Brumbaugh, Dan main content.

Dan Brumbaugh

Visiting Scientist

(831) 480-5157


  • University of Washington, Ph.D., 1996
  • Stanford University, B.S., 1987
  • Stanford University, B.A., 1987

Research Interests

Dr. Dan Brumbaugh’s interests currently focus on (1) the design, monitoring, management, and valuation of marine protected areas (MPAs); (2) broader coastal and marine spatial planning and ecosystem-based management; and (3) processes of ecological and social resilience in marine and coastal systems, with an emphasis on coral reef ecosystems. Although his field experience spans 25 years across the Caribbean, tropical Central and Western Pacific, and temperate Northeast Pacific (Baja California to Washington state), his current research and conservation interests largely took root with his conceptualization and leadership of the NSF-funded Bahamas Biocomplexity Project (BBP), a widely recognized model of socio-ecological research that integrated aspects of oceanography, population genetics, marine ecology, and human cultural and economic dimensions in the study of how MPAs and MPA networks function for diverse objectives. As with the BBP, Dr. Brumbaugh especially enjoys projects that bring together and integrate diverse perspectives from the natural and social sciences, and ones that bridge strategic science with on-the-ground applications for improved natural resource management. He has collaborated on diverse media (e.g., newsletters, posters, educational guides and booklets, and interactive simulation models) and worked extensively with marine conservation practitioners to bring the best available science to decision making. Dr. Brumbaugh’s participation with various governing and advisory groups includes the Council of the Bahamas National Trust, the Advisory Council of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, the Marine Priority Biome group of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas, and many other conservation organizations and working groups. He was the principal content designer and coordinator of the CBC’s 2002 Symposium “Sustaining Seascapes: The Science and Policy of Marine Resource Management.” In addition to conservation science and its applications in decision-making and management, Dan is interested in marine evolutionary biology, especially studies of how marine organisms adapt to their local environments and how they evolve over time and across geographies.

Before working at the Museum, Dr. Brumbaugh was a NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Texas, Austin. Currently, he is also an Adjunct Research Scientist in Columbia University’s Department of Ecology, Evolutionary, and Environmental Biology (E3B), a Research Associate at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), and a California Council on Science and Technology Policy Fellow. He has also taught undergraduate and graduate courses at UCSC, Santa Clara University, and the University of Washington.


Brumbaugh, DR. 2014 Guide to the Science of Marine Protected Areas in The Bahamas. American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY: 16 pp. 

Brumbaugh, D, J Bruno, M Chiappone, C Dahlgren, P Dustan, B Gintert, A Harborne, M Hixon, A King, L Knowles, P Kramer, P Kramer, J Lang, C McKinney-Lambert, P Mumby, I Nagelkerken, E Pante, K Sullivan Sealey, C Stallings. 2014. Bahamas. In: J Jackson, M Donovan, K Cramer, and V Lam (eds), Status and Trends of Caribbean Coral Reefs: 1970-2012, Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network, International Union for the Conservation of Nature, Washington, DC: 243pp.

Micheli, F, PJ Mumby, DR Brumbaugh, K Broad, CP Dahlgren, AR Harborne, KE Holmes, CV Kappel, SY Litvin, and JN Sanchirico. 2014. High vulnerability of ecosystem function and services to diversity loss in Caribbean coral reefs. Biological Conservation 171: 186-194.

O'Farrell, S, S Bearhop, RAR McGill, CP Dahlgren, DR Brumbaugh, and PJ Mumby. 2014. Habitat and body size effects on the isotopic niche space of invasive lionfish and endangered Nassau grouper. Ecosphere 5(10): art123.

Mumby PJ, DR Brumbaugh, AR Harborne, and G Roff. 2013. On the relationship between native grouper and invasive lionfish in the Caribbean. PeerJ PrePrints 1: e45v1.

Sherman, KD, CP Dahlgren, DR Brumbaugh, and LC Knowles. 2013. Tourism and coral reef health in the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park. Proceedings of the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute 65: in press.

Halpern, BS, C Longo, D Hardy, KL McLeod, JF Samhouri, SK Katona, K Kleisner, SE Lester, J O’Leary, M Ranelletti, AA Rosenberg, C Scarborough, ER Selig, BD Best, DR Brumbaugh, FS Chapin, LB Crowder, KL Daly, SC Doney, C Elfes, MJ Fogarty, SD Gaines, KI Jacobsen, L Bunce Karrer, HM Leslie, E Neeley, D Pauly, S Polasky, B Ris, K St. Martin, GS Stone, U Rashid Sumaila, and D Zeller. 2012. An index to assess the health and benefits of the global ocean. Nature 488: 615-620.

Naro-Maciel, E, B Reid, KE Holmes, DR Brumbaugh, M Martin, and R DeSalle. 2011. Mitochondrial DNA sequence variation in spiny lobsters: Population expansion, panmixia, and divergence. Marine Biology. 158(9): 2027-2041.

Mumby, PJ, AR Harborne, DR Brumbaugh. 2011. Grouper as a natural biocontrol of invasive lionfish. PLoS ONE 6(6): e21510

Kininmonth, S, M Beger, M Bode, E Peterson, VM Adams, D Dorfman, DR Brumbaugh, and HP Possingham. 2011. Dispersal connectivity and reserve selection for marine conservation. Ecological Modelling 222(7): 1272-1282.

