Michelle StaudingerMichelle Staudinger

Adjunct Assistant Professor

Science Coordinator
Northeast Climate Adaption Science Center

Ecologist, USGS

Email: ;

Primary Interests

My research program spans a broad range of questions related to the ecology and conservation of coastal ecosystems spanning local to global scales. My primary focus is understanding climate change impacts on biodiversity, ecosystems, and ecosystem services. Recent work has sought to understand how coastal fishes, seabirds, and marine mammals have responded to changes in annual and seasonal warming through shifts in phenology and how these responses either increase risk and vulnerability or assist species to adapt and sustain ongoing impacts.

In my role as Science Coordinator at the Department of the Interior Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center, I work cooperatively with regional stakeholders to assess the vulnerability of natural and cultural resources to current and future impacts of climate change and other anthropogenic stressors as well as develop adaptation strategies to reduce risk.

Current Projects

  • Intertidal biodiversity of the Boston Harbor Islands Recreation Area: Inventory and monitoring in support of coastal adaptation
  • Phenological shifts in river herring populations along the Northeast U.S.
  • Foraging ecology and population dynamics of seabirds in the Gulf of Maine
  • Shifting migration patterns of large migratory whales
  • The ecosystem role of sand lance (Ammodytes) in the Northeast U.S.
  • Integrating climate change into State Wildlife Action Plans


2010 Ph.D. Marine Science and Technology / Natural Resources Conservation, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA

2004 M.S. Marine and Atmospheric Science, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY

2000 Certificate of Graduate Study in Conservation Biology, Columbia University, New York, NY

1997 B.S. Marine Biology / Environmental Science, Boston University, Boston, MA


Staudinger, M.D., A.J. Lynch, S. Gaichas, M. Fox, D. Gibson-Reinemer, J. Langan, A. Teffer, S.J. Thackeray, I.J. Winfield. In review. How does climate change affect emergent properties of aquatic ecosystems?  Submitted to Fisheries.

Guckian, M.L., C. Tucker, E. Kiekebusch, T. Klemm, E.M. Markowitz, L. Middleton, A. Wootten, and M.D. Staudinger. In review. Assessing the impact of an online climate science community: The Early Career Climate Forum. Submitted to Weather, Climate and Society.

Legett, H.D., A. Jordaan, A. H. Roy, J. J. Sheppard, M. Somos-Valenzuela, and M.D. Staudinger. In review. Daily patterns of river herring (Alosa spp.) spawning migrations: environmental drivers and variation among coastal streams in Massachusetts. Submitted to Transactions of the American Fisheries Society.

Dalton, R.M., J. J. Sheppard, J. T. Finn, A. Jordaan, M.D. Staudinger. In review. Phenological variation in migration timing of alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) in response to climate change and restoration. Submitted to Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Science.

Yakola, K., A. Jordaan, S. Kress, P. Shannon, M.D. Staudinger. In review. Inter and intraspecific comparisons of tern chick diet across seven nesting colonies in the Gulf of Maine, USA. Submitted to Waterbirds.

Bratton, R., H., Legett, K. Yakola, P. Shannon, A. Gerson, and M.D. Staudinger. In review. Pre-breeding foraging ecology of three tern species nesting in the Gulf of Maine. Submitted to Avian Conservation Ecology.

Pershing, A.J., M. Alexander, D. Brickman, J. Scott, E. Curchitser, D. Brady, T. Diamond, L. McClenachan. K. Mills, O. Nichols, D. Pendleton, N. Record, M.D. Staudinger, Y. Wang. In review. Temperature and Circulation Conditions in the Gulf of Maine in 2050 and their Expected Impacts. Submitted to Elementa.

Weiskopf, S., M. Rubenstein, L. Crozier, S. Gaichas, R. Griffis, J. Halofsky, K. Hyde, T.L. Morelli, J. Morisette, R. Muñoz, A. Pershing, D. Peterson, R. Poudel, M.D. Staudinger, A. Sutton-Grier, L. Thompson, J. Vose, J.F. Weltzin, K. Powys Whyte. 2020. Climate change effects on biodiversity, ecosystems, ecosystem services, and natural resource management in the United States. Science of the Total Environment, 733: 137782. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.137782

Staudinger, M. D., H. Goyert, J. Suca, K. Coleman, L. Welch, J. Llopiz, I. Altman, D. Wiley, A. Appelgate, P. Auster, H. Baumann, J. Beaty, D. Boelke, L. Kaufman, P. Loring, J. Moxley, S. Paton, K. Powers, D. Richardson, J. Robbins, J. Runge, B. Smith, C. Spiegel, H. Steinmetz. 2020. The role of sand lances (Ammodytes sp.) in the Northwest Atlantic Ecosystem: A synthesis of current knowledge with implications for conservation and management. Fish and Fisheries, 00:1–34 https://doi.org/10.1111/faf.12445

