Gregory Beck, PhD

Associate Professor of Biology – Immunology

Biology Department

College of Science and Mathematics

phone: 617.287.6619

email: greg.beck@umb.edu

Area of expertise: Immunology 

Areas of research/interest: His laboratory is applying contemporary techniques of biochemistry and molecular biology to an important emerging field in biomedicine: the evolution of the immune system. Our investigations build upon the discoveries that key immunoregulatory mechanisms that function in the mammalian immune response appear to be present in phylogenetically distinct invertebrate species. The wide distribution of such basic elements of innate host defense responses demonstrates their antiquity in animal evolution. By studying host defense mechanisms in lower animals, we may be able to unravel the complex web of interactions among cells and factors of vertebrate immune responses and help identify common mechanisms and novel strategies. Read more


Robert Bowen, PhD

Associate Professor of Environmental Policy and Management

School for the Environment

College of Science and Mathematics

phone: 617.287.7443

email: Bob.Bowen@umb.edu

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Jennifer Bowen, PhD

Assistant Professor of Biology — Microbial Ecology & Diversity; Ecosystem Ecology

Biology Department

College of Science and Mathematics

phone: 617.287.6626

email: Jennifer.Bowen@umb.edu

Areas of Expertise: Microbial Ecology & Diversity; Ecosystem Ecology

Areas of research/interest: Dr. Bowen is interested in all aspects of the interaction between humans and the environment. My work runs the gamut from modeling how changing land use on watersheds alters the geochemistry of receiving waters to understanding how climate change and ocean acidification will alter the structure and function of microbial communities. In particular, I have been focusing on both how human activities are altering the structure and function of microbial communities and in turn how microbial communities can help ameliorate pollution from human sources. Read more


 

Solange Brault, PhD

Associate Professor of Biology — Population and Conservation Ecology

Biology Department

College of Science and Mathematics

phone: 617.287.6683

email: solange.brault@umb.edu

Areas of Expertise: Population and Conservation Ecology

Areas of research/interest: Professor Brault’s research addresses, often in a conservation ecology context, the processes occurring within the life cycle and the ways that these can influence survival and reproduction at the population level. The main current topics are Demography of pilot whales and other marine mammals, and the effect of human exploitation; metapopulation dynamics of migratory bird populations; effects of the forms of density-dependence on population dynamics. Read more


Robert Chen, PhD

Professor of Organic Geochemistry and Marine Organic Chemistry

School for the Environment

College of Science and Mathematics

phone: 617.287.7491

email: bob.chen@umb.edu

Areas of research/interest: Chen studies the movement of carbon from land to ocean. His students follow the flow of the fresh water from the Neponset River watershed into the Boston Harbor estuary, a mixture of fresh water and salt water, which leads to Massachusetts Bay. “They call me an urban oceanographer because I study the ocean water right off Morrissey Boulevard,” he says. Chen refers to his class as a “teaching laboratory” and likes to experiment with different uses of technology and methods of instruction. He works closely with his graduate students in small groups and enjoys the challenge of “teaching other teachers.” His course on energy, through the Boston Energy in Science Teaching project, has attracted teachers who want to become more proficient in innovative teaching methods. Read more


 

Alan Christian, PhD

Associate Professor and Director of the Environmental Studies Program

Freshwater Ecology Graduate Program Director (Env Biol, MS Biology)

College of Science and Mathematics

Director and Co-PI of the Coastal Research in Environmental Sciences and Technology REU program

phone: 617.287.6639

email: Alan.Christian@umb.edu

Areas of Expertise: Freshwater Ecology
Areas of research/interest: Dr. Christian and his research lab conduct research on the life history, ecology, and evolution of freshwater organisms and the limnology of stream and lake ecosystems.  We use a variety of approaches in our investigations such as population/molecular genetics, microbial community structure, ecological stoichiometry, geochemistry, and stable CHNOS isotopes analyses, field and laboratory experiments, and geomorphology, GIS, and statistical techniques.  Furthermore, we also use habitat and fish and invertebrate communities surveys and analysis tools to assess water quality and to investigate the effects of perturbations on freshwater communities and ecosystems. Read more


 

