Peter Auster

Research Professor Emeritus

National Undersea Research Center | Expertise: population and community ecology, conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity


For the past 35+ years my research has focused on the role that variation in the attributes of marine habitats and landscapes play in mediating the diversity, distribution, abundance and ecological interactions of marine and estuarine fishes.  Understanding the impacts of human activities, as well as evaluating management approaches that allow both the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity are an important applied focus.  Indeed we invest in bringing science to the management and policy arena – at local, state, regional, national and international levels – to explain current research results and inform decision-makers.  My students, colleagues and I use approaches from population and community ecology as well as from the disciplines of landscape ecology and animal behavior.  Our studies have been conducted at diverse locations around the world and range from small estuaries and nearshore reefs to outer continental shelf and deep sea regions.  However, a primary geographic focus has been the waters off the coast of the northeast United States.