Climate Change

Climate Experts


From monitoring the impact of a warming climate on ecosystems from the Chesapeake Bay to the Arctic, to developing ways to capture carbon dioxide and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, UMCES scientists work close to home and around the world to understand and tackle the global environmental challenge of climate change and its impact on the environment.

For media inquiries, contact Amy Pelsinsky, Assistant Vice President for Communications, at or 410-330-1389.

Feng Chen is a marine microbiologist focused on the diversity and function of microorganisms (viruses, bacteria, cyanobacteria, and microalgae) and their ecological role in the marine ecosystem. He also develops algae-based biotechnology as a solution for sustainable environments and renewable energy. 

How green algae could clean up greenhouse gases

Mark Cochrane is a wildfire expert documenting the characteristics, behavior, and severe effects of fire in tropical and temperate forests linked to human land-use and management. He investigates the drivers and effects of forest degradation­–fire, fragmentation, and logging–and the mitigating effects of forest and land management.

Earth ablaze: The Increasing threat of wildfires
Wildland fire: Land management and climate change

Victoria Coles is a physical oceanographer who studies how weather, currents, and ocean mixing affect biogeochemistry and ecology in the coastal and open ocean. She analyzes historical data and climate models, as well as develops new modeling capabilities to develop predictions and understanding of how climate is changing and how we might predict its future impact and evolution. Her work has helped the State of Maryland to understand the impacts of climate change on Chesapeake Bay and the coastal zone through the development of an assessment of climate impacts. 

Climate change already affecting the Chesapeake Bay region

Lee Cooper is a biogeochemist studying how Arctic marine ecosystems and biogeochemical cycles are responding to environmental changes at high latitudes. He has developed active, sea-going research programs, including work in the Bering and Chukchi seas for over 30 years. Service includes chairing the Marine Working Group of the International Arctic Science Committee, working to develop the Arctic Action Plan for the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development and other science planning activities with Russian scientists and for the US National Academies.

How are North America’s Arctic ecosystems responding to sea ice loss?
Late-season Arctic research cruise reveals unseasonably warm ocean temperatures and active ecosystem

Andrew Elmore is a landscape ecologist focusing on ecosystem interactions with land-use and land-cover change. His work includes the effect of groundwater decline on wind erosion and air quality in deserts, the impact of urban stream burial on stream network structure and functioning, modeling coastal habitat change associate with sea level rise and, understanding forest’s seasonal responses changes associated with climate change.

Scientists investigate climate changes in forests
The Earth is facing a nitrogen shortage due to climate change

Matt Fitzpatrick is a spatial ecologist who studies global change and biodiversity. His research aims to understand what determines where species occur and how climate change may alter where species could live in the future in order to inform conservation and management. He developed the Future Urban Climates web application to help the public visualize how climate change will feel in 60 years.

Climate of North American cities will shift hundreds of miles in one generation
Scientist explains climate change using maps 
Want to know what your city will feel like in 2080? Look 500 miles south
Study reveals Maryland's climate future
Map shows your city’s hotter future

Pat Glibert is an ecologist focusing on microscopic algae called phytoplankton that cause harmful algal blooms, a dangerous environmental phenomenon that is on the rise due to warming global temperatures. Her work has taken her across the globe to study and aid in the prevention, management, and understanding of harmful algal blooms.

What's a harmful algal bloom? UMCES' Pat Glibert explains
Harmful Algal Blooms

Peter Goodwin is president of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and an expert in ecosystem restoration, ecohydraulics, and enhancement of river, wetland and estuarine systems. He is recognized internationally for his research with important contributions in the field of modeling flows, sediment transport, and river channel evolution. He has served as a scientific advisor for several government agencies related to river and wetland management issues.

A Decade of decision
What could climate change mean for Baltimore and Maryland?


Jackie Grebmeier is a world-renowned biological oceanographer who has been working for more than 30 years to understand how Arctic marine ecosystems respond to environmental changes, particularly the importance of biological systems living on the bottom of Arctic seas. She has played a national and international leadership role in Arctic research, including leading an international team of scientists to establish a Distributed Biological Observatory in the North American Arctic. This model for coordination of Arctic observations is now being adapted to develop observing systems in the Atlantic influenced Arctic. She is also serving in a leadership role on the internationally coordinated Synoptic Arctic Survey and has been named a AAAS Fellow.

