Gabrielle Nevitt

image of Gabrielle Nevitt



Bodega Marine Laboratory
Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior

Offices and Labs

1131 Life Sciences
(530) 752-5929
(530) 754-9500
(707) 875-1924 (BML)


1990 PhD (Zoology) University of Washington
1983 BS (Biology) Stanford University
1983 MS (Biology) Stanford University

Research Interests

Sensory ecology, Olfaction, Organism/Environment interactions, Conservation and Enrichment

A major focus of my laboratory is to better understand the sensory ecology of other organisms, and how these systems are shaped by evolution. My specialty is olfaction - the sense of smell - and much of my research has focused on exploring how marine birds and fishes use smell in the natural environment. I have worked in areas ranging from olfactory homing in salmon, to olfactory foraging, navigation and individual recognition in birds, and in particular, petrels and albatrosses. Because our world is experiencing rapid, anthropogenic change, our work increasingly interfaces with problems associated with global climate, habitat loss or degradation and by-catch concerns in marine fisheries. Many of the species we study are currently threatened or endangered. In line with this concern, we also conduct research on the proximate and evolutionary factors contributing to phenotypic plasticity, and this work has been carried out primarily with model fish species (various species of desert pupfish and salmon).

Department and Center Affiliations

Bodega Marine Laboratory
Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior
Center for Aquatic Biology and Aquaculture (CABA)


Association for Chemorecption Sciences (ACHEMS)
American Geophysical Union (AGU)

CBS Grad Group Affiliations

Animal Behavior

Specialties / Focus

Animal Behavior
  • Behavior/Physiology/Morphology
  • Physiology and Behavior

Graduate Groups not Housed in CBS

Ecology Graduate Group


Field Sites

French sub-Antarctic
Bon Portage Island, CANADA
Curaçao, Netherlands, Antilles

Teaching Interests

Sensory ecology, Olfaction, Organism/Environment interactions, Conservation


NPB 102 Mechanisms of Animal Behavior (Spring)
ANB 201 Grant writing / Advanced Methods in Behavior (Spring)


5/21/2010 9:26:34 AM
  • Debose, J.L., Lema, S.C., & Nevitt, G.A. (2008). Dimethylsulfionoproprianate as a foraging cue for reef fishes. Science, 319, 1356.
  • Nevitt, G.A., Losekoot, M. & Weimerskirch, H. (2008). Evidence for olfactory search in Wandering albatross Diomedea exulans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(12), 4576-81. (Cover article)
  • Nevitt, G.A. (2008). Sensory ecology on the high seas: The odor world of the procellariiform seabirds. Journal of Experimental Biology, 211, 1706-1713.
  • De Bose, J. L. & Nevitt, G. A. (2008). The use of odors at different spatial scales: Comparing birds with fish. Journal of Chemical Ecology 34(7), 867-81.
  • VanBuskirk, R. & Nevitt, G.A. (2008). The influence of developmental environment on the evolution of olfactory foraging behavior in procellariiform seabirds. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 21(1), 67-76.
  • VanBuskirk, R. & Nevitt, G.A. (2007). Evolutionary arguments for olfactory behavior in modern birds. ChemoSense, 10(1), 2-6.
  • Kihlsinger, R.K., Lema, S.C. & Nevitt, G.A. (2006) Environmental rearing conditions produce differences in the relative brain size of wild Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A, 145 (2): 145-51.
  • Lema, S. C. & Nevitt, G.A. (2006). Testing an ecophysiological mechanism of morphological plasticity in pupfish and its relevance to conservation efforts for endangered Devils Hole pupfish. Journal of Experimental Biology, 209, 3499-3509.