Faculty Profile

Ryan Ferrer

Ryan Ferrer

Associate Professor of Biology

Email: ferrer1@spu.edu
Phone: 206-281-2513
Office: Eaton 106


Education: BS, Pepperdine University, 2000; PhD, UCLA, 2007. At SPU since 2007.

Research in Ryan Ferrer’s lab examines the roles that chemical defense and chemical communication (smell and taste) play in shaping animal behavior and ecological interactions.

His students have pursued research questions in freshwater streams and ponds, the rocky shores of Puget Sound, and understory habitat of local forests, and have included a wide array of organisms, including algae, fungi, arthropods, mollusks, echinoderms, and vertebrates.


Selected Publications

  • Ferrer, R.P; E.T. Lunsford*; C.M. Candido*; M.L. Strawn*; and K.M. Pierce (2015). "Saxitoxin and the ochre sea star: Molecule of keystone significance and a classic keystone species." Integrative and Comparative Biology 55: 533-542. Abstract
  • Strawn, M. L.*; E.T. Lunsford*; L.E. Larsen*; M.M. Moran*; V. Allbritton*; R.P. Ferrer; and KM Pierce (2015). "Identification and quantification of paralytic shellfish toxins in Puget Sound Marine Organisms." Environmental Analytical Chemistry 2:2380-2391. Full text
  • Ferrer, R.P.; and R.K. Zimmer (2013). “Molecules of keystone significance: Crucial agents in ecology and resource management.” BioScience 63:428–38. Abstract
  • Ferrer, R.P.; and R.K. Zimmer (2012). “Community ecology and the evolution of molecules of keystone significance.” Biological Bulletin 223: 167–77. Full text
  • Ferrer, R.P.; and R.K. Zimmer (2009). “Chemical neuroecology and community dynamics.” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1170: 450-455.
  • Ferrer, R.P.; and R.K. Zimmer (2007). “The scent of danger: Arginine as an olfactory cue of reduced predation risk.” Journal of Experimental Biology 210: 1768–75.
  • Ferrer, R.P.; and R.K. Zimmer (2007). “Chemosensory reception, behavioral expression, and ecological interactions at multiple trophic levels.” Journal of Experimental Biology 210: 1776–85. 

* Denotes undergraduate

Please see Dr. Ferrer's CV (PDF) for additional publications.

Biology | Why I Teach

Why I Teach at SPU

Ryan Ferrer, Associate Professor of Biology

“I’m drawn to SPU because students, faculty, and staff so regularly engage one another.  It is a joy being challenged intellectually and spiritually by those with whom I work.”

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