Ellen Douglas, PhD

Intercampus Marine Science Graduate Program Campus Coordinator – Boston

Associate Professor of Hydrology, Hydromorphology, Water Resource Management

School for the Environment

College of Science and Mathematics

phone: 617.287.7437

email: ellen.douglas@umb.edu

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John Duff, LLM

Associate Professor of Environmental Law and Policy

Interim Graduate Program Director

School for the Environment

College of Science and Mathematics

Interim Graduate Program Director

phone: 617.287.7445

email: John.Duff@umb.edu

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Ron Etter, PhD

Professor of Biology – Evolution and Ecology of Marine Invertebrates

Biology Department

College of Science and Mathematics

phone: 617.287.6613

email: ron.etter@umb.edu

Areas of Expertise: Evolution and Ecology of Marine Invertebrates

Areas of research/interest: We are exploring the ecology and evolution of marine organisms to determine the forces that control the origin and maintenance of biodiversity in the oceans and identify reasonable conservation strategies. Current projects include: (1) Experimental studies on the forces that shape patterns of diversity in the deep sea; (2) Population genetic analyses of shallow and deep water organisms to investigate dispersal, gene flow, population differentiation and speciation; (3) Exploring the relative importance of local and regional processes in controlling the species richness of subtidal rock wall and coral reef communities; (4) The influence of wave energy on the biology, ecology and evolution of intertidal organisms; and (5) Theoretical metapopulation models of patch dynamics. Read more


 

Anamarija Frankic

Director, Green Harbors Project

Founder of the LivingLabs

phone: 617.287.4415

email: anamarija.frankic@umb.edu

Areas of Expertise: Coastal ecosystems conservation and management

Areas of research/interest: Anamarija Frankic is the director of the Green Harbors Project and an adjunct professor at the University of Split, Croatia. She also serves as an environmental advisor to the Government of Croatia, Ministry of Culture. Her interdisciplinary work is grounded in biology, ecology, limnology and marine science. She has focused on applying science in coastal ecosystems conservation and management nationally and internationally. Professor Frankic helped initiate and develop major conservation projects in Croatia and the Adriatic region funded through the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the World Bank, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), and the European Union. Because her work coincides with that of the Center for Governance and Sustainability, Frankic is a member of the center’s core team. Read more


 

Eugene Gallagher, PhD

Associate Professor of Benthic Ecology and Statistics

School for the Environment

College of Science and Mathematics

phone: 617.287.7453

email: Eugene.Gallagher@umb.edu

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Allen M. Gontz, PhD

Associate Professor of Coastal Geography and Geophysics

School for the Environment

College of Science and Mathematics (SFE Undergraduate Program Director)

phone: 617.287.4416

email: Allen.Gontz@umb.edu

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William Hagar, PhD

Associate Dean

Biology Department – Environmental Monitoring, Plant Biochemistry and Photobiology

College of Science and Mathematics

phone: 617.287.5776

email: William.Hagar@umb.edu

Areas of Expertise: Environmental Monitoring, Plant Biochemistry, and Photobiology

Areas of research/interest: Research is centered on an experimental approach to biochemical reactions and environmental perturbations. The biochemical studies involve the use of instrumentation to analyze plant protein complexes. The environmental monitoring work is centered on measuring anthropogenic inputs on water systems, such as acid precipitation on freshwater ponds and pools in Massachusetts. Environmental monitoring includes the development of on-site instrumentation to monitor pH, temperature, and oxygen concentration, and also the collection and analysis of freshwater organisms. We use techniques such as stable isotope composition of organisms to determine the structure of food webs and possible effects of anthropogenic inputs. My laboratory group also is developing methods to measure methylmercury in fish tissue using an enzyme-based analysis. Read more


 

Robyn Hannigan, PhD

Dean

School for the Environment

College of Science and Mathematics

phone: 617.287.4857

email: Robyn.Hannigan@umb.edu

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Richard Kesseli, PhD

Professor and Chair of Biology — Comparative Genomics, Molecular Evolution

Biology Department

College of Science and Mathematics

phone: 617.287.6627

email: rick.kesseli@umb.edu

Areas of Expertise: Chairman of Biology Comparative Genomics, Molecular Evolution

