northeastern university seal

Jonathan Grabowski

Affiliated Faculty,  Civil and Environmental Engineering
Professor,  Marine and Environmental Sciences



  • 1 MSC
  • 781.581.7370 x337

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Research Focus

environmental science and policy, fisheries, ecological economics


Prof. Grabowski’s research interests span issues in ecology, fisheries and conservation biology, and ecological economics. Prof. Grabowski’s lab has used a variety of estuarine (oyster reef, seagrass, salt marsh, mud bottom) and marine (kelp bed, cobble-ledge) systems to examine how resource availability, habitat heterogeneity and predation risk affect population dynamics, community structure, and ecosystem functioning. Much of this work focuses on economically important species such as lobsters, cod, herring, monkfish, and oyster reef and seagrass communities, and consequently is relevant for fisheries and ecosystem management. Prof. Grabowski’s lab also focuses on how habitat degradation and restoration influence benthic community structure, population structure, and the transfer of energy to higher trophic levels. In addition, Prof. Grabowski is interested in how management initiatives such as closed areas, fishing gear modifications, and fishing effort reductions impact local habitat recovery, fisheries productivity, and the balance of resident and migratory life-history strategies for species such as cod. Finally, Grabowski’s lab is also examining a number of other important topics aimed at enhancing our ability to restore and conserve aquatic species and ecosystems: fish migratory behavior, population structure, and age validation; the economic value of ecosystem services associated with coastal habitats; seafloor habitat mapping and its role in ecosystem management; and the influence of climate change and biogeography on species range shifts, ecological interactions, and ecosystem functions.


  • Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Ecology
  • B.S., Duke University, Biology & Economics

Research Overview

environmental science and policy, fisheries, ecological economics

Selected Research Projects

  • Aligning Coastal Restoration with Ecological and Societal Needs
    • – Principal Investigator, National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis
  • Social and Ecological Factors Influencing Shoreline Hardening in the Northeast: Implications for Vulnerability, Resilience and Informed Decision Making
    • – Principal Investigator, Northeast Sea Grant College Consortium

Selected Publications

  • L. McClenachan, S. Scyphers, J.H. Grabowski, Views from the dock: Warming Waters, Adaptation, and the Future of Maine’s Lobster Fishery, Ambio, 2019
  • A.R. Hughes, J.H. Grabowski, H.M. Leslie, S. Scyphers, S.L. Williams, Inclusion of Biodiversity in Habitat Restoration Policy to Facilitate Ecosystem Recovery, Conservation Letters, 11, 2018, 1-8
  • J.H. Grabowski, C.W. Conroy, R. Gittman, J.T. Kelley, S. Sherman, G.D. Sherwood, G. Wippelhauser, Habitat Associations of Juvenile Cod in Nearshore Waters, Reviews in Fisheries Science and Aquaculture, 26, 2018, 1-14
  • R. Murphy, S. Scyphers, J.H. Grabowski, Perceptions Outweigh Knowledge in Predicting Support for Management Strategies in the Recreational Striped Bass (Morone Saxatilis) Fishery, Marine Policy, 97, 2018, 44-50
  • J.H. Grabowski, S.P. Powers, H. Roman, S. Rouhani, Potential Impacts of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on Subtidal Oysters in the Gulf of Mexico, Marine Ecology Progress Series, 576, 2017, 163-174
  • R.K. Gittman, S.B. Scyphers, C.S. Smitn, I.P. Neylan, J.H. Grabowski, Ecological Consequences of Shoreline Hardening: A Meta-Analysis, BioScience, 66, 2016, 763-773