Kyle Phillips

Profile image for Kyle Philips

Position Title
Ph.D. Candidate


I am a PhD student in the Graduate Group in Ecology at UC Davis. My background is in conservation biology and Entomology. My current research focuses on the role of diked managed wetlands (eg duck clubs) in supporting aquatic foodwebs in Suisun Marsh CA. Like much of the San Francisco Estuary, Suisun Marsh has been heavily altered by humans over the last century, threatening key estuarine functions like food production for larval fish. Traditional restoration techniques (which aim to return degraded ecosystems to their former "pristine" state) are seldom feasible and have met with mixed success when implemented. Therefore, my research focuses on the management of existing infrastructure to promote ecosystem functioning. Specifically, I am interested in how diked wetland areas with water control structures can be managed to produce zooplankton and support rearing larval fishes in Suisun Marsh. This approach is an example of Reconciliation Ecology - the modification of human dominated habitats to promote biodiversity while supporting continued human use. I am interested in Reconciliation Ecology because I believe it will become a promising and necessary conservation tool as humans continue to dominate ecosystems across the globe.  

When not working on my research, I enjoy hiking, canoeing, fishing, and white water rafting.

Research Interests & Expertise
  • Entomology
  • Wetlands
  • Estuaries
  • Rivers
  • Novel Ecosystems
  • Reconciliation Ecology
  • Conservation