Joe Roman

Joe Roman
University of Vermont | UVM · Gund Institute for Environment

PhD

About

194
Publications
78,208
Reads
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5,455
Citations
Introduction
Joe Roman works at the Gund Institute for Environment, University of Vermont. He does research in conservation biology, marine ecology, and genetics. His projects include "Guantanamo 2.0: Transforming Gitmo into a Peace Park and Ecological Research Center" and "The Wild American Dream," an examination of endangered species policy.
Additional affiliations
August 2014 - September 2015
Harvard University
Position
  • Sarah and Daniel Hrdy Visiting Fellow 
in Conservation Biology
October 2012 - present
State of Vermont
Position
  • Member
Description
  • Appointed by Governor Peter Shumlin to represent Vermont on Northeast Regional Planning Body.
March 1993 - June 1998
New England Aquarium
Position
  • Researcher

Publications

Publications (194)
Article
Full-text available
Baleen and sperm whales, known collectively as the great whales, include the largest animals in the history of life on Earth. With high metabolic demands and large populations, whales probably had a strong influence on marine ecosystems before the advent of industrial whaling: as consumers of fish and invertebrates; as prey to other large-bodied pr...
Article
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The past was a world of giants, with abundant whales in the sea and large animals roaming the land. However, that world came to an end following massive late-Quaternary megafauna extinctions on land and widespread population reductions in great whale populations over the past few centuries. These losses are likely to have had important consequences...
Article
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Cuba has about 5000 km of coastline, including coral reefs, mangrove wetlands, seagrass beds, and tropical wet forests. Long stretches of coast remain undeveloped, with relatively high levels of fish biomass and marine biodiversity in marine parks that are unparalleled in the Caribbean (1, 2). But on the eve of President Obama's visit to Cuba, we m...
Article
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Cuba has some of the most well-protected coastal ecosystems in the Caribbean Sea, with strong marine policies and legislation, including a system of marine protected areas intended to cover 25% of its insular shelf. The “crown jewel” of the system, Jardines de la Reina National Park, has near pristine levels of apex predators and well-preserved cor...
Article
Full-text available
Policy Forum: Key improvements are needed for implementation of the Endangered Species Act
Article
Phosphorus (P) is essential for all life on Earth and sustains food production. Yet, the easily accessible deposits of phosphate-rich rock, which underpin the green revolution are becoming rarer. Here we propose a mechanism to help alleviate the problem of “peak phosphorus”. In the past, wild animals played a large role in returning P from ocean de...
Article
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Primary producers are the foundation of marine food webs and require reliable nutrient sources to maintain their important role with ecosystems. While marine mammals and seabirds can play critical roles in marine nutrient cycling, their contributions are often overlooked. Southeast Alaska’s marine environment supports abundant marine mammal and sea...
Article
Physical disruption of an ecosystem by sea otters affects the genetic diversity of their habitat
Article
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On a January day two years ago, an emaciated whale washed up dead on Sandy Key, at the southernmost reaches of Florida's Everglades National Park. The 38-foot-long male had the long white throat grooves characteristic of baleen whales, which are rare in the Gulf of Mexico. A team of biologists soon gathered to examine the whale. During the necropsy...
Article
Marine mammals are believed to exert a strong influence on ecosystems, though the best methods for measuring their ecological role have long been debated. Here, we used an ecosystem modelling approach to explore the underlying forces that define their ecological role, with a focus on predatory effects. We used the outputs and metadata from 55 food...
Article
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We need to change how we relate to wildlife, putting their health, and our own, before commercial interests. https://www.ehn.org/wildlife-human-health-2646152480.html
Technical Report
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This report reviews our current understanding of the habitat used by the Gulf of Mexico whale, at present and in the past, and considers the habitat that will be necessary for future recovery. It describes the importance of critical habitat for the species, relying on the best available science. The designation of critical habitat assists federal a...
Preprint
Humans and natural systems face three pressing concerns: the loss of large animal biodiversity, eutrophication of many aquatic systems, and the need to better recycle phosphorus. Here we propose a mechanism to help alleviate these problems. Some have hypothesized that we are approaching “peak phosphorus,” where phosphorus may become more expensive...
Article
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The sunken carcasses of great whales (i.e., whale falls) provide an important deep-sea habitat for more than 100 species that may be considered whale-fall specialists. Commercial whaling has reduced the abundance and size of whales, and thus whale-fall habitats, as great whales were hunted and removed from the oceans, often to near extinction. In t...
Article
Commercial whaling is a divisive issue in Iceland, and often considered to be irreconcilable with whale watching. The coexistence of both activities in Faxaflói Bay, adjacent to the capital city of Reykjavík, has led to the designation of part of the bay as a whale sanctuary, where whaling is banned. The study utilises the contingent valuation meth...
Article
