Daniel Pondella

Associate Professor, Biology; Director, Vantuna Research Group

Pondella teaches the biology of marine fishes, marine ecosystems, and biological oceanography.


  • Office: Moore Laboratory of Zoology 101
  • Email: pondella@oxy.edu
  • Phone: (323) 259-2955
  • Website: Vantuna Research Group

Department Chair, Biology

Education: A.B., M.A., Occidental College; Ph.D., UCLA

His research interests include the ecology of California marine fishes, with an emphasis on the Southern California bight; the evolution of marine fishes in the tropical eastern Pacific; and the life history of fishes, including species from the Gulf of California.

His research has been funded by the California Department of Fish and Game, the U.S. Navy, the Port of Los Angeles, and the U.S. Department of the Interior. Pondella has been published in journals such as the Bulletin of Marine Science, the ICES Journal of Marine Science, and Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. He also recently published a book titled The Ecology of Marine Fishes: California and Adjacent Waters. Pondella is director of the Southern California Marine Institute, a consortium of 11 colleges including Occidental that share and support marine resources. Currently he is working on AltaSea, a project which will transform City Dock 1 at the Port of Los Angeles into a research center housing SCMI and containing laboratories, classrooms, fish hatcheries and berths for research vessels.