The West Coast Ocean Biomolecular Observing Network (WC-OBON)


Biomolecular technologies offer significant potential to transform marine management, but the development and application of molecular tools in marine ecosystems has been siloed within agencies, making it difficult to integrate long term datasets.

The West Coast OBON is a project within the OBON Program within the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. We will work toward method harmonization and data integration of ’Omics ocean observing platforms on the North American West Coast in support of sustainable marine management.


Facilitate the adoption and harmonization of molecular tools by biomonitoring programs to develop an unprecedented overview of marine ecosystem dynamics


1) align eDNA methods to improve comparability of ocean observing platforms

2) develop bioinformatic work flows and metadata standards to facilitate eDNA method adoption

3) establish best practices for large scale biomolecular monitoring

Key Priorities

Short term

  • Complete eDNA sampling methods comparison experiment to identify optimal approaches

  • Sequence mitogenomes of ecologically important taxa to improve DNA reference libraries

  • Disseminate recommended protocols for eDNA work

Longer term

  • Assess water quality & ocean acidification/ hypoxia impacts

  • Identify and forecast HABs

  • Identify trophic drivers of fish assemblage dynamics

  • Map spatio-temporal distributions of protected species


Nastassia Patin, CalCOFI & SCCWRP

Erin Satterthwaite, CalCOFI & CA Sea Grant, SIO, UCSD

Zachary Gold, NOAA PMEL

Brice Semmens, CalCOFI, SIO, UCSD

Noelle Bowlin, CalCOFI, NOAA SWFSC

Andrew Thompson, CalCOFI, NOAA SWFSC

Rasmus Swalethorp, CalCOFI, SIO, UCSD

Susanna Theroux, SCCWRP

Stephen Weisberg, SCCWRP

Clarissa Anderson, SCCOOS, SIO, UCSD


Francisco Chavez, MBARI

Kathleen Pitz, MBARI

Katherine Barbeau, CCE-LTER, SIO, UCSD

Moira Decima, CCE-LTER, SIO, UCSD

Jeff Bowman, SIO, UCSD

Bob Miller, SBC-MBON, UCSB

Andrew Allen, CalCOFI, SIO, UCSD & JCVI

Kelly Goodwin, NOAA AOML

Gabrielle Canonico, NOAA IOOS