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Sarah Oktay, PhD

Managing Director

UMass Boston Nantucket Field Station

phone: 508.228.5268 Lab: 508.228.9475

email: sarah.oktay@umb.edu

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Michael Rex, PhD

Professor of Biology – Deep-Sea Ecology; Biogeography

Biology Department

College of Science and Mathematics

phone: 617.287.6678

email: michael.rex@umb.edu

Areas of Expertise: Deep-Sea Ecology, Biogeography

Areas of research/interest: His research is centered on the ecology and evolution of deep-sea benthic communities. It includes analyses of bathymetric and global-scale patterns of biodiversity and their causes. We are using satellite imagery to examine the relationship of surface production to community structure in the deep sea at different temporal and spatial scales. Geographic variation in body size of mollusks is being explored to study adaptation to the deep-sea environment. Multivariate analyses of shell architecture and mitochondrial DNA are being employed to study patterns of population differentiation in deep-sea mollusks. Adaptive radiation and taxon cycles are being investigated by documenting patterns of taxonomic diversity. A major long-term research goal is to synthesize patterns of distribution, geographic variation, taxonomic composition and life histories to formulate a model of evolution in deep-sea invertebrates. Read more 


 

William E. Robinson, PhD

Professor of Environmental and Aquatic Toxicology

School for the Environment

College of Science and Mathematics

phone: 617.287.7456

email: William.Robinson@umb.edu

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Crystal Barker Schaaf, PhD

Professor of Remote Sensing/GIS

School for the Environment

College of Science and Mathematics

phone: 617.287.7440

email: Crystal.Schaaf@umb.edu

Areas of research/interest: Crystal Barker Schaaf is working on the development and use of operational products from NASA’s MODerate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) to monitor the Earth’s environments from the Terra and Aqua polar-orbiting space platforms. She is a science team member for both MODIS and the VIIRS (Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite) sensor on board the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership platform (NPP is the precursor to the next generation of national meteorological satellites). Read more


 

Michael Shiaris, PhD

Professor of Biology — Microbial Ecology

School for the Environment

College of Science and Mathematics

phone: 617.287.6675

email: michael.shiaris@umb.edu

Areas of Expertise: Microbial Ecology

Areas of research/interest: Currently, I have a Master’s student and two undergraduates working in three general areas of environmental microbiology/microbial ecology. One area is bacterial indicators of pollution and their survival in coastal environments, the second is the bacterial population ecology in coastal environments, and the third area is plant root-bacterial interactions (with Profs Adan Colon-Carmona and Rick Kesseli). We use DNA fingerprinting, DNA sequencing, and routine microbiological techniques to study bacteria in coastal environments and the rhizosphere. I also interact with the Coastal Environmental Network Sensor group to develop remote bacterial sensors. Read more


 

David G. Terkla, PhD

Professor of Economics and Dean

College of Liberal Arts

Professor of Economics, College of Liberal Arts

phone: 617.287.6500

email: david.terkla@umb.edu

Areas of Expertise: Environmental and Natural Resource Economics, Public Finance, Regional Economic Development. Read more 


 

David Timmons, PhD

Assistant Professor of Economics

College of Liberal Arts

phone: 617.287.6945

email: david.timmons@umb.edu

Areas of Expertise: Environmental and ecological economics, Urbanization environmental impacts, Renewable energy economics, Local food systems. Read more 


Juanita Urban-Rich, PhD

Associate Professor of Zooplankton Ecology

School for the Environment

College of Science and Mathematics

phone: 617.287-7485

email: Juanita.Urban-Rich@umb.edu

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Xuchen Wang

Research Associate

School for the Environment

College of Science and Mathematics

phone: 617.287.7486

email: Xuchen.Wang@umb.edu

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Jack Wiggin

Director, Urban Harbors Institute

phone: 617.287.5570

email: Jack.Wiggin@umb.edu

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Meng Zhou, PhD

Professor of Physical Oceanography; Zooplankton Ecology

School for the Environment

College of Science and Mathematics

phone: 617.287.7419

email: Meng.Zhou@umb.edu

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For a complete list of UMass Boston Faculty members, please visit the faculty web page.