisheries Science and Marine Policy (2017)
  • B.S., Stony Brook University, Marine Vertebrate Biology, minor in Ecosystems and Human Impacts (2014)

All Publications

  • Centering equity and sustainability in climate adaptation funding Environmental Research: Climate Berlin Rubin, N., Bower, E. R., Herbert, N., Santos, B. S., Wong-Parodi, G. 2023; 2 (3)

    View details for DOI 10.1088/2752-5295/ace3e9

  • Land-dependent marine species face climate-driven impacts on land and at sea MARINE ECOLOGY PROGRESS SERIES Blondin, H. E., Armstrong, K. C., Hazen, E. L., Oestreich, W. K., Santos, B. S., Haulsee, D. E., Mikles, C. S., Knight, C. J., Bennett, A. E., Crowder, L. B. 2022; 699: 181-198

    View details for DOI 10.3354/meps14174

    View details for Web of Science ID 000919294900012

  • The diverse benefits of biodiversity conservation in global ocean areas beyond national jurisdiction FRONTIERS IN MARINE SCIENCE Santos, B. S., Devereaux, S. G., Gjerde, K., Chand, K., Martinez, J., Crowder, L. B. 2022; 9
  • News coverage of ocean issues and its impacts on public perceptions and conservation information-seeking of sea turtles CONSERVATION SCIENCE AND PRACTICE Santos, B. S., Wong-Parodi, G. 2022

    View details for DOI 10.1111/csp2.12650

    View details for Web of Science ID 000755095100001

  • A path forward for qualitative research on sustainability in the COVID-19 pandemic. Sustainability science Santana, F. N., Hammond Wagner, C., Berlin Rubin, N., Bloomfield, L. S., Bower, E. R., Fischer, S. L., Santos, B. S., Smith, G. E., Muraida, C. T., Wong-Parodi, G. 2021: 1–7


    The unique strengths of qualitative research, through in-depth inquiry and identification of unexpected themes and linkages, is essential to our growing understanding of COVID-19's impacts on the social world and its intersection with sustainability science. However, many challenges-physical, psychological, and ethical in nature-face qualitative researchers during the pandemic, as social distancing and travel restrictions prevent in-person field work. In this paper, we outline the essential contributions of qualitative study to sustainability science, discuss current challenges, and in turn, provide recommendations for researchers.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11625-020-00894-8

    View details for PubMedID 33495701

  • Online News Media Coverage of Sea Turtles and Their Conservation BioScience Santos, B. S., Crowder, L. B. 2021; 71 (3): 305-313

    View details for DOI 10.1093/biosci/biaa175

  • Promoting equity in scientific recommendations for high seas governance One Earth Chapman, M. S., Oestreich, W. K., Frawley, T. H., Boettiger, C., Diver, S., Santos, B. S., Scoville, C., Armstrong, K., Blondin, H., Chand, K., Haulsee, D. E., Knight, C. J., Crowder, L. B. 2021; 4 (6): 790-794
  • Virginia Beached Sea Turtle Survey Frontiers for Young Minds Boudin, E., Santos, B., Carcaillet, F., Kaplan, D. 2020; 8 (38)

    View details for DOI 10.3389/frym.2020.00038

  • Regulation of apoptosis-related genes during interactions between oyster hemocytes and the alveolate parasite Perkinsus marinus FISH & SHELLFISH IMMUNOLOGY Lau, Y., Santos, B., Barbosa, M., Espinosa, E., Allam, B. 2018; 83: 180–89


