julia k. baum

national center for ecological analysis and synthesis

735 state st, suite 300, ca 93101, baum ‘at’ nceas.ucsb.edu


NCEAS Postdoctoral Associate and Schmidt Ocean Institute Fellow, 2010-2011

David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellow & NSERC PDF, 2007-2009

Ph.D. Dalhousie University, 2007

M.Sc. Dalhousie University, 2002

B.Sc. McGill University, 1999


**COMING SOON: The Baum Lab**

I will be starting as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology

at the University of Victoria on Vancouver Island, BC in Sept. 2011!

*Please note that I am not currently accepting students. If you are in joining my lab for the 2012/2013 academic year, please contact me in September 2011.*

I was awarded a fellowship from the Schmidt 

    Ocean Institute to advance ocean science and conservation


Does the economic crisis mean less funding for Conservation Biology research? Read our new paper to find out.

Is mahi mahi safe to eat? Read our new paper to find out.


applied ecology for impacted oceans

research interests

Globally, natural ecosystems are being degraded at unprecedented rates because of overpopulation and excessive consumption. My research in quantitative ecology is motivated by a fundamental desire to understand how human activities are altering the dynamics of marine populations and ecosystems.    

Incorporating principles from life history theory, population dynamics, community ecology, fisheries science, statistics, and conservation biology, my research focuses primarily at broad temporal and spatial scales which are most relevant to the conservation and management of natural ecosystems. In the ocean, exploitation remains the most prevalent anthropogenic disturbance, and predators are disproportionately affected by this activity. My current research program therefore centers around investigating the following questions:

  1. How is exploitation altering marine predator populations globally?

  2. What are the consequences of depleting marine predators for community structure, diversity, ecosystem function & services?

  3. What determines the relative importance of, and interplay between, top-down and bottom-up control in marine ecosystems?

  4. How are multiple stressors, in particular exploitation and climate change, interacting and affecting natural ecosystems?

  5. Do predators confer resilience to ecosystems? If so, how? In general, which ecosystem properties are critical for maintaining and restoring social-ecological resilient systems?

My principal approach to investigating these questions is statistical analysis of complex observational data sets. This approach adds a critical component to 21st century ecology, enabling ecologists to empirically examine predictions from ecological theories and small-scale experiments at the ecosystem and global scale. I complement this approach with field observations and experiments, anthropological interviews, historical ecology, and meta-analyses. Overall, I aim to conduct innovative research that advances understanding of marine ecosystem dynamics and informs ocean management and conservation.