Meet Brian Helmuth, Ph.D.

Brian Helmuth, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Marine and Environmental Sciences and School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs; Director, Sustainability Science and Policy Initiative,Northeastern University. Helmuth Lab.

Dr. Helmuth appeared on SftPublic's Contemporary Science Issues and Innovations on December 17, 2014 to discuss Coastal Ecosystems and Climate Change. The following summer (June, 2015) we visited the at Northeastern University Marine Science Center, Nahant, Massachusetts to record Understanding Coastal Ecosystems, a mini-documentary on the work of Dr. Helmuth and the researchers in his lab.


The vitality of coastal ecosystems is of critical importance to life on Earth. Dr Helmuth's lab is one of the most prominent research groups to carry out very complex investigations of these ecosystems. Over recent decades, the increase of municipal development, pollutants and climate change have imposed severe pressures on coastal ecosystems. The result is a serious decline of many species essential to the vitality of ocean ecosystems.

Using advanced techniques, the Helmuth lab explores the effects of climate and climate change on the physiology and ecology of marine organisms. Patterns of growth, reproduction, and survival in important coastal species are carefully monitored. A major goal of this approach is to inform decision makers with scientifically accurate and useful forecasts. Although Dr. Helmuth's primary focus is on North American rocky intertidal ecosystems, his lab collaborates with researchers around the world. His website contains excellent information for teachers, students and the general public. Dr. Helmuth is deeply committed to public outreach and also to providing science teachers with opportunities to participate in the collection of data at his lab.