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.


  • Carney, Katharine J., Minton, Mark S., Holzer, Kimberly K., Miller, A. W., McCann, Linda D. and Ruiz, Gregory M. (2017). Evaluating the combined effects of ballast water management and trade dynamics on transfers of marine organisms by ships. PloS One, 12 (3) , e0172468.
  • Davidson, Ian C., Minton, Mark S., Carney, Katharine J., Miller, A. W. and Ruiz, Gregory M. (2017). Pioneering patterns of ballast treatment in the emerging era of marine vector management. Marine Policy, 78 , 158-162.
  • Holzer, Kimberly K., Muirhead, Jim R., Minton, Mark S., Carney, Katharine J., Miller, A. W. and Ruiz, Gregory M. (2017). Potential effects of LNG trade shift on transfer of ballast water and biota by ships. Science of The Total Environment, 580 , 1470-1474.
  • Moser, Cameron S., Wier, Timothy P., First, Matthew R., Grant, Jonathan F., Riley, Scott C., Robbins-Wamsley, Stephanie, Tamburri, Mario N., Ruiz, Gregory M., Miller, A. Whitman and Drake, Lisa A. (2017). Quantifying the extent of niche areas in the global fleet of commercial ships: the potential for super-hot spots of biofouling. Biological Invasions, 19 (6) , 1745-1759.
  • Pagenkopp Lohan, Katrina M., Fleischer, Robert C., Torchin, Mark E. and Ruiz, Gregory M. (2017). Protistan Biogeography: A Snapshot Across a Major Shipping Corridor Spanning Two Oceans. Protist, 168 (2) , 183-196.
  • Ricciardi, Anthony, Blackburn, Tim M., Carlton, James T., Dick, Jaimie T. A., Hulme, Philip E., Iacarella, Josephine C., Jeschke, Jonathan M., Liebhold, Andrew M., Lockwood, Julie L., MacIsaac, Hugh J., Pysek, Petr, Richardson, David M., Ruiz, Gregory M., Simberloff, Daniel, Sutherland, William J., Wardle, David A. and Aldridge, David C. (2017). Invasion Science: A Horizon Scan of Emerging Challenges and Opportunities. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 32 (6) , 464-474.
  • Ashton, Gail V., Davidson, Ian C., Geller, J. and Ruiz, Gregory M. (2016). Disentangling the biogeography of ship biofouling: barnacles in the Northeast Pacific. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 25 (6) , 739-750.
  • Crooks, Jeffrey A., Chang, Andrew L. and Ruiz, Gregory M. (2016). Decoupling the response of an estuarine shrimp to architectural components of habitat structure. PeerJ, 4
  • Davidson, Ian C., Scianni, Christopher, Hewitt, Chad, Everett, Richard, Holm, Eric, Tamburri, Mario and Ruiz, Gregory M. (2016). Mini-review: Assessing the drivers of ship biofouling management - aligning industry and biosecurity goals. Biofouling, 32 (4) , 411-428.
  • Fowler, Amy E., Blakeslee, April M. H., Canning-Clode, João, Repetto, Michele F., Phillip, Anne M., Carlton, James T., Moser, Fredrika C., Ruiz, Gregory M. and Miller, A. Whitman. (2016). Opening Pandora's bait box: a potent vector for biological invasions of live marine species. Diversity & Distributions, 22 (1) , 30-42.
  • Gartner, Heidi N., Murray, Cathryn Clarke, Frey, Melissa A., Nelson, Jocelyn C., Larson, Kristen J., Ruiz, Gregory M. and Therriault, Thomas W. (2016). Non-indigenous invertebrate species in the marine fouling communities of British Columbia, Canada. BioInvasions Records: International Journal of Field Research on Biological Invasions, 5 (4) , 205-212.
  • Jimenez, Haizea and Ruiz, Gregory M. (2016). Contribution of non-native species to soft-sediment marine community structure of San Francisco Bay, California. Biological Invasions, 18 (7) , 2007-2016.
  • MacIsaac, Hugh J., De Roy, Emma M., Leung, Brian, Grgicak-Mannion, Alice and Ruiz, Gregory M. (2016). Possible Ballast Water Transfer of Lionfish to the Eastern Pacific Ocean. PloS One, 11 (11) , 1-12.
  • Moser, Cameron S., Wier, Timothy P., Grant, Jonathan F., First, Matthew R., Tamburri, Mario N., Ruiz, Gregory M., Miller, A. Whitman and Drake, Lisa A. (2016). Quantifying the total wetted surface area of the world fleet: a first step in determining the potential extent of ships’ biofouling. Biological Invasions, 18 (1) , 265-277.
  • Noble, Monaca, Ruiz, Gregory M. and Murphy, Kathleen R. (2016). Chemical Assessment of Ballast Water Exchange Compliance: Implementation in North America and New Zealand. Frontiers in Marine Science, , 66.