Dale Kiefer

Professor of Biological Sciences
Email kiefer@usc.edu Office AHF 342 Office Phone (213) 740-5814


  • Ph.D. Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego
  • B.S. Yale University
  • Summary Statement of Research Interests

    Professor Kiefer researches the population dynamics of microbial populations in the sea, particularly material and energy flow within planktonic populations of phytoplankton, microzooplankton, and bacteria. He examines how physiological acclimation to the ambient growth environment influences the absorption, scattering, and fluorescence properties of microbial cells. This work has led to the development of a fluorometer which may provide a new and rapid means of measuring primary production in the sea.

    Professor Kiefer also investigates changes in the underwater light field when different concentrations of plankton are in the ocean using a radiative transfer algorithm.

  • Contracts and Grants Awarded

    • Fishscape: Complex Dynamics of the Eastern Pacific Tuna Fishery, (NSF), Dale A. Kiefer, $1,200,000, 08/01/2010 – 09/01/2013
    • An Ecosystem Model of Prince William Sound Herring:, (Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trust Council), Dale A. Kiefer, Evelyn Brown and Vardis Tsontos, $230,000, 2010-2011
    • Synthesizing a Habitat Preference Model of Top Marine Predators, (NASA), Dale Kiefer, Chihin Lam, $90,000, 2010-2011
  • Conference Presentations

    • Tuna Stock Assessment Support System , North Atlantic Region Team conference on stock assessment of Moving Commercial Fish SpeciesKeynote Lecture, NOAA, Invited, Falls River, MA, 08/15/2016 – 08/17/2016
    • AquaModel Simulation of Proposed Rose Canyon Fish Farm , California State Assessment of Licensing Fish Farm of San Diego to Hubbs Sea World Research CenterKeynote Lecture, NOAA, Invited, Long Beach, CA, 07/19/2016 – 07/21/2016
    • Monitoring Pacific Tropical Tuna Fishery from Space , NASA Ocean Color MeetingKeynote Lecture, NASA, Invited, Washington D.C., 05/02/2016
    • Tuna Stock Assessment Support System , Ocean Sciences MeetingPoster, NASA, New Orleans, 02/21/2016 – 02/24/2016
    • Exploring the linkage of Sea Surface Temperature Variability on Three Spatial Scales , American Geophysical UnionPoster, USC 2020 Program, San Francisco, CA, 12/05/2011 – 12/07/2011
    • Did not present , Decision Support and Biodiversity MeetingInvitee, NASA, Invited, Washington, D.C., 10/03/2011 – 10/07/2011
    • The Pelagic Habitat Analysis Module , Using Oceanography for Fisheries Stock Assessment and ManagementTalk/Oral Presentation, Inter American Tropical Tuna Commission, Invited, La Jolla, California, 09/03/2011 – 09/07/2011
    • The EASy for Fishery Management and Fish Farms , FIFTH INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON GIS/SPATIAL ANALYSES IN FISHERY AND AQUATIC SCIENCESTalk/Oral Presentation, International Fishery GIS Society, Invited, Wellington, New Zealand, 08/22/2011 – 08/26/2011
    • The Pelagic Habitat Analysis Module , SeminarLecture/Seminar, Sydney University, Invited, Sydney, Australia, 07/04/2011 – 07/08/2011
    • AquaModel for Simulation of Marine Fish Farms , seminarLecture/Seminar, Australian Maritime College, University of Tasmani, Invited, Launceston, Tasmania, 03/09/2011 – 03/10/2011
    • The role of spawning and juvenile herring distribution on recruitment in Prince William Sound, Alaska , Lowell Wakefield Fishery SymposiumPoster, Sea Grant, Invited, Anchorage, Alaska, 11/08/2010 – 11/11/2010
    • Simulating Marine Fish Farm Operations , Aquaculture in the Caribbean SeaTalk/Oral Presentation, NOAA & EPA, Invited, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 10/02/2010 – 10/03/2010
    • Modeling Waste Dynamics of Marine Fish Farms , Extractive Technologies for the Nutrient Cycle of Long Island SoundKeynote Lecture, EPA and NOAA, Invited, Stamford, Connecticut, 2009-2010
    • Pelagics Habitat Analysis Module & ECCO2 , Work on the ECCO2 Global Circulation ModelTalk/Oral Presentation, NASA, Invited, California Institute of Technology, 2009-2010
    • The Pelagic Habitat Module , Biodiversity and Ecological Forecasting WorkshopTalk/Oral Presentation, NASA, Invited, Washington D.C., 05/17/2010 – 05/19/2010
    • AquaModel Simulation Software , World Aquaculture SocietyTalk/Oral Presentation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Invited, San Diego, CA, 03/03/2010
    • Herring Population Dynamics In Prince William Sound , Interamerican Tropical Tuna Commission Stock Assessment WorkshopTalk/Oral Presentation, Interamerican Tropical Tuna CommissionI, Invited, La Jolla, CA, 11/03/2009
    • Modeling the Bi-Stable State of Prince William Sound Herring , Alaska Marine Science SymposiumPoster, Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trust Fund, Invited, Anchorage, Alaska, 01/22/2009 – 01/23/2009

