The Wetland Ecosystem Team (WET) is a research unit at the School of Aquatic & Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington that conducts basic and applied research on coastal systems. Our mission is to advance scientific knowledge of nearshore and estuarine ecosystems to better understand natural and anthropogenic sources of their variability and change. We therefore work on the natural functions of shoreline habitats, the impacts of human stressors, and the effectiveness of restoration actions such as living shorelines and eco-engineering. We provide the research infrastructure to support a diverse group of staff, undergraduate students, graduate students, and post-docs.

Much of our research is focused on fish (especially juvenile salmonids such as Chinook and chum) and the invertebrates that they feed upon, as well as the habitats that support them. Most of our studies involve investigations and experiments with organisms and communities in their natural environment, such as beaches, marshes, mudflats and seagrass meadows. Our study sites are concentrated in Puget Sound, the Columbia River estuary, San Francisco Bay, and other coastal estuaries of the Pacific Northwest region of North America. These studies are supported almost entirely by research grants and contracts.

We are an open research community, and hope to broaden aspects of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) represented by policies at the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences.


principal Research Scientist
restoration, monitoring, ecology

Jason Toft

Research Scientist
eco-evo, database, citizen science

Simone Des Roches

Research professor emeritus
estuaries, restoration, food webs

Charles 'Si' Simenstad

principal Research scientist invertebrates, invasives, seawalls

Jeff Cordell

Research Scientist
scuba, fish, invertebrates

Julia Kobelt

Graduate student
invertebrates, fish, scuba

Bob Oxborrow

Research Scientist
zooplankton, freshwater, fish

Arielle Tonus Ellis

research scientist
scuba, fish, invertebrates

Mike Caputo

Research Scientist
insects, crustaceans, fish

Cormac Toler-Scott

Research Scientist
zooplankton taxonomy

Olga Kalata


Graduate student
California State - Humboldt

Juhi LaFuente

Graduate Student
Univ of washington oceanography

Sarah Vollero