Les Kaufman

Professor of Biology, College of Arts & Sciences

Les Kaufman, Professor in the Boston University Marine Program, is an evolutionary ecologist who studies basic processes that drive the creation, collapse, and conservation of aquatic species diversity on coral reefs and tropical great lakes. His interests are increasingly turned toward clinical research on the dynamics of human-natural coupled systems, to create supporting science for global sustainability and climate change adaptation.

His current research focuses on adaptive management of populated coastal ecosystems, taking an experimental approach to marine management areas; dynamic modeling and forecasting of ecosystem service production and trade-offs; genomics as a tool to diagnose organismal response to the combined effects of local and global human stressors; and hybrid models examining the effects of dams and climate change on food security in Africa, Asia, and South America.

In addition to being a member of the BU faculty, Kaufman is Senior Marine Scientist for Conservation International, a Research Scholar with The New England Aquarium and Associate in Ichthyology, Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology. He serves on the Science and Statistics Committee for the New England Fishery Management Council, and is working with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) colleagues to modernize federal ocean science.

Kaufman also writes popular books, magazine articles and television, including multiple stints as either author or subject with NOVA and National Geographic. He was awarded the first marine Pew Fellowship in 1990, was selected to receive the Parker-Gentry Award in Conservation Biology for 2011 from the Chicago Field Museum.