| Dr. Boris
MSc (University of Kiel, Germany, 1996),
PhD (University of Kiel, Germany, 2000)
PostDoc Dalhousie University (2000-2003)
PostDoc Leibniz Institute for Marine Science, Kiel, Germany (2003-2004)
Assistant Professor in Marine Conservation Biology, Dalhousie University (2004-2008)
Associate Professor, Biology, Dalhousie University (2008-2011)
Full Professor, Biology, Dalhousie University (Since 2012)
marine conservation biology, biodiversity science, community ecology, macroecology
y interests in teaching and research focus on the causes and consequences of changes in marine biodiversity, and its conservation on a global scale. The oceanic ecosystem is by far the largest on Earth, covering more than 70% of the planet by area and an even larger percentage by volume. Human domination of this ecosystem is rapidly expanding through the effects of overfishing, habitat destruction, pollution and climate change. Serious conservation concerns arise as many species are driven to dangerously low levels.
Apart from looming species extinctions there are some wider ecosystem concerns. Species do play an important role in maintaining aquatic ecosystem functioning and the elimination of some large predators and herbivores from inshore areas has triggered cascading ecosystem effects, which contributed to the loss of ecosystem goods and services and the collapse of some coastal ecosystems. If similar changes occur in the open ocean they are bound to be massive in scale, and probably difficult to reverse. This is why our lab tries to quantify both patterns and trends in marine biodiversity, to understand the consequences of these changes, and to document practical solutions that can halt or reverse deleterious trends. In our research my students and I employ a combination of experimental, observational, and analytical techniques.
| Examples of Students'Research
Worm B, Branch TA (2012) The future of fish. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 27: 594-599
Worm, B. & Tittensor, D. P. (2011) Range contraction in large pelagic predators. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 108: 11942–11947
Mora C, Tittensor DP, Adl S, Simpson AGB, Worm B (2011) How many species are there on Earth and in the ocean? PLoS Biology 9: e1001127
Boyce DG, Lewis MR, Worm B. (2010) Global phytoplankton decline over the past century. Nature 466: 591-596.
Tittensor DP, Mora C, Jetz W, Lotze HK, Ricard D, Vanden Berghe, E, Worm B (2010) Global patterns and predictors of marine biodiversity across taxa. Nature 466: 1098-1101
Worm B, Hilborn R, Baum JK, Branch TA, Collie JS, Costello C, Fogarty MJ, Fulton EA, Hutchings JA, Jennings S, Jensen OP, Lotze HK, Mace PA, McClanahan TR, Minto C, Palumbi SR, Parma AM, Ricard D, Rosenberg AA, Watson R, Zeller D. (2009) Rebuilding global fisheries. Science 325: 578-585,