Staff Profile
Photo for Greg Ruiz


Greg is a marine ecologist with active research interests in invasion biology, biogeography, and ecology in coastal marine ecosystems.  He heads a research group of ~ 40 full-time biologists, based at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) laboratories, located on Chesapeake Bay and San Francisco Bay. Most of his research explores the patterns, mechanisms, and consequences of marine invasions at a multiple spatial and temporal scales. He conducts extensive comparative measurements and experiments among estuaries along the Pacific and Atlantic coasts for North America.  A Senior Scientist at SERC for over 25 years, Greg also is a Research Professor and founding co-director of the Aquatic BioInvasion Research and Policy Institute at Portland State University.  Greg has published over 140 scientific articles as author or coauthor, focusing primarily on marine invasion ecology and management. He began his career in California and has broad interests in marine biology and dynamics of coastal ecosystems. Greg holds a Ph.D. in zoology from University of California, Berkeley and a B.A. in aquatic biology from the University of California, Santa Barbara.  For additional information visit SERC’s Marine Invasion Research Laboratory website at
Selected Publications (of 140)

Ruiz, GM, Fofonoff PW, Steves BP, Carlton JT. 2015. Invasion history and vector dynamics in coastal marine ecosystems: a North American perspective.  Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Management (in press).

Miller AW, Ruiz GM. 2014. Artic shipping and marine invaders. Nature Climate Change 4:413-416.

Freestone AL, GM, Ruiz, & ME Torchin. 2013. Stronger biotic resistance in tropics: Effects of predation on invasion dynamics across latitude. Ecology 94:1370–1377.

Ruiz GM, Fofonoff PW, Ashton G, Minton MS, Miller AW. 2013. Geographic variation in marine invasions among large estuaries: Effects of ships and time. Ecological Applications 23:311-320.

deRivera CE, Grosholz ED, Ruiz GM. 2011. Multiple and long-term impacts of an introduced marine predator. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 429:145-155 doi:10.3354/meps09101

Ruiz GM, Fofonoff PW, Steves B, Foss SF, Shiba SN. 2011. Marine invasion history and vector analysis of California: A hotspot for western North America. Diversity and Distributions 17:362-373.

Blakeslee AMH, Altman I, Miller AW, Byers JE, Hamer CE, Ruiz GM. 2012. Parasites and invasions: a biogeographic examination of parasites and hosts in native and introduced ranges. J. Biogeography 39:609-622.

deRivera CE, Ruiz GM, Hines AJ, Jivoff P. 2005. Biotic resistance to invasion: native crab predation limits the abundance and geographic distribution of an introduced crab. Ecology 86:3364-3376.

Ruiz GM, Rawlings TK, Dobbs FC, Drake LA, Mullady T, Huq A, Colwell RR.  2000.  Worldwide transfer of microorganisms by ships. Nature 408: 49-50.

Ruiz GM, Fofonoff PW, Carlton JT, Wonham MJ, Hines AH. 2000. Invasions of Coastal Marine Communities in North America: Apparent Patterns, Processes, and Biases. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 31: 481-531.

Ruiz GM, P Fofonoff, AH Hines, & ED Grosholz.  1999.  Nonindigenous species as stressors in estuarine and marine communities:  Assessing impacts and interactions.  Limnol. Oceanogr. 44:950-972.