    The alveolate Perkinsus marinus is the most devastating parasite of the eastern oyster Crassostrea virginica. The parasite is readily phagocytosed by oyster hemocytes, but instead of intracellular killing and digestion, P. marinus can survive phagocytosis and divide in host cells. This intracellular parasitism is accompanied by a regulation of host cell apoptosis. This study was designed to gain a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms of apoptosis regulation in oyster hemocytes following exposure to P. marinus. Regulation of apoptosis-related genes in C. virginica, and apoptosis-regulatory genes in P. marinus, were investigated via qPCR to assess the possible pathways involved during these interactions. In vitro experiments were also carried out to evaluate the effect of chemical inhibitors of P. marinus antioxidant processes on hemocyte apoptosis. Results indicate the involvement of the mitochondrial pathway (Bcl-2, anamorsin) of apoptosis in C. virginica exposed to P. marinus. In parallel, the antioxidants peroxiredoxin and superoxide dismutase were regulated in P. marinus exposed to C. virginica hemocytes suggesting that apoptosis regulation in infected oysters may be mediated by anti-oxidative processes. Chemical inhibition of P. marinus superoxide dismutase resulted in a marked increase of reactive oxygen species production and apoptosis in infected hemocytes. The implication of oxygen-dependent apoptosis during P. marinus infection and disease development in C. virginica is discussed.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.fsi.2018.09.006

    View details for Web of Science ID 000448096200021

    View details for PubMedID 30195907

  • Likely locations of sea turtle stranding mortality using experimentally-calibrated, time and space-specific drift models BIOLOGICAL CONSERVATION Santos, B. S., Friedrichs, M. M., Rose, S. A., Barco, S. G., Kaplan, D. M. 2018; 226: 127–43
  • Transepithelial migration of mucosal hemocytes in Crassostrea virginica and potential role in Perkinsus marinus pathogenesis JOURNAL OF INVERTEBRATE PATHOLOGY Lau, Y., Gambino, L., Santos, B., Espinosa, E., Allam, B. 2018; 153: 122–29


    We have recently described the presence of hemocytes associated with mucus covering the pallial organs (mantle, gills, and body wall) 3 of the eastern oyster Crassostrea virginica. These hemocytes, hereby designated "pallial hemocytes" share common general characteristics with circulating hemocytes but also display significant differences particularly in their cell surface epitopes. The specific location of pallial hemocytes as peripheral cells exposed directly to the marine environment confers them a putative sentinel role. The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of the source of these pallial hemocytes by evaluating possible exchanges between circulatory and pallial hemocyte populations and whether these exchanges are regulated by pathogen exposure. Bi-directional transepithelial migrations of hemocytes between pallial surfaces and the circulatory system were monitored using standard cell tracking approaches after staining with the vital fluorescent dye carboxyfluorescein diacetate succinimidyl ester (CFSE) in conjunction with fluorescent microscopy and flow cytometry. Results showed bi-directional migration of hemocytes between both compartments and suggest that hemocyte migration from the pallial mucus layer to the circulatory system may occur at a greater rate compared to migration from the circulatory system to the pallial mucus layer, further supporting the role of pallial hemocytes as sentinel cells. Subsequently, the effect of the obligate parasite Perkinsus marinus and the opportunistic pathogen Vibrio alginolyticus on transepithelial migration of oyster hemocytes was investigated. Results showed an increase in hemocyte migration in response to P. marinus exposure. Furthermore, P. marinus cells were acquired by pallial hemocytes before being visible in underlying tissues and the circulatory system suggesting that this parasite could use pallial hemocytes as a vehicle facilitating its access to oyster tissues. These results are discussed in light of new evidence highlighting the role of oyster pallial organs as a portal for the initiation of P. marinus infections in oysters.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jip.2018.03.004

    View details for Web of Science ID 000429892400017

    View details for PubMedID 29518429

  • Consequences of drift and carcass decomposition for estimating sea turtle mortality hotspots ECOLOGICAL INDICATORS Santos, B. S., Kaplan, D. M., Friedrichs, M. M., Barco, S. G., Mansfield, K. L., Manning, J. P. 2018; 84: 319–36
  • Thermal constraints on stream consumer responses to a marine resource subsidy CANADIAN JOURNAL OF FISHERIES AND AQUATIC SCIENCES Smits, A. P., Schindler, D. E., Armstrong, J. B., Brett, M. T., Carter, J. L., Santos, B. S. 2016; 73 (11): 1661–71