Biogeography of human impacts

photo: Ronald C Saari

photo: Ronald C Saari

Threats to marine ecosystems from human activities are diverse and widespread, affecting nearly all ecosystems globally to varying degrees. Likewise, conservation measures to mitigate negative human impacts are growing in number and scope. Our research in this area uses biogeographic comparisons to shed light on how different types of marine ecosystems respond to both different types and levels of human impacts, primarily fishing, as well as the conservation measures designed to protect ecosystems.

Projects in progress

We have large, ongoing NSF-funded collaboration with colleagues from the Australian Institute of Marine Science and the University of Tasmania examining if and how the cascading, indirect effects of fishing (i.e., trophic cascades) vary over latitude. Stay tuned!


Luiz, O.J., R.M. Woods, E.M.P. Madin, and J.S. Madin. 2016. Predicting IUCN extinction risk categories for the world’s data-deficient groupersConservation Letters. DOI: 10.1111/conl.12230.

Luiz, O.J., E.M.P. Madin, J.S. Madin, A.H. Baird, and A.S. Grutter. 2016. A tropical cleaner wrasse finds new clients at the frontierFrontiers in Ecology and the Environment 14 (2): 110-111.

Madin, J.S. and E.M.P. Madin. 2015. The full extent of the global coral reef crisisConservation Biology. Published online: 28 July 2015.

Luiz, O.J., A.P. Allen, D.R. Robertson, S.R. Floeter, and J.S. Madin. 2015. Seafarers or castaways: ecological traits associated with rafting dispersal in tropical reef fishes. Journal of Biogeography. Published online: 17 Jul. 2015.

Madin, E.M.P., S.D. Gaines, J.S. Madin, A.K. Link, P.J. Lubchenco, R.L. Selden and R.R. Warner. 2012. Do behavioral foraging responses of prey to predators function similarly in restored and pristine foodwebs? PLoS One 7(3): e32390. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0032390.

Relevant collaborative projects

Beck, H., D. Feary, A. Fowler, E.M.P. Madin, and D. Booth. In review. Temperate predators and seasonal water temperatures impact feeding of a range-expanding tropical fish. Marine Biology.

Salomon, A.K., S.K. Gaichas, N.T. Shears, J.E. Smith, E.M.P. Madin, and S.D. Gaines. 2010. Key Features and Context-Dependence of Fishery-Induced Trophic Cascades. Conservation Biology 24(2): 382-394.

Halpern, B.S., C.M. Ebert, C.V. Kappel, E.M.P. Madin, F. Micheli, M. Perry, K.A. Selkoe, and S. Walbridge. 2009. Global priority areas for incorporating land sea connections in marine conservation. Conservation Letters 2: 189-196.

Granek, E.F., E.M.P. Madin, M.A. Brown, W. Figueira, D.S. Cameron, Z. Hogan, G. Kristianson, P. de Villiers, J.E. Williams, J. Post, S. Zahn, and R. Arlinghaus. 2008. Engaging recreational fishers in management and conservation: global case studies. Conservation Biology 22(5): 1125-1134.

Halpern, B.S., S. Walbridge, K.A. Selkoe, C.V. Kappel, F. Micheli, C. D’Agrosa, J. Bruno, K.S. Casey, C. Ebert, H.E. Fox, R. Fujita, D. Heinemann, H.S. Lenihan, E.M.P. Madin, M. Perry, E.R. Selig, M. Spalding, R. Steneck and R. Watson. 2008. Assessing and mapping the global impact of human activities on marine ecosystems. Science 319: 948-952.