Becca   Selden, Ph.D

Becca Selden, Ph.D

Wellesley College

Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences

Expertise: Biological SciencesMarine ecosystems

My research focuses on how fishing and climate change are altering marine ecosystems. In turn, I examine how food web structure mediates resilience to the cumulative impact of these stressors and the potential for ecosystem recovery. Finally, I investigate how social-ecological systems respond to global change. To do this, I use a combination of field, observational, and quantitative approaches to examine historical and future ecosystem changes and evaluate the outcome of management interventions. 

I aim to equip the students of my courses with the skills needed to tackle the multi-faceted nature of complex environmental problems. To accomplish this, I facilitate student-driven learning in applying scientific concepts to find solutions for conservation and management issues. The marine ecosystems in New England provide an ideal focal point for course content and field laboratories. Further, I look forward to incorporating innovative active learning approaches, such as the interactive Shifting Fishes game I developed with NPR’s Science Friday, to help bridge the gap between students who enter college interested in STEM and those who ultimately pursue science careers. At Wellesley, I teach a lecture section of introductory Organismal Biology (BISC 111), Statistics in the Biosciences (BISC 198), Marine Biology (BISC 210), and Issues in Marine Biology seminar (BISC 310).

I strive for my research to be relevant for policy. To that end, I have sought out opportunities to present my research to decision-makers. I testified about my research on climate and fisheries in front of the House Sub-committee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife in May 2019. I was invited to discuss the implications of climate change for marine restoration in a panel for congressional staff during Capitol Hill Ocean Week in June 2019. Finally, I presented my views on the power of interdisciplinarity in achieving ocean solutions in a side panel at the United Nations in June 2019. 

I enjoy playing ice hockey and soccer, cooking and eating good food, and exploring with my husband and son.

Title

Cited By

Year

Projecting shifts in thermal habitat for 686 species on the North American continental shelf

182

2018

Eco-label conveys reliable information on fish stock health to seafood consumers

175

2012

Climate-Driven Shifts in Marine Species Ranges: Scaling from Organisms to Communities

121

2020

Trade‐offs in covariate selection for species distribution models: a methodological comparison

38

2020

Waterborne cues from crabs induce thicker skeletons, smaller gonads and size-specific changes in growth rate in sea urchins

38

2009

Gradual changes in range size accompany long‐term trends in species richness

35

2017

Diversity in thermal affinity among key piscivores buffers impacts of ocean warming on predator‐prey interactions

35

2017

Protection of large predators in a marine reserve alters size-dependent prey mortality

34

2017

Ecosystem Status Report of the California Current for 2019: A Summary of Ecosystem Indicators Compiled by the California Current Integrated Ecosystem Assessment Team (CCIEA)

31

2019

Opportunities for behavioral rescue under rapid environmental change

30

2019

A review of methods for quantifying spatial predator–prey overlap

29

2019

Changes in higher trophic level productivity, diversity and niche space in a rapidly warming continental shelf ecosystem

27

2020

California spiny lobster preference for urchins from kelp forests: implications for urchin barren persistence

27

2014

Do behavioral foraging responses of prey to predators function similarly in restored and pristine foodwebs?

20

2012

Evaluating seafood eco-labeling as a mechanism to reduce collateral impacts of fisheries in an ecosystem-based fisheries management context

18

2016

Coupled changes in biomass and distribution drive trends in availability of fish stocks to US West Coast ports

17

2019

Evaluating potential artifacts of tethering techniques to estimate predation on sea urchins

14

2015

Ontogenetic shifts in predator diet drive tradeoffs between fisheries yield and strength of predator-prey interactions

4

2018

Climate Variability, Climate Change, and Conservation in a Dynamic Ocean

1

2017

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