Richard B. Primack

Professor, Biology

Expertise:
, , , , ,
Education:

PhD, Duke University, 1976

Contact Info:

Return to Homepage…

Professor Richard B. Primack is currently investigating the impact of climate change on the flowering and leafing out times of plants; the spring arrival of birds and the flight times of insects in Massachusetts, Japan, and South Korea; and the potential for ecological mismatches among species caused by climate change. The main geographical focus is… Read more

Professor Richard B. Primack is currently investigating the impact of climate change on the flowering and leafing out times of plants; the spring arrival of birds and the flight times of insects in Massachusetts, Japan, and South Korea; and the potential for ecological mismatches among species caused by climate change. The main geographical focus is Concord, Massachusetts, due to the availability of extensive phenological records kept by Henry David Thoreau and later naturalists. He is using Concord as a living laboratory to determine the effects of climate change species, and land use changes on the population dynamics of native and non-native species. He is also comparing results from Concord with long-term changes at Acadia National Park in Maine. An expanding interest is the variation among species in leafing out times and leaf senescence times, and the physiological control of these processes. An ongoing activity involves producing conservation biology textbooks and working with co-authors to produce textbooks in other languages. In addition, Primack serves as Editor-in-Chief of the international journal Biological Conservation.

In the Media

View All
  • July was warmest in 136 years, NASA says

    August 17, 2016

    The Boston Globe Richard Primack, College of Arts & Sciences In the 136 years scientists have been tracking global temperatures, there has never been a warmer month than this July, according a new NASA report… Expert quote: “There are huge consequences for us as the climate changes. Even if it gets just a little warmer […]

  • Boston University professor notes low water at Walden Pond

    May 15, 2016

    Concord Journal By Richard Primack, College of Arts & Sciences This spring Walden Pond is low, exceptionally so. Visitors are enjoying the broad expanse of sandy margins around much of the pond; they can walk and play without being confined to the trails and main swimming beach… View full article by expert Richard Primack

  • As temperatures set a high record, Arctic sea ice sets a low one

    March 30, 2016

    Christian Science Monitor Richard Primack, College of Arts & Sciences The National Snow and Ice Data Center released disturbing information on the state of Arctic sea ice growth on Monday… Expert quote: “This is a very dramatic example of climate change, but it is a manifestation of the same phenomenon that is affecting us.” View […]

  • Warm December brings flowers to Concord

    January 9, 2016

    Concord Journal By Richard Primack, College of Arts & Sciences Record-breaking temperatures triggered a surprising flash of spring for nature throughout Concord this December… View full article by expert Richard Primack

  • Littleton and Westford trees are budding

    December 24, 2015

    Westford Eagle Richard Primack, College of Arts & Sciences Unusually warm temperatures have confused plants, trees and animals across the region… Expert quote: “Forsythia, cherry trees. There’s lots of rhododendron flowers that are open. There’s lots of roses that have blossoms. It’s quite amazing.” View full article

  • December Heat Wave

    December 17, 2015

    NPR “On Point” Richard Primack, College of Arts & Sciences Listen to audio of expert Richard Primack

  • Before the Time of Global Warming, Data Shows Spring Sprung Later

    July 29, 2015

    Inside Climate News Richard Primack, College of Arts & Sciences Records of the flowering of plants, the arrival of migrating birds, and the onset of frog mating calls show spring is arriving as much as 14 days sooner… Expert quote: “In the New England area it’s quite likely that by the end of the century […]

  • Probing climate change winners, losers among state’s wildlife

    May 25, 2015

    Worcester Telegram & Gazette Richard Primack, College of Arts & Sciences Will there be a time when the state’s official bird will be driven out of the commonwealth because it will no longer be able to survive in a changing climate?… View full article referencing expert Richard Primack

  • Future Spring Won’t Be Pretty

    March 23, 2015

    New York Magazine Richard Primack, College of Arts & Sciences It’s officially spring, and even if it doesn’t seem like it on the East Coast, soon enough flowers will start blooming earlier than ever… Expert quote: “A lot of things are changing, but it depends on where you are. I’m in Boston.” View Q&A with […]

  • Carleton student’s research finds mystery in tree leaves

    September 18, 2014

    Ottawa Citizen Richard Primack, College of Arts & Sciences In an age when biology means studying molecules, Zoe Panchen has gone into the forest to look at plants — great big ones — and the simple-sounding topic of leaves… Expert quote: “Prior to this study, no one would have suspected that there was so much […]

View All Stories