Brian Helmuth

Professor
Location: 1 MSC (Marine Science Center), Boston, MA 02115

Area(s) of Expertise

  • Environmental Policy; Ecological Forecasting; Sustainability, Marine ecology

Publications

About

My research and teaching focus on predicting the likely ecological impacts of climate change on coastal ecosystems, and on the development of products that are scientifically accurate, understandable, and useful by a diverse array of stakeholders. A major goal of this approach is to inform decision makers with scientifically accurate…

My research and teaching focus on predicting the likely ecological impacts of climate change on coastal ecosystems, and on the development of products that are scientifically accurate, understandable, and useful by a diverse array of stakeholders. A major goal of this approach is to inform decision makers with scientifically accurate and useful forecasts.  While much of my work has focused on North American rocky intertidal ecosystems, my students and I also collaborate with colleagues around the world, including Australia, Brunei; CanadaChinaHong KongIraq; ItalySouth Africa; and the U.K.

Our work has shown some surprising results, and has suggested that our expectations of where to look for the effects of climate change in nature can be more complex than previously anticipated. For example, our research has shown that along the Pacific coast of the U.S., animal temperatures at sites in Oregon and Washington can be as hot or hotter than sites much farther to the south in California, due to the complex interaction of climate and tides in the region. This complexity suggests that unless we know where and when to look for impacts of climate change, many early impacts could go unnoticed.

My lab group frequently collaborates with K-12 teachers and students, and we work to develop cutting edge educational materials with informal educators such as the Museum of Science, Boston

Prof. Helmuth is a joint appointment between the College of Science and the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs.

Professor Helmuth in the news

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Understanding climate change is hard work. These robotic mussels are doing the heavy lifting.

Researcher in the Helmuth lab have developed artificial mussels to take the temperature of a changing climate for them.
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Using drones to model climate survivors in Downeast Maine

Anyone who has spent a day at a New England beach knows that it is often colder on the coast, and may have regretted not packing a sweater with their bathing suit and flip flops. Compared to the chilly air, the water can be even colder still, sometimes shockingly so. Like a beachgoer jumping in […]