Ben Halpern focuses his research at the interface between marine ecology and conservation biology. His research has addressed a broad range of questions that span local to global scales, including spatial population dynamics, trophic interactions in community ecology, and the interface between ecology and human dynamics, all with the ultimate aim to inform and facilitate conservation and resource management efforts in marine systems. He received his Ph.D. in marine ecology from UC Santa Barbara and then held a joint post-doctoral fellowship at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) and the Smith Fellowship Program sponsored by The Nature Conservancy. He is currently the Director of the Center for Marine Assessment and Planning and a Research Biologist at UC Santa Barbara. He also served as the project lead for a research initiative to evaluate and better inform efforts to do ecosystem-based management (EBM) in marine ecosystems around the world and is the lead scientist for the Ocean Health Index project.
Ben has led and participated in several key synthetic research projects that have advanced our understanding of the state of the world’s oceans and the potential for marine reserves to improve ocean condition. In particular he has led the development and mapping of cumulative impact assessments at global and regional scales in marine and freshwater systems. He has also conducted field expeditions in tropical and temperate systems in the Caribbean, Red Sea, Mediterranean, Solomon Islands, Indonesia, various parts of the South Pacific, California and Chile.