Brian Hel­muth is a pro­fessor in the Depart­ment of Marine and Envi­ron­mental Sci­ence and the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity, and directs the university’s Sus­tain­ability Sci­ence and Policy Initiative.

Cli­mate change pro­duces win­ners and losers, glob­ally and locally, and sci­ence can help to pre­dict which is which. Often the win­ners are inva­sive species, disease-​​causing organ­isms and pests with broad tol­er­ances to envi­ron­mental changes. To help save the species we care about — whether for sen­ti­mental rea­sons or because we depend on them for food and shelter — we’ll need detailed phys­i­o­log­ical and eco­log­ical knowl­edge of those species, their habi­tats and how they react to changing con­di­tions. With that knowl­edge, we’ll hope­fully be able to make better deci­sions about where and how to allo­cate scarce resources to pre­serve and pro­tect some of the many plants and ani­mals threat­ened with extinction.

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