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Geoffrey Trussell

Geoffrey Trussell

Chair, Director, and Professor

Mailing Address:

4 MSC (Marine Science Center), Nahant, MA 01908


  • Community Ecology, Ecosystem Ecology, Evolutionary Ecology

My research program currently focuses on a number of important issues in evolutionary, community and ecosystem ecology.  These interests are being explored in a number of systems including rocky intertidal shores, old fields, and freshwater amphibian communities.  In a nutshell, I think interesting questions are far more important than interesting systems but, of course, if one can have both then things are that much better!  Much of our current work emphasizes the evolutionary and ecological significance of predation risk, with an emphasis on the evolution of phenotypic plasticity and inducible defenses, the ecological significance of nonconsumptive predator effects, and the influence of trait-mediated indirect interactions on community dynamic and ecosystem function.  However, we also spend a good amount of time on other topics including the factors influencing invasive and exotic plant diversity in terrestrial systems, the influence of species diversity on ecosystem function, and the impact of climate change on natural food webs.

My research is highly collaborative and involves some outstanding colleagues including Oswald Schmitz (Yale University), Barney Luttbeg (Oklahoma State University), Matthew Bracken (Northeastern University), Steve Vollmer (Northeastern University), Lee Smee (Texas A&M), Jeremy Long (San Diego State University) and Osamu Kishida (Hokkaido University).

Geoffrey Trussell in the news

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Where environmental science and policy collide: A look at the new Master’s Program

Northeastern has recognized the societal need to train environmental professionals that can connect the science with the policy. Northeastern’s new Master’s program in Environmental Science and Policy is designed for students interested in gaining expertise that integrates science and policy.

3Qs: Why better infrastructure could solve Rio’s water problems

The Olympic sailing competition began Monday in Rio de Janeiro’s Guanabara Bay, the site of extensive water pollution that officials have warned is a health risk for the athletes. Geoff Trussell, director of Northeastern’s Marine Science Center, explains how bad the pollution can be for the aquatic ecosystem and what needs to be done to fix the problem.