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John Piatt, Ph.D.

Seabirds, marine food webs and impact of climate change on marine ecosystems

My research has been conducted mostly in the north Pacific and Atlantic oceans, with a focus on studies of seabird biology at colonies and ecological factors that influence seabird populations and distribution at sea. Research topics also include feeding ecology of seabirds (especially Auks), forage fish (such as capelin and sand lance), groundfish, marine mammals, food webs, oceanography, marine ecosystems; and threats to seabirds from climate change, heatwaves, overfishing, net bycatch, and oil spills.

Professional Experience

  • 1987-Present  Sr Scientist, USGS Alaska Science Center, AK

  • 1982-1987  Res. Assoc., Nfld. Inst. for Cold Ocean Sci., MUN, NL

  • 1978-1981  Fish. Obs./Wildl. Biol., DFO Canada/MacLaren Marex, NL

  • 1974-1977  Res. Asst., Chemistry & Biochemistry Departments, MUN, NL

Education and Certifications

  • Ph.D.   1987   Marine Biology, Memorial Univ. of Newfoundland (MUN), Canada

  • B.Sc. (Honours) 1977   Biochemistry, MUN, Canada

Affiliations and Memberships*

  • Member (2021): Am. Assoc. Adv. Sci., Am. Ornith. Soc., Pac. Seabird Grp., Am. Fish. Soc.

  • Editorial, Boards, Panels and Offices

  • Editor, Marine Ecology Progress Series (2007-2021)

  • Assoc. Editor, The Auk (2006-2013)

  • Chairman (1993-1994), Pacific Seabird Group (Research and Conservation)

  • Board or Science Panel service to North Pacific Research Board (2004-2011), Sound Experience (2014-2018), CA Fish & Game Commission (2003-2006), NMFS Alaska Fisheries Science Center (2000-2002)

  • Board or Science Panel service to Steller Sea Lion Recovery Team Advisory Panel (1999-2001), Cook Inlet Keepers (1996-2003), Alaska Sea Life Center (1995-1999)

  • Affiliate Professor – U. Washington (UW, 2004-2020); Oregon State U. (OSU, 2011-2015), MUN (1992-1996)

  • Visiting Scholar – UW (1997-1998)

  • Invited Scholar - Norwegian Inst. Nature Res., Norway (1991)

  • Supervisor for 3 PhD, 13 MSc students at 9 univ. in the UK (Glasgow, Durham), Canada (MUN, U.Vic), & the U.S. (UW, U.Alaska, UCSC, OSU)

  • Ext. examiner for 6 PhD. & 2 MSc theses (CAN, US, AUS)

Honors and Awards

  • Lifetime Achievement Award (2016), Pacific Seabird Group

  • US DOI, Secretary, Award for Exceptional Service (1990)

  • US DOI, Secretary, Award for Extraordinary Contributions (2011)

  • USGS, Director, Certificate of Appreciation (2011)

  • USGS, Certificate of Appreciation for Outstanding Contributions (2006)

  • USGS, Special Act Service Award (1997)

  • USFS, Certificate of Appreciation for Outstanding Service (1997)

  • USGS Quality (Step) Awards (2) for Exceptional Performance

  • USGS/NBS/FWS Performance/Star Awards (24 during 1987-2020) for Outstanding Achievement

  • USFWS, Regional Director, Special Action Award (1990)

Science and Products

*Disclaimer: Listing outside positions with professional scientific organizations on this Staff Profile are for informational purposes only and do not constitute an endorsement of those professional scientific organizations or their activities by the USGS, Department of the Interior, or U.S. Government