Historical Marine Ecology and Applied Conservation

Research interests
The current pace and scale of human impact on coastal and marine ecosystems requires that conservation science take a comparatively large-scale approach. My research quantifies ecological change and identifies management successes over centuries and across large geographic areas in order to provide the perspective needed to halt declines and promote recovery of fisheries and large marine animals. It addresses the questions: What were the pre-exploitation baseline population abundances and distributions of marine organisms and ecosystems? How can past ecological baselines most effectively be integrated into applied coastal conservation and management? What are the most valuable and innovative precedents for sustainable management of marine resources and ecosystems and how can they guide future policy?
   Loren McClenachan    
    Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies
    Colby College, Maine, USA
     2014-2015:  Visiting Researcher (on sabbatical)
    University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

    Ph.D. Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 2009
    M.S. University of Oregon, 2003
    B.A. Middlebury College, 1998
Peer reviewed publications

McClenachan, L.
2015. Extinction risk in reef fishes. In Mora, C. (ed) Ecology of Fishes on Coral Reefs. Cambridge University Press.

McClenachan, L. G. O'Connor, T. Reynolds. 2015. Adaptive capacity of co-management systems in the face of environmental change: The soft-shell clam fishery and invasive green crabs in Maine. Marine Policy 52: 26-32.

Kittinger, J., L. McClenachan, L. Blight, and K. Gedyn (Editors). 2014. Applying Marine Historical Ecology to Conservation and Management: Using the Past to Manage for the Future. University of California Press.

McClenachan, L., B.P. Neal., D. Al-Abdulrazzak, T. Witkin, K. Fisher, and  J.N. Kittinger. 2014. Do community supported fisheries (CSFs) improve sustainability? Fisheries Research 157: 62-69. 

Lotze, H. and L. McClenachan. 2014. Historical ecology: Informing the future by learning from the past. In Bertness M, B. Silliman, J Bruno, J, Stachowicz (eds) Marine Community Ecology and Conservation. Sinauer Press.

Van Houtan, K.S., L. McClenachan, and J.N.Kittinger. 2013. Seafood menus reflect long-term ocean change.
Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 11: 289–290.

Kittinger, J.N., K.S. Van Houtan, L. McClenachan, and A.L. Lawrence. 2013. Using historical data to assess the biogeography of population recovery. Ecography 36: 868-872.

McClenachan, L.  2013.  Recreation and the "Right to Fish" movement: Anglers and ecological degradation in the Florida Keys. Environmental History 18: 76-87.

McClenachan, L.
and J. Kittinger. 2013. Multicentury trends and the sustainability of coral reef fisheries in Hawaii and the Florida Keys. Fish and Fisheries 14: 239-255.

McClenachan, L., F. Ferretti, and J.K. Baum. 2012. From archives to conservation: why historical data are needed to set baselines for marine animals and ecosystems. Conservation Letters 5: 349-359 .   

McClenachan, L., A. Cooper, K. Carpenter, and N. Dulvy. 2012. Extinction risk and bottlenecks in the conservation of charismatic speciesConservation Letters 5: 73-80. 

Kittinger, J. N., J. M. Pandolfi, J. H. Blodgett, T. L. Hunt, K. Maly, L.McClenachan, J. K. Schultz, and B. A. Wilcox. 2011. Historical reconstruction reveals recovery in Hawaiian coral reefs. PLoS ONE 6(10). 

McClenachan, L.M. Hardt, J. Jackson, and R. Cooke. 2010. Mounting evidence for historical overfishing and long-term degradation of Caribbean marine ecosystemsThe Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology. 5: 165-169.

Ward-Paige, C., C. Mora, H.K Lotze, C. Pattengill-Semmens, L. McClenachan, E. Arias-Castro, R.A. Myers. 2010. Large-scale absence of sharks on reefs in the greater-Caribbean: a footprint of human pressuresPLoS ONE 5(8): e11968. 

McClenachan, L.
 2009. Documenting loss of large trophy fish from the Florida Keys with historical photographsConservation Biology 23:636-643. 

McClenachan, L. 2009. Historical declines in south Florida, USA goliath grouper populationsEndangered Species Research 7:175-181. 

McClenachan, L. and A. Cooper. 2008. Extinction rate, historical population structure and ecological role of the Caribbean monk sealProceedings of the Royal Society B  275: 1351-1358.

McClenachan, L. 2008. Social conflict, overfishing and disease in the Florida sponge fishery, 1849-1939. Chapter 3 In: Oceans Past: Management Insights from the History of Marine Animal Populations. D. Starkey, Editor. Earthscan Publications Limited, London.

McClenachan, L., J.B.C. Jackson, and M.J.H.Newman. 2006. Conservation implications of historic sea turtle nesting beach lossFrontiers in Ecology and the Environment 4: 290-296.

Pandolfi, J.M., R.H. Bradbury, E. Sala, T.P. Hughes, K.A. Bjorndal, R.G. Cooke, D. McArdle, L. McClenachan, M.J.H. Newman, G. Paredes, R.R. Warner, and J.B.C. Jackson. 2003. Global trajectories of the long-term decline of coral reef ecosystemsScience 301:955-958.
Popular press publications

Saving the swimming dead, Guest blog on Nature Saltwater Science

Congress shouldn’t undermine conservation measures that can help rebuild New England fisheries
, Opinion piece in the Bangor Daily News

Select media coverage of research
RadioLab "Big Fish Stories Getting Littler" by Robert Krulwich

National Public Radio Morning Edition "
Old Hawaiian Menus Tell Story Of Local Fish And Their Demise
" by Christopher Joyce

New York Times
 Green Blog, "Ancient Hawaiians Caught More by Fishing Less" by Douglas Main

Scientific American, Science Sushi "Native Hawaiians Provide Lessons in Fisheries Management" by Christie Wilcox

Washington Post, "
" by Juliet Eilperin

New York Times Green Blog, "Finding Nemo and his Fellow Travelers" by Dylan Walsh

Southern Fried Science, "Saving Nemo" by David Shiffman

Scientific American, Guilty Planet "Finding Nemo Isn't Easy" by Jennifer Jacquet

Wired Science "Transcending Time: Great Long Term Datasets" by Brandon Keim

The Walrus, "A 10 Percent World" by James MacKinnon

Smithsonian, “Our Imperiled Oceans: Seeing Is Believing by Laura Helmuth

San Diego Union Tribune, "Fish Story" by Scott Lafee

Nature, “Oceanography: The Real Sea Change” by Mark Schrope

New York Times, “A Comeback Story Proves a Cautionary Tale” by Henry Fountain


Natascia Tamburello      


 Shifting Baselines Under the Sea