Benjamin Halpern

Benjamin Halpern
University of California, Santa Barbara | UCSB · Bren School of Environmental Science and Management

PhD

About

360
Publications
272,169
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
51,481
Citations

Publications

Publications (360)
Article
Oceans play critical roles in the lives, economies, cultures, and nutrition of people globally, yet face increasing pressures from human activities that put those benefits at risk. To anticipate the future of the world's ocean, we review the many human activities that impose pressures on marine species and ecosystems, evaluating their impacts on ma...
Article
As marine spatial planning (MSP) continues to gain global prominence as an approach to ocean governance, planners and other stakeholders are eager to evaluate its social and ecological outcomes and to better understand whether plans are achieving their intended results in an equitable and cost-efficient manner. While a plan’s outcomes for marine en...
Article
Full-text available
A major challenge in sustainability science is identifying targets that maximize ecosystem benefits to humanity while minimizing the risk of crossing critical system thresholds. One critical threshold is the biomass at which populations become so depleted that their population growth rates become negative—depensation. Here, we evaluate how the valu...
Article
Full-text available
Blue foods play a central role in food and nutrition security for billions of people and are a cornerstone of the livelihoods, economies, and cultures of many coastal and riparian communities. Blue foods are extraordinarily diverse, are often rich in essential micronutrients and fatty acids, and can often be produced in ways that are more environme...
Article
Total and per capita protein consumption rates in US diets, whether from plant or animal sources, rank among the highest in the world. When protein consumption outpaces physiologic protein demands, excess amino acids are degraded in the human body and nitrogen (N) is excreted and released to the environment, mainly in the form of urea. Such excess...
Preprint
Full-text available
Biodiversity, as we see it today, ultimately is the outcome of millions of years of evolution; however, biodiversity in its multiple dimensions is changing rapidly due to increasing human domination of Earth. Here, we present the 'phylogenetic completeness' (PC) a concept and methodology that intends to safeguard Earth's evolutionary assets that ha...
Article
Full-text available
Coastal environments globally are experiencing an increase in the influence and impact of human activities. Assessing the amount of modification that anthropogenic impacts cause to coastal ecosystems is imperative for characterizing and predicting habitat loss and degradation, and prioritizing conservation measures. However, as the spatial scale an...
Article
Full-text available
Marine species and ecosystems are widely affected by anthropogenic stressors, ranging from pollution and fishing to climate change. Comprehensive assessments of how species and ecosystems are impacted by anthropogenic stressors are critical for guiding conservation and management investments. Previous global risk or vulnerability assessments have f...
Article
Full-text available
Mariculture (marine and brackish water aquaculture) has grown rapidly over the past 20 years, yet publicly-available information on the location of mariculture production is sparse. Identifying where mariculture production occurs remains a major challenge for understanding its environmental impacts and the sustainability of individual farms and the...
Article
Full-text available
The adoption of sustainable new foods could potentially reduce the environmental burden of human food production if they can reduce demand for products with higher environmental impact. However, there is little empirical evidence for how frequent food consumption declines are when new foods are introduced, limiting our knowledge of the potential fo...
Article
Full-text available
Management of the land-sea interface is considered essential for global conservation and sustainability objectives, as coastal regions maintain natural processes that support biodiversity and the livelihood of billions of people. However, assessments of coastal regions have focused on either strictly the terrestrial or marine realm, and as a conseq...
Article
Food production is one of the main contributors to climate change, but is also vulnerable to the resulting stressors, which is well documented for agriculture and fisheries. Attention is now turning to the rapidly growing aquaculture sector and its vulnerability to a changing climate. Here we explore the extent to which climate stressors and aquacu...
Article
Full-text available
It is a critical time to reflect on the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) science to date as well as envision what research can be done right now with NEON (and other) data and what training is needed to enable a diverse user community. NEON became fully operational in May 2019 and has pivoted from planning and construction to operatio...
