Dr Anna Sturrock

School of Life Sciences
Dr Anna Sturrock



I am an aquatic ecologist with a particular interest in fish ecology, conservation and management. I primarily use natural chemical tracers in fish tissues to reconstruct the migration patterns, phenology, physiology and trophic ecology of vulnerable and commercial species. The resulting datasets provide unique insights into the behaviours and habitat needs of fish in natural settings, allowing us to better predict how climate change and other stressors will affect their evolution and resilience. By revealing the critical habitats supporting fisheries and identifying the factors influencing trait success we can design more targeted management measures to protect critical ecosystem services during this period of unprecedented global change.


  • PhD University of Southampton, (2012)

  • MSc University of Otago, (2008)

  • BSc Hons University of Edinburgh, (2004)


University of Essex

  • Lecturer, School of Life Sciences, University of Essex (1/7/2020 - present)

Other academic

  • Researcher, Center for Watershed Sciences, University of California, Davis (1/10/2016 - 30/6/2020)

  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley (1/7/2014 - 30/9/2016)

  • Postdoctoral Researcher & NOAA affiliate, Institute of Marine Sciences, University of California, Santa Cruz (21/5/2012 - 30/6/2014)

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Marine Biodiversity (BS251)

  • Marine Vertebrates (BS254)

  • Fisheries Ecology (BS354)


Journal articles (14)

Morais, P., Dias, E., Cerveira, I., Carlson, SM., Johnson, RC. and Sturrock, AM., How Scientists Reveal The Secret Migrations of Fish. Frontiers for Young Minds. 6

Sturrock, AM., Carlson, SM., Wikert, JD., Heyne, T., Nusslé, S., Merz, JE., Sturrock, HJW. and Johnson, RC., (2020). Unnatural selection of salmon life histories in a modified riverscape. Global Change Biology. 26 (3), 1235-1247

Hüssy, K., Limburg, KE., de Pontual, H., Thomas, ORB., Cook, PK., Heimbrand, Y., Blass, M. and Sturrock, AM., (2020). Trace Element Patterns in Otoliths: The Role of Biomineralization. Reviews in Fisheries Science & Aquaculture, 1-33

Sturrock, AM., Satterthwaite, WH., Cervantes‐Yoshida, KM., Huber, ER., Sturrock, HJW., Nusslé, S. and Carlson, SM., (2019). Eight Decades of Hatchery Salmon Releases in the California Central Valley: Factors Influencing Straying and Resilience. Fisheries. 44 (9), 433-444

Phillis, CC., Sturrock, AM., Johnson, RC. and Weber, PK., (2018). Endangered winter-run Chinook salmon rely on diverse rearing habitats in a highly altered landscape. Biological Conservation. 217, 358-362

Willmes, M., Hobbs, JA., Sturrock, AM., Bess, Z., Lewis, LS., Glessner, JJG., Johnson, RC., Kurth, R. and Kindopp, J., (2018). Fishery collapse, recovery, and the cryptic decline of wild salmon on a major California river. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 75 (11), 1836-1848

Sturrock, AM., Hunter, E., Milton, JA., Johnson, RC., Waring, CP. and Trueman, CN., (2015). Quantifying physiological influences on otolith microchemistry. Methods in Ecology and Evolution. 6 (7), 806-816

Sturrock, AM., Wikert, JD., Heyne, T., Mesick, C., Hubbard, AE., Hinkelman, TM., Weber, PK., Whitman, GE., Glessner, JJ. and Johnson, RC., (2015). Reconstructing the Migratory Behavior and Long-Term Survivorship of Juvenile Chinook Salmon under Contrasting Hydrologic Regimes. PLOS ONE. 10 (5), e0122380-e0122380

Darnaude, AM., Sturrock, A., Trueman, CN., Mouillot, D., EIMF, Campana, SE. and Hunter, E., (2014). Listening In on the Past: What Can Otolith δ18O Values Really Tell Us about the Environmental History of Fishes?. PLoS ONE. 9 (10), e108539-e108539

(2014). Correction: Listening In on the Past: What Can Otolith δ18O Values Really Tell Us about the Environmental History of Fishes?. PLoS ONE. 9 (12), e114951-e114951

Sturrock, AM., Trueman, CN., Milton, JA., Waring, CP., Cooper, MJ. and Hunter, E., (2014). Physiological influences can outweigh environmental signals in otolith microchemistry research. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 500, 245-264

Sturrock, AM., Hunter, E., Milton, JA. and Trueman, CN., (2013). Analysis methods and reference concentrations of 12 minor and trace elements in fish blood plasma. Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology. 27 (4), 273-285

Sturrock, AM., Trueman, CN., Darnaude, AM. and Hunter, E., (2012). Can otolith elemental chemistry retrospectively track migrations in fully marine fishes?. Journal of Fish Biology. 81 (2), 766-795

Lawton, RJ., Wing, SR. and Lewis, AM., (2010). Evidence for discrete subpopulations of sea perch (Helicolenus ercoides) across four fjords in Fiordland, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research. 44 (4), 309-322

Reports and Papers (2)

Sturrock, A. and Johnson, R., (2013). Contribution of hatchery and natural origin Chinook salmon to the Lower Yuba River

Sturrock, A., Whitman, G. and Johnson, R., (2012). Otolith microchemistry to determine size at outmigration of adult Chinook salmon in the Tuolumne and Merced rivers



Colchester Campus

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