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Bryan P. Piazza

Bryan P. Piazza

Director, Freshwater and Marine Science, The Nature Conservancy, Louisiana

Bryan Piazza is the director of freshwater and marine science for The Nature Conservancy’s Louisiana Chapter. Bryan’s work focuses on developing and implementing freshwater and coastal science to support conservation and restoration both in Louisiana and in collaboration with other Conservancy programs (Gulf of Mexico, Global Marine Team, Great Rivers Partnership). He also enjoys engaging graduate students in conservation issues.  Bryan serves as adjunct assistant professor in the School of Renewable Natural Resources at Louisiana State University, where he teaches a course on environmental decision making.

Bryan’s work focuses on the connection between science, resource management, and environmental policy and the role of decision making in that space. In that capacity, he works with talented teams on the development science-based decision making processes, decision-support tools, and products for engaging stakeholders in conservation and restoration. Current projects include 1) using spatial analysis to identify priority areas for conservation in the Atchafalaya River Basin; 2) development of a statewide freshwater assessment for Louisiana and Mississippi; 3) working with public, academic, private and political stakeholders to develop and implement a basin-wide decision making and management structure in the Atchafalaya River Basin in Louisiana; and 4) applying environmental and social science to improve management of oyster habitat across the northern Gulf of Mexico. He also worked on the development of TNC’s Gulf of Mexico Resilience Decision Support Tool and provides consultation on stakeholder application of that tool. Bryan is also interested in the role of habitat and hydrologic restoration in nutrient cycling and using market-based approaches to incentivize conservation.

Prior to joining TNC, Bryan designed and implemented applied research in aquatic systems across the Louisiana coast, particularly focused on the effects of re-connecting the Mississippi River to the coastal wetlands that it created and restoring oyster reefs. He specializes in developing ecosystem metrics to measure restoration success in aquatic systems. He also has experience developing coastal policy, managing projects to restore coastal wetlands, and developing monitoring protocols and installing instrumentation to monitor the effects of these projects. 

Bryan has a B.S. in Wildlife Management and Biology from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, an M.S. in Wildlife Science from Louisiana State University and a Ph.D. in Oceanography and Coastal Science from Louisiana State University.   He has published on a number of conservation and restoration topics and is the author of a book titled The Atchafalaya River Basin – History and Ecology of an American Wetland. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with his wife and two gregarious sons.

 Current Projects:

  • The Atchafalaya River Basin: History and Ecology of an American Wetland
  • Louisiana Freshwater Assessment
  • Mississippi Freshwater Assessment
  • Coastal Resilience Gulf of Mexico Decision Support Tool

Download Bryan's CV



Piazza, B.P., Y.C. Allen, R. Martin, J.F. Bergan, K. King, and R. Jacob. Floodplain Conservation in the Mississippi River Valley – Combining spatial analysis, landowner outreach, and market assessment to enhance land protection for the Atchafalaya River Basin, Louisiana, USA. Restoration Ecology. In Press.

Kozak, J. and B.P. Piazza. A proposed Structured Decision Making process for the Atchafalaya River Basin, Louisiana, USA. Restoration Ecology. In Review.

Haase, C.S., D Weber, C. Rice, J.J. Baustian, B.P. Piazza, J.F. Bergan, K. Ouchley, and K. Ouchley. Reconnection and Restoration of the Mollicy Unit on the Ouachita River Floodplain, Upper Ouachita National Wildfige Refuge, Lousiana, USA. Restoration Ecology. In Review.

La Peyre, M.K., J. Furlong, L.A. Brown, B.P. Piazza, and K. Brown. 2014. Oyster reef restoration in the northern Gulf of Mexico: extent, methods and outcomes. Ocean and Coastal Management, 89: 20-28.

Rice, C.L., D.S. Weber, C.S. Haase, and B.P. Piazza. 2014. Water quality monitoring station design for remote sites experiencing extreme water level fluctuation. River Research and Applications, DOI: 10.1002/rra.2729.


Piazza, B.P. and M.K. La Peyre. 2012. Measuring changes in consumer resource availability to riverine pulsing in Breton Sound, Louisiana, USA. PLoS ONE 7(5): e37536. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0037536.


Piazza, B.P. and M.K. La Peyre. 2011. Nekton community response to a large-scale Mississippi River discharge: examining spatial and temporal response to river management. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 91: 379-387.


Piazza, B.P. and M.K. La Peyre. 2010. Using Gambusia affinis growth rates to assess estuarine habitat quality: a comparison of indices. Marine Ecology Progress Series 412: 231-245.

Piazza, B.P., M.K. La Peyre, and B.D. Keim. 2010. Relating large-scale climate variability to local species abundance: ENSO forcing and shrimp in Breton Sound, Louisiana, USA. Climate Research, 42: 195-207.


Piazza, B.P. and M.K. La Peyre. 2009. The effect of Hurricane Katrina on nekton communities in the tidal freshwater marshes of Breton Sound Louisiana, USA. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 83:97-104.

Piazza, B.P., M.H. Piehler, B. Gossman, M.K. La Peyre, and J. La Peyre. 2009. Oyster recruitment and growth on an artificial reef structure in Grand Isle, LA, Bulletin of Marine Science 84:59-66.

La Peyre, M.K., B.P. Gossman, and B.P. Piazza. 2009. Short- and long-term response of deteriorating brackish marshes and open-water ponds to sediment enhancement by thin-layer dredge disposal. Estuaries and Coasts 32:390–402.


Piazza, B.P. and M.K. La Peyre. 2007. Restoration of the annual flood pulse in Breton Sound, Louisiana, USA: habitat change and nekton community response. Aquatic Biology 1: 109-119.


Piazza, B.P., P.D. Banks and M.K. La Peyre. 2005. The potential for created oyster shell reefs as a sustainable shoreline protection strategy in Louisiana. Restoration Ecology 13(3):499-506.


Piazza, B.P. and V.L. Wright. 2004. Within-season nest persistence in large wading bird rookeries. Waterbirds 27(3): 367-372.

Piazza, B. P. 2004. Notes on nesting in the Bronzy Jacamar (Galbula leucogastra) in Peru. Cotinga 21: 68.

Bryan P. Piazza

Director, Freshwater and Marine Science, The Nature Conservancy, Louisiana

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