Article
To the Editor — Wyborn and Evans argue that global priority maps for conservation have questionable utility and may crowd out local and more contextual research. While we agree with the authors’ central argument that effective and equitable conservation must be rooted at local scales, the assertion that “conservation needs to break free from global...
Preprint
Full-text available
Determining where environmental management is best applied, either through regulating single sectors of human activities or across sectors, is complicated by interactions between human impacts and the environment. In this article, we show how an explicit representation of human-environment interactions can help, via “impact networks” including acti...
Article
Full-text available
With human food production a major driver of global environmental change, there is increasing recognition of the importance of shifting towards more sustainable dietary patterns. With wholesale dietary change notoriously difficult to implement at scale, various new food analogues have emerged to serve as qualitatively similar (e.g., taste, texture)...
Article
Full-text available
Global change is striking harder and faster in the Mediterranean Sea than elsewhere, where high levels of human pressure and proneness to climate change interact in modifying the structure and disrupting regulative mechanisms of marine ecosystems. Rocky reefs are particularly exposed to such environmental changes with ongoing trends of degradation...
Article
Full-text available
Small-scale fisheries and aquaculture (SSFA) provide livelihoods for over 100 million people and sustenance for ~1 billion people, particularly in the Global South. Aquatic foods are distributed through diverse supply chains, with the potential to be highly adaptable to stresses and shocks, but face a growing range of threats and adaptive challenge...
Article
Full-text available
Marine species are declining at an unprecedented rate, catalyzing many nations to adopt conservation and management targets within their jurisdictions. However, marine species and the biophysical processes that sustain them are naive to international borders. An understanding of the prevalence of cross-border species distributions is important for...
Article
Full-text available
Aquatic foods from marine and freshwater systems are critical to the nutrition, health, livelihoods, economies and cultures of billions of people worldwide, but climate-related hazards may compromise their ability to provide these benefits. Here, we estimate national-level aquatic food system climate risk using an integrative food systems approach...
Article
Full-text available
Small-scale fisheries and aquaculture (SSFA) provide livelihoods for over 100 million people and sustenance for ~1 billion people, particularly in the Global South. Aquatic foods are distributed through diverse supply chains, with the potential to be highly adaptable to stresses and shocks, but face a growing range of threats and adaptive challenge...
Article
Full-text available
People in the Northeast United States have a long history of benefitting from the ocean in many ways, exemplified by the region's important cod and lobster fisheries, coastal tourism and recent expansion of offshore energy. Over the past few decades, the region has become one of the fastest warming spots on the planet, has seen significant growth i...
Article
The Neolithic Revolution began approximately 10,000 years ago and is characterized by the ultimate, nearly complete transition from hunting and gathering to agricultural food production on land. The Neolithic Revolution is thought to have been catalyzed by a combination of local population pressure, cultural diffusion, property rights and climate c...
Preprint
Full-text available
Management of the land-sea interface is considered essential for global conservation and sustainability objectives, as coastal regions maintain natural processes that support biodiversity and the livelihood of billions of people. However, assessments of coastal regions have focused on either strictly the terrestrial or marine realm, and as a conseq...
Article
Full-text available
A Correction to this paper has been published: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03496-1.
Article
Full-text available
The ocean contains unique biodiversity, provides valuable food resources and is a major sink for anthropogenic carbon. Marine protected areas (MPAs) are an effective tool for restoring ocean biodiversity and ecosystem services1,2, but at present only 2.7% of the ocean is highly protected³. This low level of ocean protection is due largely to confli...
Article
The capacity for aquaculture to provide an alternative source of fish and seafood to capture fisheries was once promoted as a tool to reduce demand for wild fish and thus tackle overfishing. To date, there is little evidence to suggest that aquaculture growth has successfully reduced fishing effort on wild populations. Recent theory on ‘blue transi...