Polland, S.J., Staudinger, M.D., and F.S. Scharf.  2019. Foraging ecology of sympatric pelagic fish predators in the U.S. South Atlantic: interspecific differences in trophic niche within a shared prey community. Marine Ecology Progress Series 631:181-199. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps13126

Staudinger, M.D., C. France, V. Hartigan, E. Jorgensen, H. Judkins, A. Lindgren, E. K. Shea, and M. Vecchione. 2019. Ecological roles and trophic diversity of the cephalopod assemblage near Bear Seamount in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean. Marine Ecology-Progress Series, 629: 67-86. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps13121

Staudinger, M.D., K. Mills, K. Stamieszkin, N. Record, C. Hudak, A. Allyn., A. Diamond, K. Friedland, W. Golet, M. Henderson, C. Hernandez, T. Huntington, R. Ji., C. Johnson, D. Johnson, A. Jordaan, J. Kocik, Y. Li, M. Liebman, O. Nichols, D. Pendleton, A. Richards, T. Robben, A. Thomas, H. Walsh, K. Yakola. 2019. It’s about time? A synthesis of changing phenology in the Gulf of Maine Ecosystem. Fisheries Oceanography: 00:1–34. https://doi.org/10.1111/fog.12429

Powell, E., M. C. Tyrell, A. Milliken, J.M. Tirpak, and M. D. Staudinger. 2018. A review of coastal management approaches to support the integration of ecological and human community planning for climate change. Journal of Coastal Conservation, 1-18. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11852-018-0632-y

Bird, C. C. Trueman, A. Veríssimo, S. Magozzi, K. Abrantes, A. Aguilar, H. Al-Reasi, A. Barnett, D. Bethea, G. Biais, A. Borrell, M. Bouchoucha, M. Boyle, J. Brunnschweiller, P. Bustamante, A. Carlisle, D. Catarino, S. Caut, Y. Cherel, T. Chouvelon, D. Churchill, J. Ciancio, J. Claes, A. Colaço, D. Courtney, P. Cresson, R. Daly, L. De Necker, T. Endo, I. Figueiredo, A. Frisch, J. Hansen, M. Heithaus, N. Hussey, J. Iitembu, F. Juanes, M. Kinney, J. Kiszka, D. Kopp, R. Leaf, Y. Li, S. Klarian, A. Lorrain, D. Madigan, A. Maljković, L. Malpica-Cruz, P. Matich, M. Meekan, F. Menard, G. Menezes, S. Munroe, M. Newman, Y. Papastamatiou, H. Pethybridge, J. Plumlee, C. Polo-silva, K. Quaeck, V. Raoult, J. Reum, Y. Eden Torres-Rojas, D. Shiffman, C. Speed, M. Staudinger, A. Teffer, A. Tilley, M. Valls, J. Vaudo, T. Wai, R. Wells, A. Wyatt. 2018. A global perspective on the trophic geography of sharks. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 2: 299-305. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-017-0432-z

Powell, E., M. C. Tyrell, A. Milliken, J.M. Tirpak, and M. D. Staudinger. 2017. A synthesis of sea level rise and storm thresholds for 44 focal species along the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf coasts: A review of research and application. Ocean and Coastal Management, 148: 75-88. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2017.07.012

Duffy, L.M., P. Kuhnert, H.R. Pethybridge, J.W. Young, R.J. Olson, J.M. Logan, N. Goñi, E. Romanov, V. Allain, M.D. Staudinger, M. Abecassis, A. Choy, A.J. Hobday, M. Simier, F. Galván-Magaña, M. Potier, and F. Ménard. 2017. Global trophic ecology of yellowfin, bigeye and albacore tunas: Understanding tuna predation on micronekton communities at ocean-basin scales. Deep Sea Research II, 140: 55-73. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2017.03.003

Shea, E.K., H. Judkins, M.D. Staudinger, V. Hartigan, A. Lindgren, and M. Vecchione. 2017. Cephalopod biodiversity in the vicinity of Bear Seamount, western North Atlantic. Marine Biodiversity, DOI 10.1007/s12526-017-0633-3. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12526-017-0633-3