  • Jimenez, Haizea, Chang, Andrew L. and Ruiz, Gregory M. (2019). Soft-sediment community stability across years in San Francisco Bay. Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science, 227 , UNSP 106324-UNSP 106324.
  • Keppel, Erica, Keith, Inti, Ruiz, Gregory M. and Carlton, James T. (2019). New records of native and non-indigenous polychaetes (Annelida: Polychaeta) in the Galapagos Islands. Aquatic Invasions, 14 (1) , 59-84.
  • Maximenko, Nikolai, Corradi, Paolo, Law, Kara Lavender, Van Sebille, Erik, Garaba, Shungudzemwoyo P., Lampitt, Richard Stephen, Galgani, Francois, Martinez-Vicente, Victor, Goddijn-Murphy, Lonneke, Veiga, Joana Mira, Thompson, Richard C., Maes, Christophe, Moller, Delwyn, Loscher, Carolin Regina, Addamo, Anna Maria, Lamson, Megan R., Centurioni, Luca R., Posth, Nicole R., Lumpkin, Rick, Vinci, Matteo, Martins, Ana Maria, Pieper, Catharina Diogo, Isobe, Atsuhiko, Hanke, Georg, Edwards, Margo, et al. (2019). Toward the Integrated Marine Debris Observing System. Frontiers in Marine Science, 6 , UNSP 447-UNSP 447.
  • McGann, Mary, Ruiz, Gregory M., Hines, Anson H. and Smith, George. (2019). A Ship's Ballasting History As an Indicator of Foraminiferal Invasion Potential – an Example from Prince William Sound, Alaska, USA. Journal of Foraminiferal Research, 49 (4) , 434-455.
  • Newcomer, Katherine, Tracy, Brianna M., Chang, Andrew L. and Ruiz, Gregory M. (2019). Evaluating Performance of Photographs for Marine Citizen Science Applications . Frontiers in Marine Science, 6 (336)
  • Rey, Anais, Carney, Katharine J., Quinones, Luz E., Lohan, Katrina M. Pagenkopp, Ruiz, Gregory M., Basurko, Oihane C. and Rodriguez-Ezpeleta, Naiara. (2019). Environmental DNA Metabarcoding: A Promising Tool for Ballast Water Monitoring. Environmental science & technology, 53 (20) , 11849-11859.
  • Simkanin, Christina, Carlton, James T., Steves, Brian, Fofonoff, Paul, Nelson, Jocelyn C., Murray, Cathryn Clarke and Ruiz, Gregory M. (2019). Exploring potential establishment of marine rafting species after transoceanic long-distance dispersal . Global Ecology and Biogeography, 28 (5) , 588-600.
  • Batista, William R., Fernandes, Flavio C., Neves, Maria H. C. B., Nascimento, Thiana S., Lopes, Rosangela S. C., Lopes, Claudio C., Ziegler, Gregory P., Soler-Figueroa, Brenda, Sparks, Darrick, Fontaine, Diana N., Carney, Katharine J., Quiñones-Oquendo, Luz E. and Ruiz, Gregory M. (2018). Synthetic lipids as a biocide candidate for disinfection of ballast water . Marine pollution bulletin, 137 , 702-710.
  • Carlton, James T., Chapman, John W., Geller, Jonathan B., Miller, Jessica A., Ruiz, Gregory M., Carlton, Deborah A., McCuller, Megan I., Treneman, Nancy C., Steves, Brian P., Breitenstein, Ralph A., Lewis, Russell, Bilderback, David, Bilderback, Diane, Haga, Takuma and Harris, Leslie H. (2018). Ecological and biological studies of ocean rafting: Japanese tsunami marine debris in North America and the Hawaiian Islands. Aquatic Invasions, 13 (1) , 1-9.
  • Chang, Andrew L., Brown, Christopher W., Crooks, Jeffrey A. and Ruiz, Gregory M. (2018). Dry and wet periods drive rapid shifts in community assembly in an estuarine ecosystem. Global Change Biology, 24 (2) , e627-642.
  • Darling, John A., Martinson, John, Gong, Yunguo, Okum, Sara, Pilgrim, Erik, Lohan, Katrina M. Pagenkopp, Carney, Katharine J. and Ruiz, Gregory M. (2018). Ballast Water Exchange and Invasion Risk Posed by Intracoastal Vessel Traffic: An Evaluation Using High Throughput Sequencing . Environmental Science & Technology, 52 (17) , 9926-9936.
  • Davidson, Ian C., Scianni, Christopher, Minton, Mark S. and Ruiz, Gregory M. (2018). A history of ship specialization and consequences for marine invasions, management, and policy. Journal of Applied Ecology, 55 (4) , 1799-1811.
  • Davidson, Ian C., Scianni, Christopher, Minton, Mark S. and Ruiz, Gregory M. (2018). A history of ship specialization and consequences for marine invasions, management and policy. Journal of Applied Ecology, 55 (4) , 1799-1811.
  • Davidson, Timothy M., Altieri, Andrew H., Ruiz, Gregory M. and Torchin, Mark E. (2018). Bioerosion in a changing world: a conceptual framework. Ecology Letters, 21 (3) , 422-438.
  • Everett, Richard A., Miller, A. Whitman and Ruiz, Gregory M. (2018). Shifting sands could bring invasive species. Science, 359 (6378) , 878-878.