Article
Human activities and climate change threaten marine biodiversity worldwide, though sensitivity to these stressors varies considerably by species and taxonomic group. Mapping the spatial distribution of 14 anthropogenic stressors from 2003 to 2013 onto the ranges of 1271 at-risk marine species sensitive to them, we found that, on average, species fa...
Article
Full-text available
Herbivorous fish can increase coral growth and survival by grazing down algal competitors. With coral reefs in global decline, maintaining adequate herbivory has become a primary goal for many managers. However, herbivore biomass targets assume grazing behavior is consistent across different reef systems, even though relatively few have been studie...
Article
Full-text available
Global food system analyses call for an urgent transition to sustainable human diets but how this might be achieved within the current global food regime is poorly explored. Here we examine the factors that have fostered major dietary shifts across eight countries in the past 70 years. Guided by transition and food-regime theories, we draw on data...
Article
Understanding the dynamics of species range edges in the modern era is key to addressing fundamental biogeographic questions about abiotic and biotic drivers of species distributions. Range edges are where colonization and extirpation processes unfold, and so these dynamics are also important to understand for effective natural resource management...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Neolithic Revolution began c. 10000 years ago and is characterised by the ultimate, near complete transition from hunting and gathering to agricultural food production on land. The Neolithic Revolution is thought to have been catalysed by a combination of local population pressure, cultural diffusion, property rights and climate change. We unde...
Article
Full-text available
Scenario analysis can guide aquaculture planning to meet sustainable future production goals. Marine aquaculture holds great promise for meeting increasing demand for healthy protein that is sustainably produced, but reaching necessary production levels will be challenging. The ecosystem approach to aquaculture is a framework for sustainable aquacu...
Article
Full-text available
Aquaculture policy often promotes production of low‐trophic level species for sustainable industry growth. Yet, the application of the trophic level concept to aquaculture is complex, and its value for assessing sustainability is further complicated by continual reformulation of feeds. The majority of fed farmed fish and invertebrate species are pr...
Article
Cell‐based seafood is an emerging novel food, with many start‐up companies aspiring for ocean conservation benefits through expanded market share that displaces wild‐caught seafood. However, the ability for cell‐based seafood to achieve this conservation outcome is often oversimplified and will rely on an extensive, and we find somewhat tenuous, ch...
Article
Full-text available
Oceans have become substantially noisier since the Industrial Revolution. Shipping, resource exploration, and infrastructure development have increased the anthrophony (sounds generated by human activities), whereas the biophony (sounds of biological origin) has been reduced by hunting, fishing, and habitat degradation. Climate change is affecting...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Improving the health of coastal and open sea marine ecosystems represents a substantial challenge for sustainable marine resource management, since it requires balancing human benefits and impacts on the ocean. This challenge is often exacerbated by incomplete knowledge and lack of tools that measure ocean and coastal ecosystem health in a...
Article
Full-text available
Valuing, managing and conserving marine biodiversity and a full range of ecosystem services is at the forefront of research and policy agendas. However, biodiversity is being lost at up to a thousand times the average background rate. Traditional disciplinary and siloed conservation approaches are not able to tackle this massive loss of biodiversit...
Article
Full-text available
Effective management of aquatic resources, wild and farmed, has implications for the livelihoods of dependent communities, food security, and ecosystem health. Good management requires information on the status of harvested species, yet many gaps remain in our understanding of these species and systems, in particular the lack of taxonomic resolutio...
Article
Full-text available
A growing body of literature has documented myriad effects of human activities on animal behaviour, yet the ultimate ecological consequences of these behavioural shifts remain largely uninvestigated. While it is understood that, in the absence of humans, variation in animal behaviour can have cascading effects on species interactions, community str...
Article
Full-text available
Synthesis has become ubiquitous in ecology. Despite its widespread application to a broad range of research topics, it remains unclear how synthesis has affected the discipline. Using a case study of publications (n = 2304) from the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis compared with papers with similar keywords from the Web of Scie...
