Dr. Donald Boesch - Research Interests

My dissertation research and much of my earlier research focused on the ecology of benthic communities in estuarine and continental shelf environments. This work addressed distribution patterns in relationship to environmental factors (involving extensive application of multivariate statistics), diversity and community structure, benthic communities as indicators of environmental health, the effects of organisms on sediment structure, and predation by bottom-feeding fishes and invertebrates. 

While serving as Executive Director of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium I initiated or participated in research programs on: processes affecting coastal wetland loss, the causes and consequences of the oxygen depletion of bottom waters on the continental shelf, and the effects of discharges (particularly produced waters) from oil and gas production facilities. 

Since joining the faculty of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science my research activities have necessarily become exclusively synthetic as a result of my duties as the Center's President. I have been performing research and writing on the use of science in environmental policy and management, particularly related to understanding the causes of and solutions to coastal eutrophication, and on the impacts of global climate change.

Note to Prospective Graduate Students

I serve on the Graduate Faculty and participate in the Graduate Program in Marine-Estuarine-Environmental Science.  However, because of my heavy administrative duties, I do not presently maintain an active research laboratory.  Consequently, I can only consider the supervision of experienced students interested in pursuing research on the use of science in environmental policy.  

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