Goal 14, ‘Life Below Water’, of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals sets a target for nations to increase the number of marine protected areas managed using ecosystem-based management, which requires interventions focused on fish stock conservation and enhancement, environmental sustainability and ecosystem services of benefit to human...
Chapter
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Cuba has a long history of environmental protection, with a network of more than 250 national parks and protected areas, and relatively high levels of fish biomass and marine biodiversity in marine parks that are unparalleled in the Caribbean. There is concern that the normalization of relations between the United States and Cuba might reverse the...
Article
The study presents the first systematic review of the existing literature on Arctic ES. Applying the Search, Appraisal, Synthesis and Analysis (SALSA) and snowballing methods and three selection criteria, 33 publications were sourced, including peer-reviewed articles, policy papers and scientific reports, and their content synthesised using the the...
Article
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Proposals by the Trump administration and various lawmakers threaten the effectiveness of the Endangered Species Act, which has brought back a host of plants and animals from the edge of extinction. We propose some practical steps to protect and improve the act
Article
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Two genetically distinct lineages of European green crabs (Carcinus maenas) were independently introduced to eastern North America, the first in the early 19th century and the second in the late 20th century. These lineages first came into secondary contact in southeastern Nova Scotia, Canada (NS), where they hybridized, producing latitudinal genet...
Preprint
The many values that humans place on biodiversity are widely acknowledged but difficult to measure in practice. We address this problem by quantifying the contribution of marine‐related environmental stewardship, in the form of donations and volunteer hours, to the economy of coastal Massachusetts. Our conservative evaluation suggests that marine s...
Article
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Rumen microorganisms are the origin of many bioactive fatty acids (FA) found in ruminant-derived food products. Differences in plant leaf anatomy and chemical composition between cool-and warm-season pastures may alter rumen microorganisms, potentially enhancing the quantity/profile of bioactive FA available for incorporation into milk. The objecti...
Article
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Classical ecology provides principles for construction and function of biological communities, but to what extent these apply to the animal-associated microbiota is just beginning to be assessed. Here, we investigated the influence of several well-known ecological principles on animal-associated microbiota by characterizing gut microbial specimens...
Article
Full-text available
The many values that humans place on biodiversity are widely acknowledged but difficult to measure in practice. We address this problem by quantifying the contribution of marine-related environmental stewardship, in the form of donations and volunteer hours, to the economy of coastal Massachusetts. Our conservative evaluation suggests that marine s...
Article
Full-text available
Cuba is an ecological rarity in Latin America and the Caribbean region. Its complex political and economic history shows limited disturbances, extinctions, pollution, and resource depletion by legal or de facto measures. Vast mangroves, wetlands, and forests play key roles in protecting biodiversity and reducing risks of hazards caused or aggravate...
Article
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We studied the diets of four sympatric carnivores in the flooding savannas of western Venezuela by analysing predator DNA and prey remains in faeces. DNA was isolated and a portion of the cytochrome b gene of the mitochondrial genome amplified and sequenced from 20 of 34 scats. Species were diagnosed by comparing the resulting sequences to referenc...
Chapter
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Marine mammals play many important ecological roles in the world’s oceans, including as predators, prey, nutrient vectors, and carcasses such as whale falls. The depletion, and subsequent protection, of many species have resulted in natural perturbation experiments that have increased our understanding of species interactions and the role of marine...
Chapter
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Ecosystem services are increasingly incorporated into explicit policy targets and can be an effective tool for informing decisions about the use and management of the planet's resources, especially when trade-offs and synergies need to be taken into account. The challenge is to find meaningful and robust indicators to quantify ecosystem services, m...
Article
The demand for dairy products from grass-fed cows is driven, in part, by their more desirable fatty acid (FA) profile, containing more n-3 FA and conjugated linoleic acids (CLA) than conventionally produced dairy products. This study investigated the effects of pearl millet (PM) vs. cool-season pasture (CSP) on animal performance and milk FA in a g...
Article
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Marine mammals have recently been documented as important facilitators of rapid and efficient nutrient recycling in coastal and offshore waters. Whales enhance phytoplankton nutrition by releasing fecal plumes near the surface after feeding and by migrating from highly productive, high-latitude feeding areas to low-latitude nutrient-poor calving ar...
Article
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Mammals host gut microbiomes of immense physiological consequence, but the determinants of diversity in these communities remain poorly understood. Diet appears to be the dominant factor, but host phylogeny also seems to be an important, if unpredictable, correlate. Here we show that baleen whales, which prey on animals (fish and crustaceans), harb...
Article
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Biologists and policymakers are accustomed to managing species in decline, but for the first time in generations they are also encountering recovering populations of ocean predators. Many citizens perceive these species as invaders and conflicts are increasing. It is time to celebrate these hard-earned successes and lift baselines for recovering sp...
