Encuentro de los mares

Marine ecologist


Karen McGlathery

Director of the UVA's Environmental Resilience Institute, she also leads the Virginia Coast Reserve Long Term Ecological Research Project

Focusing on changes to ecosystems in shallow coastal systems, this researcher delves into the role played in these changes by climate, excessive enrichment of nutrients and species invasions.

An ecologist from Cornell University, her research concentrates on the effects of environmental change, particularly climate change, changes in usage of land and species invasions in coastal marine ecosystems. Over the last 20 years, her research team has studied the restoration of seagrass and its resilience in the Virginia Coast Reserve.

She is particularly interested in “blue carbon” sequestration in coastal habitats and in the effects of marine heatwaves on seagrass ecosystems. In addition to the east coast of Virginia, she has also worked in New England, Florida, the Bermudas, Denmark, New Zealand and Mozambique. 

A large portion of her work involves interdisciplinary collaboration with experts in oceanography, geomorphology, hydrology, economics, engineering, ethics, religious studies, law, architecture and data science. The studies concentrate on climate change and on the resilience of ecosystems and communities, especially within the context of decisions for equal climate adaptation and mitigation.

Karen McGlathery