McCauley, DJ, F Micheli, HS Young, DP Tittensor, DR Brumbaugh, EMP Madin, KE Holmes, JE Smith, HK Lotze, PA DeSalles, SN Arnold, and B Worm. 2010. Acute effects of removing large fish from a near-pristine coral reef. Marine Biology 57(12): 2739-2750.

Beger, M, HS Grantham, RL Pressey, KA Wilson, EL Peterson, D Dorfman, PJ Mumby, R Lourival, DR Brumbaugh, and HP Possingham. 2010. Conservation planning for connectivity across marine, freshwater, and terrestrial realms. Biological Conservation. 143(3): 565-575.

Botsford, LW, DR Brumbaugh, C Grimes, JB Kellner, J Largier, MR O’Farrell, S Ralston, E Soulanille, and V Wespestad. 2009. Connectivity, sustainability, and yield: Bridging the gap between conventional fisheries management and marine protected areas. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 19(1): 69-95.

Naro-Maciel, E and DR Brumbaugh. 2009. Marine reserves and local fisheries: An interactive simulation. Lessons in Conservation 2: 49-82.

Harborne, AR, PJ Mumby, CV Kappel, CP Dahlgren, F Micheli, KE Holmes, and DR Brumbaugh. 2008. Tropical coastal habitats as surrogates of fish community structure, grazing, and fisheries value. Ecological Applications 18(7): 1689-1701.

Mumby PJ, K Broad, DR Brumbaugh, CP Dahlgren, AR Harborne, A Hastings, KE Holmes, CV Kappel, F Micheli, and JN Sanchirico. 2008. Coral reef habitats as surrogates of species, ecological functions and ecosystem services. Conservation Biology 22(4): 941-951.

Harborne, AR, PJ Mumby, CV Kappel, CP Dahlgren, F Micheli, KE Holmes, JN Sanchirico, K Broad, IA Elliott, and DR Brumbaugh. 2008. Reserve effects versus natural variation in coral reef communities. Journal of Applied Ecology. 45(4): 1010-1018.

Mumby, PJ, AR Harborne, J Williams, CV Kappel, DR Brumbaugh, F Micheli, KE Holmes, CP Dahlgren, CB Paris, PG Blackwell. 2007. Trophic cascade facilitates coral recruitment in a marine reserve. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104(20): 8362-8367.

Mumby, PJ, F Micheli, CP Dahlgren, SY Litvin, AB Gill, DR Brumbaugh, K Broad, JN Sanchirico, CV Kappel, AR Harborne, and KE Holmes. 2006. Marine parks need sharks? (response to D.D.F. Chapman, E.K. Pikitch, and E.A. Babcock). Science 312(5773): 527-528.

Mumby, PJ, CP Dahlgren, AR Harborne, CV Kappel, F Micheli, DR Brumbaugh, KE Holmes, JM Mendes, K Broad, JN Sanchirico, K Buch, S Box, RW Stoffle, and AB Gill. 2006. Fishing, trophic cascades, and the process of grazing on coral reefs. Science 311(5757): 98-101.

Harborne, AR, PJ Mumby, F Micheli, CT Perry, CP Dahlgren, KE Holmes, and DR Brumbaugh. 2006. The functional value of Caribbean coral reefs, seagrass and mangrove habitats to ecosystem processes. Advances in Marine Biology 50: 57-190.

Semmens, BX, DR Brumbaugh, and JA Drew. 2005. Interpreting space use and behavior of blue tang, Acanthurus coeruleus, in the context of habitat, density, and intra-specific interactions.  Environmental Biology of Fishes 74(1): 99-107.

Granek, EF, DR Brumbaugh, SA Heppell, SS Heppell, D Secord. 2005. A blueprint for our oceans: Implications of two national commission reports for conservation practitioners. Conservation Biology 19(4): 1008-1018.

Brumbaugh, DR. 2002. “Bryozoa,” “Cnidaria,” “Coral Reefs,” “Nurseries,” “Preservation of Habitats”  (w/ M Laverty) and other topics.  In: N. Eldredge (ed.), Life on Earth: An Encyclopedia of Biodiversity, Ecology, and Evolution. ABC-CLIO, Santa Barbara.

Brauer, MJ, and DR Brumbaugh. 2001. Biology remystified: The scientific claims of the new creationists. In: RT Pennock (ed.), Intelligent Design Creationism and Its Critics: Philosophical, Theological and Scientific Perspectives. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA: 289-334.

Helmuth, BST, EF Stockwell, and DR Brumbaugh. 1997. Morphological and environmental determinants of mass flux to corals. Proceedings of the 8th International Coral Reef Symposium 2: 1103-1108.

Paine, RT, JL Ruesink, A Sun, EL Soulanille, MJ Wonham, CDG Harley, DR Brumbaugh, and DL Secord. 1996. Trouble on oiled waters: lessons from the Exxon Valdez oil spill.  Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 27: 197-235.

Brumbaugh, DR, JM West, JL Hintz, and FE Anderson. 1994. Determinants of recruitment in an epiphytic marine bryozoan: field manipulations of flow and host quality.  In: W.H. Wilson, Jr., S.A. Stricker, and G.L. Shinn (eds.), Reproduction and Development of Marine Invertebrates. John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore: 287-301.