Jennifer Seavey

  • Executive Director, Shoals Marine Laboratory
  • Research Faculty, School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering, University of New Hampshire
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Natural Resources, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University

Ph.D. University of Massachusetts, Amherst 2009

Research areas

Landscape ecology, climate change, coastal ecology, ornithology

Research Emphasis

My primary focus is the influence of anthropogenic environmental change on wildlife populations and ecosystem function. Over the last decade, I have honed in on how climate change, especially as it combines with other anthropogenic stressors, influences coastal ecosystem function. In a Florida study, my colleagues and I revealed that substantial loss of Lower Keys Marsh Rabbit habitat over the past 50 years is directly attributable to sea-level rise (McCleery et al. 2012). Among shorebirds in New York, my co-authors and I demonstrated that current human infrastructure limits possible future habitat expansion, which is vital to plover recovery in the face of rising seas (Seavey et al. 2011). Sea level rise is also implicated in our assessment of the decline of oysters in Gulf of Mexico over the last 40 years (Seavey et al. 2011). Among oysters, we also found that climate change impacts combine with other existing human-induced stressors, freshwater reduction, to further reduce viability. These results have broad implications for estuary systems where human development and climate change are merging to induce long-term changes in the fresh/salt water balance. I am currently working in the area of Seabird ecology, recovery, and habitat management.

Courses taught

  • Marine Environmental Science and Conservation (MEFB 515)
  • Marine Conservation Biology
  • Coastal Disturbance Ecology

Shoals Marine Laboratory, "Historic island offers unique educational experience" learn more.
SML Tern Conservation Program, "What Taking Care of Terns Tells Us" UNH Today learn more.

Peer Reviewed Publications

  • Frederick, P., N. Vitale, B. Pine, J.R. Seavey, L. Sturmer. In press. Reversing a rapid decline in oyster reefs: effects of durable substrate on oyster populations, elevations, and aquatic bird community composition. Journal of Shellfish Research.
  • Jacobson, S., J.R. Seavey, R. Mueller. In press. Integrated Science and Art Education for Creative Climate Change Communication. Ecology and Society.
  • Seavey, J.R., P. Frederick, V. Doig. 2014. Roseate spoonbills (Ajaja Ajaja) nesting on Seahorse Key in the Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge. Florida Field Naturalist 42(2).
  • Simms, S.A., J.R. Seavey, C. Curtin. 2013 Room to move? Threatened shorebird habitat in the path of sea level rise-dynamic beaches, multiple users, and mixed ownership: A case study from Rhode Island, USA. Journal of Coastal Conservation 17(3):339-350.
  • Schmidt, J.A. R. McCleery, J. R. Seavey, S. E. Cameron Devitt, P. M. Schmidt. 2012. Impacts of a half century of sea-level rise and development on an endangered mammal. Global Change Biology 18(12): 3536–3542.
  • Seavey, J. R., W. E. Pine, III, P. Frederick, L. Sturmer, M. Berrigan. 2011. Decadal Changes in Oyster Reefs in the Big Bend of Florida's Gulf Coast. Ecosphere 2(10):114.
  • Seavey, J. R., B. Gilmer, K. McGarigal. 2011. Effect of sea-level rise on piping plover (Charadrius melodus) breeding habitat. Biological Conservation 144: 393–401.
  • Seavey, J. R. 2005. Species Accounts for Ash-throated Flycatcher, Bald Eagle, Prairie Falcon, Purple Martin, Osprey, Common Raven in Birds Of Washington: Status And Distribution (T.R. Wahl, B. Tweit, and S. G. Mlodinow, editors), Oregon State University Press, Corvallis, OR.
  • Seavey, J. R. 2003. Shade-grown coffee and northwest migratory birds: What is the link? Birding 35(1):62-71.
  • Seavey, J. R. 2001. Natural history of the ash-throated flycatcher in Washington State. Washington Birds 7:36-43.
  • Seavey, J. R. and D. Hardesty. 1993. Breeding bird census-disturbed coastal scrub B. Journal of Field Ornithology 64 (supplement):97.

Morse Hall, Suite 113
8 College Road
Durham, NH 03824

Research Areas: 
Bivalve Mollusks
Climate Science
Coastal Restoration
Conservation Biology
Estuarine Science
Wildlife Ecology