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.
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UMCES Experts on Climate Change
Helen Bailey studies protected species in order to understand their movements and habitat use, and inform conservation and management, including monitoring the underwater sound levels of offshore wind development to understand the environmental impacts on marine mammals.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.