    Other Presentations

    • Monitoring Pacific Tropical Tuna Fishery from Space , Invited Departmental Seminar, Bath, England, 2017-2018
    • Monitoring Pacific Tropical Tuna Fishery from Space , Invited Departmental Seminar, Southampton, England, 2017-2018
    • Monitoring Pacific Tropical Tuna Fishery from Space , Invited Departmental Seminar, Woods Hole, MA, 2016-2017
    • Monitoring Tuna Fishery from Space, Invited Talk at NASA’s Estimating the circulation and climate of the ocean workshop, Massachusetts Institute of Technology , 2015-2016
    • Monitoring Tuna Fishery from Space, Key Note Speaker, Washington D.C., 2015-2016
    • Environmental Analysis System, Invited Departmental Seminar, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, 2015-2016
    • Fish Farm Simulation Model, Invited Departmental Seminar, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, 2015-2016
    • Environmental Analysis System, Training Workshop, Alexandria, Egypt, 2015-2016
    • Population Dynamics of Prince William Sound Herring after the Oil Spill , Invited Talk to Marine Ecology Seminar, La Jolla, CA, 2010-2011
    • The Pelagic Habitat Module, Guest Lecture, Guangzhou , 2010-2011
    • Aquamodel Simulations of Marine Fish Farms, Guest Lecture, Guangzhou, China, 2010-2011
    • Modeling Fish Farm Impacts and Operations, Conducted Workshop, Cartagena, Colombia, 2009-2010
    • A Population Dynamics Model of Alaskan Herring, Invited Talk, Orono, Maine, 2008-2009
    • A Population Dynamics Model of Alaskan Herring, Invited Talk, Boothbay Harbor Maine, 2008-2009
    • An Marine Geographic Information System, Invited Talk, Coconut Island, Oahu, 2008-2009
    • Ocean Nourishment Corporation Australia: Sulu Sea Expedition

      Nitrogen and Phosphate Fertilization Field Study

  • Book Chapters

    • Rensel, J., Kiefer, D. A., O’Brien, F. J. AquaModel: ComprehensiveAquaculture Modeling Software. Cheng- Sheng Lee and Patricia J. O’Bryen. World Aquaculture Society: Open Ocean Aquaculture – Moving Forward.2009.37-39.

    Journal Article

    • Hu, C., Harrison, D. P., Hinton, M. G., Siegrist, Z. C., Kiefer, D. A. (2017). Habitat analysis of the commercial tuna of the Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean. Fisheries Oceanography.
    • Lester, S. E., Stevens, J. M., Gentry, R. R., Kappel, C. V., Bell, T. W., Costello, C. J., Gaines, S. D., Kiefer, D. A., Maue, C. C., Rensel, J. E., Simons, R. D., Washburn, L., White, C. (2017). Marine spatial planning makes room for offshore aquaculture in crowded coastal waters. Nature Communications.
    • Hu, C., Kiefer, D. A. (2017). A 1-D physical-biological coupled model for marine primary production. Journal of Zhejiang University (Engineering Science).
    • Harrison, D. P., Hinton, M. G., Kohim, S., Armstrong, E. M., Snyder, S., O’Brien, F. J., Kiefer, D. A. (2016). A Pelagic Habitat Analysis Module (PHAM) for Ecosystem Based Fisheries Science. Fisheries Oceanography.
    • Lam, C. H., Kiefer, D. A. (2015). Habitat utilization of striped marlin in the Pacific. Fisheries Research. Vol. 166, pp. 80-91.
    • Teter, S. M., Wetherbee, B. M., Fox, D., Lam, C. H., Kiefer, D. A., Howey, P., Shivji, M. (2014). Migratory patterns and habitat use of the sand tiger shark (Carcharias taurus) in the Western North Atlantic. Marine and Freshwater Research. Vol. 66, pp. 158-169.


    • Kiefer, D. A.Berwald, J., D. Stramski, C.D. Mobley, and D.A. Kiefer, Influences of absorption and scattering on vertical changes in the average cosine of the underwater light field, Limnol. Oceanogr, 40(8) 1347-1357, 1995.
    • Kiefer, D. A.Kiefer, D.A.and R.A. Reynolds, Advances in understanding phytoplankton fluorescence and photosynthesis, In Primary Productivity and Biogeochemical Cycles in the Sea, P.G. Falkowski and A.D. Woodhead, ed., Plenum Press, 1992.
    • Kiefer, D. A.Kiefer, D.A., W.S. Chamberlin, and C.R. Booth, Natural fluorescence of chlorophyll a: Relationship to photosynthesis and chlorophyll concentration in the western south Pacific gyre, Limnol. Oceanogr. 34(5): 868-881, 1989.
  • Committees

    • Member, Screening Exam for 1st Year Students, 2017-2018
    • Member, MEB Search Committee for Modeler, 2011-2012
    • Member, Graduate Student Screening Exam Committee, 2011-2012
    • Member, Graduate Student Screening Exam Committee, 2010-2011
    • Member, Graduate student screening examination committee., 2009-2010
    • Member, Zinsmeyer Chair Search Committee, 2008-2009
    • Member, Marine and Environmental Biology Admissions, 2008-2009
    • Member, Screening Exam, 2006-2007

    Other Service to the University

    • With support from the US Office of Naval Research on hosted and instructed to graduate students James Mmuomaihe from Nigeria and Kwame Agyekum from Guana., 01/01/2010 – 04/01/2010
  • Review Panels

    • NASA, Biodiversity and Ecological Forecasting, 2017-2018

    Other Service to the Profession

    • I am on the board of directors of the Pacific Blue Foundation, a none profit organization devoted to improving the conditions of Fijian fishing communities., 01/10/2008 – 01/01/2019
    • I am on the board of directors of the Marine Conservation Science Institute. MCSI is a non-profit institute devoted to the research and protection of large pelagic fish and sharks., 06/01/2010 – 06/01/2015
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