Current Role at Stanford

Research Scientist in Block lab, Hopkins Marine Station

All Publications

  • Tagging of Atlantic bluefin tuna off Ireland reveals use of distinct oceanographic hotspots PROGRESS IN OCEANOGRAPHY Pagniello, C. S., Maoileidigh, N., Maxwell, H., Castleton, M. R., Aalto, E. A., Dale, J. J., Schallert, R. J., Stokesbury, M. W., Cosgrove, R., Dedman, S., Drumm, A., 'Neill, R., Block, B. A. 2023; 219
  • Assignment of tracks from tagged Atlantic bluefin tuna Thunnus thynnus to potential stocks using behavioural differences and habitat partitioning FRONTIERS IN MARINE SCIENCE Dedman, S., Aalto, E. A., Stokesbury, M. W., Schallert, R. J., Castleton, M. R., Block, B. A. 2023; 10
  • Evidence of bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) spawning in the Slope Sea region of the Northwest Atlantic from electronic tags ICES JOURNAL OF MARINE SCIENCE Aalto, E. A., Dedman, S., Stokesbury, M. W., Schallert, R. J., Castleton, M., Block, B. A. 2023
  • Stock-of-origin catch estimation of Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) based on observed spatial distributions CANADIAN JOURNAL OF FISHERIES AND AQUATIC SCIENCES Aalto, E. A., Ferretti, F., Lauretta, M., Walter, J. F., Stokesbury, M. W., Schallert, R. J., Block, B. A. 2021; 78 (8): 1193-1204
  • The IAG gene in the invasive crayfish Procambarus clarkii - towards sex manipulations for biocontrol and aquaculture MANAGEMENT OF BIOLOGICAL INVASIONS Savaya, A., De Leo, G., Aalto, E., Levy, T., Rosen, O., Manor, R., Aflalo, E. D., Tricarico, E., Sagi, A. 2020; 11 (2): 237–58
  • Catastrophic Mortality, Allee Effects, and Marine Protected Areas AMERICAN NATURALIST Aalto, E. A., Micheli, F., Boch, C. A., Montes, J., Woodson, C., De Leo, G. A. 2019; 193 (3): 391–408


    For many species, reproductive failure may occur if abundance drops below critical Allee thresholds for successful breeding, in some cases impeding recovery. At the same time, extreme environmental events can cause catastrophic collapse in otherwise healthy populations. Understanding what natural processes and management strategies may allow for persistence and recovery of natural populations is critical in the face of expected climate change scenarios of increased environmental variability. Using a spatially explicit continuous-size fishery model with stochastic dispersal parameterized for abalone-a harvested species with sedentary adults and a dispersing larval phase-we investigated whether the establishment of a system of marine protected areas (MPAs) can prevent population collapse, compared with nonspatial management when populations are affected by mass mortality from environmental shocks and subject to Allee effects. We found that MPA networks dramatically reduced the risk of collapse following catastrophic events (75%-90% mortality), while populations often continued to decline in the absence of spatial protection. Similar resilience could be achieved by closing the fishery immediately following mass mortalities but would necessitate long periods without catch and therefore economic income. For species with Allee effects, the use of protected areas can ensure persistence following mass mortality events while maintaining ecosystem services during the recovery period.

    View details for DOI 10.1086/701781

    View details for Web of Science ID 000459624900008

    View details for PubMedID 30794455

  • Post-harvest recovery dynamics depend on predator specialization in size-selective fisheries MARINE ECOLOGY PROGRESS SERIES Aalto, E. A., Baskett, M. L. 2017; 564: 127-143

    View details for DOI 10.3354/meps11987

    View details for Web of Science ID 000400661400011

  • Quantifying 60 years of declining European eel (Anguilla anguilla L., 1758) fishery yields in Mediterranean coastal lagoons ICES JOURNAL OF MARINE SCIENCE Aalto, E., Capoccioni, F., Mas, J. T., Schiavina, M., Leone, C., De Leo, G., Ciccotti, E. 2016; 73 (1): 101-110
  • Separating recruitment and mortality time lags for a delay-difference production model CANADIAN JOURNAL OF FISHERIES AND AQUATIC SCIENCES Aalto, E. A., Dick, E. J., MacCall, A. D. 2015; 72 (2): 161-165
  • Quantifying the balance between bycatch and predator or competitor release for nontarget species ECOLOGICAL APPLICATIONS Aalto, E. A., Baskett, M. L. 2013; 23 (5): 972-983


    If a species is bycatch in a fishery targeted at its competitor or predator, it experiences both direct anthropogenic mortality and indirect positive effects through species interactions. If the species involved interact strongly, the release from competition or predation can counteract or exceed the negative effects of bycatch. We used a set of two- and three-species community modules to analyze the relative importance of species interactions when modeling the overall effect of harvest with bycatch on a nontarget species. To measure the trade-off between direct mortality and indirect positive effects, we developed a "bycatch transition point" metric to determine, for different scenarios, what levels of bycatch shift overall harvest impact from positive to negative. Under strong direct competition with a targeted competitor, release from competition due to harvest leads to a net increase in abundance even under moderate levels of bycatch. For a three-species model with a shared obligate predator, the release from apparent competition exceeds direct competitive release and outweighs the decrease from bycatch mortality under a wide range of parameters. Therefore, in communities where a shared predator forms a strong link between the target and nontarget species, the effects of indirect interactions on populations can be larger than those of direct interactions. The bycatch transition point metric can be used for tightly linked species to evaluate the relative strengths of positive indirect effects and negative anthropogenic impacts such as bycatch, habitat degradation, and introduction of invasive species.

    View details for DOI 10.1890/12-1316.1

    View details for Web of Science ID 000321489100002

    View details for PubMedID 23967569