Alexander, K.E., W.B. Leavenworth, C. Hall, S. Mattocks, S.M. Bittner, E. Klein, M.D. Staudinger, A. Bryan, J. Rosset, T. Willis, B.H. Carr, and A. Jordaan. 2017.  Tambora and the mackerel year: Phenology and fisheries during an extreme climate event.  Science Advances, 3: e1601635. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.1601635

Beever, E.A., O’Leary, J., Mengelt, C., West, J., Julius, S., Green, N., Magness, D., Petes, L., Stein, B., Nicotra, A.B., Hellmann, J.J., Robertson, A.L., Staudinger, M.D., Rosenberg, A.A., Babij, E., Brennan, J., Schuurman, G.W., and G.E. Hofmann.  2016. Improving conservation outcomes with a new paradigm for understanding species’ fundamental and realized adaptive capacity. Conservation Letters, 9(2):131-137. https://doi.org/10.1111/conl.12190

Grimm, N.B., Groffman, P., Staudinger, M.D., and H. Tallis. 2016. Climate change impacts on ecosystems and ecosystem services in the United States: Process and prospects for sustained assessment. Climatic Change, 135: 97–109. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-015-1547-3

Teffer, A.K., Staudinger, M.D., and F. Juanes. 2015. Trophic niche overlap among dolphinfish (Coryphaena hippurus) and co-occurring tunas near the northern edge of their range in the western North Atlantic Ocean. Marine Biology, 162(9): 1823-1840. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00227-015-2715-8

Butler, C.M., Logan, J.M. Provaznik, J.M., Hoffmayer, E.R., Staudinger, M.D., Quattro, J.M., Roberts, M.A., Ingram, G.W., Pollack, A.G., and M.E. Lutcavage. 2015. Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) feeding ecology in the northern Gulf of Mexico: A preliminary description of diets from the western Atlantic spawning grounds. Journal of Fish Biology, 86: 365-374. https://doi.org/10.1111/jfb.12556

Teffer, A. K., Staudinger, M.D., Taylor, D.L., and F. Juanes. 2014. Trophic influences on mercury accumulation in top pelagic predators from offshore New England waters of the northwest Atlantic Ocean. Marine Environmental Research, 101: 124-134. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marenvres.2014.09.008

Staudinger, M.D., McAlarney, R., Pabst, A., and W. McLellan. 2014. Foraging ecology and niche overlap in pygmy (Kogia breviceps) and dwarf (Kogia sima) sperm whales from waters of the U.S. mid-Atlantic coast.  Marine Mammal Science, 30(2): 626-655.  https://doi.org/10.1111/mms.12064

Staudinger, M.D., Hanlon, R.T., Mathger, L., and K. C. Buresch.  2013.  Defensive responses of cuttlefish to different teleost predators. Biological Bulletin, 225: 161–174. https://doi.org/10.1086/BBLv225n3p161

Staudinger, M.D., Carter, S., Cross, M., Dubois. N., Duffy, E., Enquist, C., Griffis, R., Hellmann, J., Lawler, J., Morrison, S., O’Leary, J., Stein, B., and W. Turner.  2013.  Biodiversity in a changing climate: A synthesis of current and projected trends in the United States.  Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 11(9): 465-473. https://doi.org/10.1890/120272

Grimm, N., Staudinger, M.D., Staudt, A., Carter, S., Chapin, F.S.III, Kareiva, P., Ruckelshaus, M., and B. Stein. 2013. Climate-change impacts on ecological systems: Introduction to a US assessment.  Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 11(9): 456-464. https://doi.org/10.1890/120310

Staudinger, M.D., Juanes, F., Salmon, B., and A. K. Teffer.  2013.  The distribution, diversity, and importance of cephalopods in top predator diets from offshore habitats of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean.  Deep Sea Research II, 95: 182–192. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2012.06.004

Staudinger, M.D.  2011.  Species- and size-specific variability of mercury concentrations in four commercially important finfish and their prey from the northwest Atlantic. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 62: 734-740. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2011.01.017

Staudinger, M.D., Hanlon, R.T., and F. Juanes.  2011.  Primary and secondary defenses of squid to cruising and ambush fish predators: variable tactics and their survival value.  Animal Behaviour, 81: 585-594. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2010.12.002

Staudinger, M.D., and F. Juanes.  2010.  Size-dependent susceptibility of longfin inshore squid (Loligo pealeii) to attack and capture by two predators.  Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 393: 106-113. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jembe.2010.07.005

Staudinger, M.D., and F. Juanes.  2010.  A size-based approach to quantifying predation on longfin inshore squid (Loligo pealeii) in the northwest Atlantic.  Marine Ecology-Progress Series, 399: 225-241. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps08339

Staudinger, M.D., and F. Juanes.  2010.  Feeding tactics of a behaviorally plastic predator, summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatus).  Journal of Sea Research, 64 (1): 68-75. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.seares.2009.08.002

Staudinger, M.D., Juanes, F., and S. Carlson.  2009.  Reconstruction of original body size and estimation of allometric relationships for the longfin inshore squid (L. pealeii) and northern shortfin squid (Illex illecebrosus).  Fishery Bulletin, 107: 101–105.

