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Rob Brumbaugh

Rob Brumbaugh

Director, Ocean Mapping and Planning

Dr. Rob Brumbaugh is the Director of Ocean Mapping and Planning at The Nature Conservancy (TNC). In this capacity, he leads an initiative called Mapping Ocean Wealth to develop new scientific approaches for mapping ecosystem services associated with important ocean habitats like coral reefs, marshes, mangroves and oyster reefs.  This kind new ocean information, in turn, is key for making smart investment decisions for conservation and economic development by the private and public sectors through ocean zoning, or Marine Spatial Planning. As part of The Nature Conservancy's Global Oceans Team, he provides guidance to organization’s state, country and regional programs on implementation of large-scale ocean management governance frameworks, and leads a team of scientists who focus on facilitating site-based habitat restoration and conservation of coral reefs, submerged sea grass meadows, oyster reefs, mangroves, marshes and riparian habitats. He is integrally involved with TNC’s work on the Global Partnership for Oceans, initiated by the World Bank in 2012, which seeks to halve the rate of marine habitat loss and dramatically increase the level of ocean protection by 2020.
Rob has more than 20 years of experience working in environmental consulting and marine conservation, and has worked for TNC since 2004. Throughout his career, he has focused on using science-based approaches to advance marine policy and implementation of watershed management for conservation of estuaries and near-shore marine habitats. He holds a doctorate in biological oceanography with an emphasis on interaction between ocean currents, biology of fish and invertebrates, and the habitats that support their earliest life stages.



zu Ermgassen, P.S., M.D. Spalding, R. Grizzle and R.D. Brumbaugh. 2013. Quantifying the loss of a marine ecosystem services: filtration by the eastern oyster in U.S. estuaries. Estuaries and Coasts. 63:36-43.


Grabowski, J.H., R.D. Brumbaugh, R. Conrad, A.G. Keeler, J. Opaluch, C.H. Peterson, M.F. Piehler, S.P. Powers and A.R. Smyth. 2012. Economic valuation of ecosystem services provided by oyster reefs. Bioscience. 62:900-909.

zu Ermgassen, P., M.Spalding, B.Blake, L.Coen, B.Dumbauld, S.Gieger, J.Grabowski, R.Grizzle, M.Luckenbach, K.McGraw, W. Rodney, J.Reusink, S.Powers and R.Brumbaugh. 2012. Historical ecology with real numbers: past and present extent and biomass of an imperiled estuarine habitat. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. doi:10.1098/rspb.2012.0313


Beck, M.W., R.D. Brumbaugh, L. Airoldi, A. Carranza, L.D. Coen, C. Crawford, O. Defeo, G.Edgar, B. Hancock, M. Kay, H. Lenihan, M. Luckenbach, C. Toropova, G. Zhang and X. Guo. 2011. Oyster reefs at risk and recommendations for conservation, restoration and management. Bioscience 61(2): 107-116.


Brumbaugh, R.D., Beck, M.W., Hancock, B., Meadows, A.W., Spalding, M., and P. zu Ermgassen. 2010. Changing a management paradigm and rescuing a globally imperiled habitat. National Wetlands Newsletter 32(6):16-20.


Brumbaugh, R.D. and L.D. Coen. 2009. Contemporary approaches for small-scale oyster reef restoration to address substrate versus recruitment limitation: A review and comments relevant for the Olympia oyster, Ostrea lurida (Carpenter, 1864). J. Shellfish Res. 28:1-15.


Brumbaugh, R.D. and C. Toropova. 2008. Economic valuation of ecosystem services: A new impetus for shellfish restoration? Basins and Coasts News 2(2):8-15. USAID/IMCAFS.

Rob Brumbaugh

Director, Ocean Mapping and Planning


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