Research, Education, and Public Service

International scientists and students are invited to carry out programs at the University of California Berkeley's Richard B. Gump South Pacific Research Station. While the focus of the Gump Station is field-based scientific research and advanced training, activities in all academic disciplines are welcome.  Research spans levels of biocultural organization, from genetics and molecular biology, through organismal and population biology, to anthropology, economics, and the social sciences. 


To address the major questions and challenges of the 21st century, scientists will increasingly attempt to synthesize complex systems at different scales.  Moorea is a complete socio-ecosystem, including coupled marine and terrestrial habitats, that has emerged as a key site for collaborative international research and advanced training. The island is an ambitious but tractable scale for whole-system study.  Furthermore, its archipelago setting allows comparison with other Polynesian islands sharing common biocultural ancestry (monophyletic) but differing in key parameters (e.g., size and age) that are likely to affect vulnerability and resilience. Building model ecosystems for transformative science requires an unprecedented concentration of human capital and technological infrastructure.  Focusing on tractable socio-ecosystems, such as Moorea, facilitates transdisciplnary science, enabling researchers to re-assemble the parts of a system - as studied by specialists - to understand the functioning of the whole.  Such knowledge is vital for managing human interactions with natural systems to achieve prosperous and sustainable societies.


  • To promote research, education, and public service in global change science, tropical biocomplexity, and sustainable development.
  • To develop Moorea as a model system to understand how physical, biological, and cultural processes interact to shape tropical socio-ecosystems, particularly coral reefs.


The Gump Station property in Moorea is owned by the Regents of the University of California and administered by the Berkeley campus through the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research.  The Station's Executive Director, Neil Davies, is a UC employee based permanently in Moorea reporting to the Vice Chancellor for Research in Berkeley.

Faculty Advisor George Roderick at Berkeley chairs the Gump Station's Faculty Advisory Committee with representatives from across the University of California system to provide strategic guidance and academic oversight. Current members include:

  • George Roderick - UC Berkeley (Chair)
  • Daniel Kammen - UC Berkeley 
  • Patrick V. Kirch - UC Berkeley
  • Peggy Fong - UC Los Angeles
  • Russell Schmitt - UC Santa Barbara
  • Giacomo Bernardi - UC Santa Cruz
  • Larry Smarr - UC San Diego
  • James Leichter - UC San Diego
Previous board members:


The University of California (through its Berkeley, Santa Barbara, San Diego, and Los Angeles campuses and Office of the President) have contributed to the Station's operating budget.  The majority of the operating budget comes from user fees, endowment income, and grants.