Late-season arctic research cruise reveals unseasonably warm ocean temperatures and active ecosystem
Climate Warming and the Changing Pacific Arctic Marine Ecosystem

Lora Harris is an estuarine ecologist who applies field and modeling approaches to address important questions regarding nutrient dynamics, primary production and ecosystem structure and function in a range of estuarine ecosystems. She is especially interested in how climate and management actions interact to affect water quality characteristics in estuaries and lagoons.

Chesapeake waters are warming, study finds, posing challenges to healing bay
Bubbling the bay’s dead zone

Hali Kilbourne is a climate scientist looking at the Earth’s past to help understand and predict our planet’s future. Her research focuses on understanding the climate of the last 2000 years to provide context for modern changes and to improve our understanding of climate system processes driving climate variability. This information can help us improve climate models used for predicting future climate change.

Climate Change 101
Sea level rise in Maryland: Preparing for future and current change

Ming Li is a physical oceanographer focused on the regional impact of climate change and extreme weather events on estuaries and coastal oceans. He is also actively engaged in interdisciplinary research to address complex environmental problems such as hypoxia, ocean acidification, and harmful algal blooms.

Fighting surging seas in a changing climate
Sea level rise, changing tides and stronger storm surge in the Chesapeake Bay

Yantao Li works in the area of microalgal biology and biotechnology, with the goal to understand abiotic and biotic interactions of microalgae with the environment, and to engineer algae to mitigate carbon dioxide emission and for production of biofuels and high-value products.

$3M grant to study sequestration potential of algae

Slava Lyubchich is a statistician working with statistical and machine learning methods to quantify climate-induced risks. His research studies the relationships between weather and weather induced insurance losses and forecasting the effects of climate change.

Risk assessment in the face of climate change
Can we climate proof our insurance?

William Nardin is an environmental engineer focused on the impact and the evolution of coastal environments from storms and sea level rise using numerical modeling, field work, remote sensing, and laboratory experiments.

Cherry Blossoms and Climate Change: How warming temperatures and rising sea levels are threatening the iconic blooms

David Nelson is an ecologist who uses paleoecological archives to investigate the effects of climate change on the structure and function of ecosystems. He is also involved with efforts to mitigate the effects of renewable-energy development on bat and bird populations.

Wind energy: An ecological challenge
Local wind energy development has broad consequences for golden eagles

Mario Tamburri is an expert in coastal observing technologies and marine chemical ecology. He works with sustainable urban waterfronts and aims to reduce the risk of invasive species through commercial shipping. He has developed an international reputation for his work on green ship and green port innovations and his research has helped set regulatory standards in the U.S. and internationally. He serves on the International Maritime Organization's working group on biofouling management.

Solutions to ship introductions of invasive species

Dave Secor is a fisheries expert who studies the ecology and migration of fished stocks and species of concern. A focus of his work is on the impact of offshore wind development on fishery resources. He advises the Chesapeake Bay Program and other state, federal, and conservation agencies on fisheries stock assessment, climate impacts, and interactions of fisheries and offshore wind development. 

Scientists examine black sea bass ahead of offshore turbine project
Striped bass are built for success:  Weathering pollution, climate change, and their own charismatic stripes

Jeremy Testa is a coastal marine ecologist focused on the processes of eutrophication, nutrient cycling, dissolved oxygen dynamics, and ocean acidification. He uses complex modeling, lab, and field work to assess how climate change impacts acidification and oxygen depletion in the Chesapeake Bay.

Maryland draws on UMCES expertise on ocean acidification
Forecasting dead zones in Chesapeake Bay

Ryan Woodland is an ecologist whose research focuses on trophic interactions in coastal food webs and how environmental factors, often human-induced, influence the processes that support the productivity of estuaries and coastal marine ecosystems.

Qian Zhang works with scientists, professionals, and managers in the Chesapeake Bay partnership to explore natural and human-based causes behind the current status and long-term trends in the water quality of the streams and rivers in the Bay watershed. 

Xin Zhang’s research combines natural science and social science to evaluate how socioeconomic and biogeochemical processes affect the global nutrient cycle and the sustainability of agricultural production. Her work offers guidance to policymakers on mitigating nutrient pollution while meeting global food and biofuel demands.

Researchers release first-of-its-kind quantitative assessment for sustainable agriculture
Measuring nitrogen to improve its management
Seeking sustainable agriculture

Jian Zhao is a physical oceanographer seeking to understand oceanic processes in the upper ocean and their roles in the global climate system. Zhao uses modern innovative instrument platforms such as autonomous underwater vehicles and numerical modeling to understand the ocean’s role in climate.

MEDIA CONTACT: Amy Pelsinsky, Assistant Vice President for Communications, 410-330-1389,