Larry Harris

Professor of Zoology

Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, 1970

Research Areas

Analysis of invertebrate associations; ecology of marine benthic communities

Research Emphasis

I was trained as an invertebrate zoologist with strong interests in life histories, behavior, and offensive and defensive strategies between members of associations. My research is most accurately described as quantitative and manipulative natural history. I am particularly interested in organisms and how they are adapted to their systems. This would be in contrast to a more theoretical approach that places primary emphasis on testing general models. Both are important-I just happen to like living animals first.

My primary focus is on the ecology of species-specific, predator-prey associations and the role of predation in early community succession. There are two groups of organisms that are my favorites for research, cnidarians and nudibranchs. Both of these are predators so I can look at predation at more than one level in the same association.

I am also continuing some long-term subtidal community studies using both fouling panels and benthic communities. The manipulations involve substrate angle, predator access and depth. Three separate studies have been underway since the late 1970s and are becoming increasingly valuable for observing long-term trends and investigating the roles of new invaders into the Gulf of Maine system.

In the last few years I have become increasingly interested in understanding how sustained species exploitation by man influences community structure. I am presently trying to use this knowledge to develop an integrated approach for enhancing recruitment and growth of sea urchins that might result in a sustainable fishery with healthy benthic communities.

Visit Larry Harris' Web Page

Courses Taught

  • ZOOL 503: Introduction to Marine Biology
  • TECH 797: Undergraduate Ocean Project
  • ZOOL 795: Invasive Species
  • ZOOL 628: Marine Invertebrate Evolution and Ecology
  • ZOOL 796: Intertidal Ecology


Harris, L.G. and A.C. Jones. 2005. Temperature, herbivory and epibiont acquisition as factors controlling the distribution and ecological role of an invasive seaweed. Biological Invasions (in press).

Harris, L.G., P.A. Madigan, and R.L. Toppin. 2004. Test of a suspended recruitment and juvenile grow out system for the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis in the Gulf of Maine. In Heinzeller, T. and J.H. Nebelsick (eds.), Proceedings of the 11th International Echinoderm Conference, Munich, Germany. A.A. Balkema, New York, pp. 277-282.

Harris, L.G., P. Madigan, and K. Waters. 2003. A hatchery system for green sea urchin aquaculture in the Gulf of Maine. World Aquaculture 34:32-38 & 71.

Harris, L.G., M.C. Tyrrell, C.T. Williams, C.G. Sisson, S. Chavanich, and C.M. Chester. 2001. Declining sea urchin recruitment in the Gulf of Maine: Is overharvesting to blame? In Barker, M. (ed.), Proc. 10th International Echinoderm Conf. A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam, pp. 439-444.

Harris, L.G. and M. Tyrrell. 2001. Changing community states in the Gulf of Maine: Synergism between invaders, overfishing and climate change. Biol. Invasions 3:9-21

Tyrrell, M. and L.G. Harris. 2000. Potential impact of the introduced Asian shore crab, Hemigrapsus sanguineus, in northern New England: Diet, feeding preferences, and overlap with the green crab, Carcinus maenus. In Pederson, J. (ed.), Proc. Natl. Conf. on Bioinvasions. M.I.T. Press, Cambridge, pp. 208-220.

Lambert, D. and L.G. Harris. 2000. Larval settlement of the green sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis, in the southern Gulf of Maine. Invert. Biol. 119:403-409

Harris, L.G. and A.C. Mathieson. 2000. Patterns of range expansion, niche shift and predator acquisition in Codium fragile ssp. tomentosoides and Membranipora membranacea in the Gulf of Maine. In Pederson, J. (ed.), Proc. Natl. Conf. on Mar. Bioinvasions. M.I.T. Press, Cambridge, pp. 46-56.


University of New Hampshire
Department of Biological Sciences
149 Spaulding Life Science Center
College Road
Durham, NH 03824

Research Areas: 
Benthic Ecology
Invertebrate Zoology
Marine Biology