Geoffrey Trussell

Geoff Trussell

PhD, College of William and Mary
MSc, University of New Hampshire
AB, Bowdoin College

Area(s) of Expertise

Evolutionary and Community Ecology

Research Interests

Prof. Trussell’s research program currently focuses on a number of important issues in evolutionary, community and ecosystem ecology. These interests are being explored in a number of systems including rocky intertidal shores, old fields, and freshwater amphibian communities. In a nutshell, Prof. Trussell thinks interesting questions are far more important than interesting systems but, of course, if one can have both then things are that much better! Much of his current work emphasizes the evolutionary and ecological significance of predation risk, with an emphasis on the evolution of phenotypic plasticity and inducible defenses, the ecological significance of nonconsumptive predator effects, and the influence of trait-mediated indirect interactions on community dynamic and ecosystem function. However, he also spends a good amount of time on other topics including the factors influencing invasive and exotic plant diversity in terrestrial systems, the influence of species diversity on ecosystem function, and the impact of climate change on natural food webs.

Prof. Trussell’s research is highly collaborative and involves some outstanding colleagues including Oswald Schmitz (Yale University), Barney Luttbeg (Oklahoma State University), Matthew Bracken (Northeastern University), Steve Vollmer (Northeastern University), Lee Smee (Texas A&M), Jeremy Long (San Diego State University) and Osamu Kishida (Hokkaido University).

Lab Website



Marine Science Center
430 Nahant Road
Nahant, MA 01908

3Qs: Why better infrastructure could solve Rio’s water problems

The Olympic sailing competition began Monday in Rio de Janeiro’s Guanabara Bay, the site of extensive water pollution that officials have warned is a health risk for the athletes. Geoff Trussell, director of Northeastern’s Marine Science Center, explains how bad the pollution can be for the aquatic ecosystem and what needs to be done to fix the problem.

The rules of the water

This summer, an inter­dis­ci­pli­nary research team led by Marine and Environmental Sciences pro­fessor Geoff Trussell will study com­mu­nity orga­ni­za­tion and con­nec­tivity of rocky inter­tidal habi­tats throughout the Gulf of Maine.

Looking ahead: Coastal sustainability in 2015

Many of the principal issues facing coastal sustainability in 2015 are ones the field has been dealing with for some time, says Northeastern’s Marine Science Center Director Geoff Trussell.

PhD student at Marine Science Center has paper published

Catherine Matassa has published a paper in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.