Moltschaniwskyj, N.A., Hall, K., Lipinski, M. R., Marian, J.E.A.R., Nishiguchi, M., Sakai, M., Shulman, D.J., Sinclair, B., Sinn, D.L., Staudinger, M.D., Van Gelderen, R., Villanueva, R., and K. Warnke.  2007.  Ethical and welfare considerations when using cephalopods as experimental animals. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, 17: 455-476. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11160-007-9056-8

Staudinger, M.D.  2006.  Seasonal and size-based predation on two species of squid by four fish predators on the Northwest Atlantic continental shelf.  Fishery Bulletin, 104 (4): 605-615.


Borggaard, D., Dick, D. M., Zoodsma, B., Star, J., Alexander, M., Asaro, M., Barre, L., Bettridge, S., Burns, P., Coogan, C., Corkeron, P., Crocker, J., Damon-Randall, K., Dortch, Q., Engleby, L., Garrison, L., Gulland, F., Haskell, B., Hayes, S, Henry, A., Madley, K., Milliken, H., Morin, D., Pearson-Meyer, J., Powell, J., Quinlan, J., Rowles, T., Runge, M., Saba, V., Shortland, B., Staudinger, M.D., Thomas, P, Walsh, H., Wieting, D. and Wiley, D. 2020. North Atlantic Right Whale (Eubalaena glacialis) Scenario Planning Report. NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Region Office. 61 p. www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/policyseries

Borggaard, D., Dick, D. M., Star, J., Alexander, M., Bernier, M., Collins, M., Crocker, J., Damon-Randall, K., Dudley, R., Griffis, R., Hayes, S., Johnson, M., Kircheis, D., Kocik, J., Letcher, B., Mantua, N., Morrison, W., Nislow, K., Saba, V., Saunders, R., Sheehan, T., and M.D. Staudinger. 2019. Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar) Climate Scenario Planning Pilot Draft Workshop Summary. NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Region Office. 89 p. www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/policyseries

Lipton, D., M. A. Rubenstein, S.R. Weiskopf, S. Carter, J. Peterson, L. Crozier, M. Fogarty, S. Gaichas, K.J.W. Hyde, T.L. Morelli, J. Morisette, H. Moustahfid, R. Muñoz, R. Poudel, M.D. Staudinger, C. Stock, L. Thompson, R. Waples, and J.F. Weltzin, 2018: Ecosystems, Ecosystem Services, and Biodiversity. In Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States: Fourth National Climate Assessment, Volume II [Reidmiller, D.R., C.W. Avery, D.R. Easterling, K.E. Kunkel, K.L.M. Lewis, T.K. Maycock, and B.C. Stewart (eds.)]. U.S. Global Change Research Program, Washington, DC, USA. doi:10.7930/NCA4.2018.CH7

Thompson, L. M., Staudinger, M.D., and S. L. Carter.  2015. Summarizing components of U.S. Department of Interior vulnerability assessments for targeting climate change adaptation planning. U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2015-1110.

Staudinger, M.D., T.L. Morelli, and A.M. Bryan. 2015.  Integrating Climate Change into Northeast and Midwest State Wildlife Action Plans. DOI Northeast Climate Science Center Report, Amherst, Massachusetts. 205 p. Available at:  http://necsc.umass.edu/

Staudinger, M.D., Grimm, N., Staudt, A., Carter, S., Chapin, F.S.III, Kareiva, P., Ruckelshaus, M., and B. Stein. 2012. Impacts of Climate Change on Biodiversity, Ecosystems, and Ecosystem Services: Technical Input to the 2013 National Climate Assessment. Cooperative Report to the 2013 National Climate Assessment. 296 p.  Available at: http://assessment.globalchange.gov

Book Chapters

Hanlon, R. T., Buresch, K., Moustahfid, H. and Staudinger, M.D.  2013.  Doryteuthis pealeii, Longfin inshore squid.  In: Rosa, R., Pierce, G., and R. O’Dor (eds) Advances in Squid Biology, Ecology, and Fisheries.  Nova Science Publishers, Inc. Hauppauge, NY. (Book Chapter).