Preprint
Full-text available
Marine species are declining at an unprecedented rate, catalyzing many nations to adopt conservation and management targets within their jurisdictions. However, marine species are naive to international borders and an understanding of cross-border species distributions is important for informing high-level conservation strategies, such as bilateral...
Article
Full-text available
Global demand for freshwater and marine foods (i.e., seafood) is rising and an increasing proportion is farmed. Aquaculture encompasses a range of species and cultivation methods, resulting in diverse social, economic, nutritional, and environmental outcomes. As a result, how aquaculture develops will influence human wellbeing and environmental hea...
Article
Full-text available
Feeding a growing, increasingly affluent population while limiting environmental pressures of food production is a central challenge for society. Understanding the location and magnitude of food production is key to addressing this challenge because pressures vary substantially across food production types. Applying data and models from life cycle...
Article
Full-text available
The St. Lawrence is a vast and complex socio-ecological system providing a wealth of services that sustain numerous economic sectors. This ecosystem is subject to significant human pressures that overlap and potentially interact with climate-driven environmental changes. Our objective in this paper was to systematically characterize the distributio...
Article
Full-text available
Mind the gap between ICES nations' future seafood consumption and aquaculture production. As the human population grows and climate change threatens the stability of seafood sources, we face the key question of how we will meet increasing demand, and do so sustainably. Many of the 20 International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) membe...
Article
Full-text available
The acceleration of global warming and increased vulnerability of marine social-ecological systems affect the benefits provided by the ocean. Spatial planning of marine areas is vital to balance multiple human demands and ensure a healthy ocean, while supporting global ocean goals. To thrive in a changing ocean though, marine spatial planning (MSP)...
Article
Full-text available
Ecosystem services are impacted through restricting service supply, through limiting people from accessing services, and by affecting the quality of services. We map cumulative impacts to 8 different ecosystem services in coastal British Columbia using InVEST models, spatial data, and expert elicitation to quantify risk to each service from anthrop...
Article
Full-text available
Stressors to marine ecosystems are increasing, driven by human activities in the sea and on land, and climate change. Cumulative impact maps highlight regions affected by multiple human activities, but efficient conservation investment requires linking dominant pressures to management actions that best address the particular drivers of impacts. We...
Article
Full-text available
With the global supply of forage fish at a plateau, fed aquaculture must continue to reduce dependence on fishmeal and oil in feeds to ensure sustainable sector growth. The use of novel aquaculture feed ingredients is growing, but their contributions to scalable and sustainable aquafeed solutions are unclear. Here, we show that global adoption of n...
Article
Full-text available
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were designed to address interactions between the economy, society, and the biosphere. However, indicators used for assessing progress toward the goals do not account for these interactions. To understand the potential implications of this compartmentalized assessment framework, we explore progress evaluatio...
Article
Species around the world are shifting their ranges in response to climate change. To make robust predictions about climate‐related colonizations and extinctions, it is vital to understand the dynamics of range edges. This study is among the first to examine annual dynamics of cold and warm range edges, as most global change studies average observat...
Article
Full-text available
Despite global policy commitments to preserve Earth's marine biodiversity, many species are in a state of decline. Using data on 22,885 marine species, we identify 8.5 million km² of priority areas that complement existing areas of conservation and biodiversity importance. New conservation priorities are found in over half (56%) of all coastal nati...
Article
Full-text available
Effective management of marine systems requires quantitative tools that can assess the state of the marine social-ecological system and are responsive to management actions and pressures. We applied the Ocean Health Index (OHI) framework to retrospectively assess ocean health in British Columbia annually from 2001 to 2016 for eight goals that repre...
Article
Full-text available
The health of coastal human communities and marine ecosystems are at risk from a host of anthropogenic stressors, in particular, climate change. Because ecological health and human well-being are inextricably connected, effective and positive responses to current risks require multidisciplinary solutions. Yet, the complexity of coupled social–ecolo...