Article
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Biological invasions offer unique opportunities to investigate evolutionary dynamics at the peripheries of expanding pop- ulations. Here, we examine genetic patterns associated with admixture between two distinct invasive lineages of the European green crab, Carcinus maenas L., independently introduced to the northwest Atlantic. Previous investigat...
Article
The Alligator Snapping Turtle, Macrochelys temminckii, is a large, aquatic turtle limited to river systems that drain into the Gulf of Mexico. Previous molecular analyses using both mitochondrial and nuclear DNA suggested that Macrochelys exhibits significant genetic variation across its range that includes three distinct genetic assemblages (weste...
Article
Full-text available
The Alligator Snapping Turtle, Macrochelys temminckii, is a large, aquatic turtle limited to river systems that drain into the Gulf of Mexico. Previous molecular analyses using both mitochondrial and nuclear DNA suggested that Macrochelys exhibits significant genetic variation across its range that includes three distinct genetic assemblages (weste...
Article
Full-text available
Passed in 1972, the Marine Mammal Protection Act has two fundamental objectives: to maintain U.S. marine mammal stocks at their optimum sustainable populations and to uphold their ecological role in the ocean. The current status of many marine mammal populations is considerably better than in 1972. Take reduction plans have been largely successful...
Article
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We examine the history and status of ecosystem services in low-lying coastal areas (LLCA's), how they might change in the future in particular because of urbanization and wider environmental and social changes, and what the implications of these changes might be for the migration of humans. We synthesized information from a number of sources on the...
Article
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Supplementary information to: Non-natives: 141 scientists object Full list of co-signatories to a Correspondence published in Nature 475, 36 (2011); doi: 10.1038/475036a. Daniel Simberloff University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA. dsimberloff@utk.edu Jake Alexander Institute of Integrative Biology, Zurich, Switzerland. Fred Allendorf Univ...
Chapter
Full-text available
This paper examines the history and current status of ecosystem services in low-lying coastal areas (LLCAs), their potential changes because of wider environmental and social shifts, and the potential impacts of these changes on human migration. We synthesised information from a number of sources on the status and value of ecosystem services in LLC...
Article
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In a single well-mixed population, equally abundant neutral alleles are equally likely to persist. However, in spatially complex populations structured by an asymmetric dispersal mechanism, such as a coastal population where larvae are predominantly moved downstream by currents, the eventual frequency of neutral haplotypes will depend on their init...
Article
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Article
Aim To determine timing, source and vector for the recent introduction of the European green crab, Carcinus maenas (Linnaeus, 1758), to Newfoundland using multiple lines of evidence. Location Founding populations in Placentia Bay, Newfoundland, Canada and potential source populations in the north-west Atlantic (NWA) and Europe. Methods We analysed...
Article
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It is well known that microbes, zooplankton, and fish are important sources of recycled nitrogen in coastal waters, yet marine mammals have largely been ignored or dismissed in this cycle. Using field measurements and population data, we find that marine mammals can enhance primary productivity in their feeding areas by concentrating nitrogen near...
Article
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A previous mtDNA study indicated that female-mediated gene flow was extremely rare among alligator snapping turtle populations in different drainages of the Gulf of Mexico. In this study, we used variation at seven microsatellite DNA loci to assess the possibility of male-mediated gene flow, we augmented the mtDNA survey with additional sampling of...
Article
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"If we refuse to take into account the full cost of our fossil fuel addiction—if we don't factor in the environmental costs and national security costs and true economic costs—we will have missed our best chance to seize a clean energy future." —President Barack Obama,  Carnegie Mellon University,    June 2, 2010 The oil spill from the Deepwater Ho...
Article
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Human history has followed a pattern—which began in Africa but is now global in scope—of exploiting nature and depleting resources. As we have expanded our influence over the world, we have also extinguished species and populations at an alarming rate. Despite attempts to reduce biodiversity loss, the trend is likely to continue: nearly 20% of all...
Article
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For hundreds of years, it wasn’t uncommon for farmers in Europe to till their land and plant their crops only to see the soil wash away by year’s end. Before they started all over again, many had to carry the lost soil back up to the fields. Piles of dirt overflowed oxcarts or burdened the farmers’ backs as they made their way up the eroding hill.1...
Article
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Changes in the type and prevalence of human diseases have occurred during shifts in human social organization, for example, from hunting and gathering to agriculture and with urbanization during the Industrial Revolution. The recent emergence and reemergence of infectious diseases appears to be driven by globalization and ecological disruption. We...
Chapter
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