Nick Wolff is the climate change scientist for the Conservancy’s Global Science program. He is responsible for ensuring that climate change implications are incorporated into TNC’s decision making and strategy development. To offer informed advice, Nick engages in cutting-edge research on climate change impacts on a variety of ecosystems, including savannahs, rain forests and coral reefs, using the latest climate models and data. Central to Nick’s role is the ongoing search for practical, affordable conservation solutions to the climate adaptation and mitigation challenges facing nature and people.
Nick has conducted research world-wide, including the feeding behavior of whales in the Gulf of Maine, fishing impacts in the Virgin Islands and coral reef conservation in the Maldives and Indonesia. Ongoing research, on the Great Barrier Reef, quantifies the potential benefits of local management in the context of climate change. In a recent paper with global scope, Nick demonstrates just how unfair climate change will be, showing that developing nations least responsible for emissions will suffer disproportionate climate change impacts in the near future. To remedy this looming injustice, Nick suggests incorporating inequity metrics into the vulnerability assessments used to prioritize the distribution of international climate adaptation funds.
Before joining TNC, Nick worked for the Census of Marine Life program, responsible for spatial modeling, data analysis, and the visualization, management and dissemination of data. He served as the technical liaison on several regional committees, and was instrumental in providing public access to large federal and state data holdings through the Ocean Biogeographic Information System. Through programs funded by the United Nations and World Bank, Nick has worked with governments in the Bahamas, Maldives and Indonesia, training resource managers and scientists in the incorporation of climate change impacts into their conservation plans. Nick continues to provide support and advice to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority about the management implications of local and global threats to the GBR.
Prior to joining TNC, Nick worked for Professor Peter Mumby at the University of Queensland, and holds an adjunct research position there. Nick has 30 publications on topics such as climate change vulnerability, climate change inequity, climate change adaptation, coral reef resilience, conservation planning, connectivity, ecosystem services, biodiversity, tropical cyclones and oceanography.
Nick recently joined the Nature Conservancy (TNC) as a Climate Change Scientist. He will be using climate data to support decisions and strategy development across TNC’s conservation programs. His responsibilities include supporting cutting-edge research on climate change impacts and adaptation in search of solutions to the major environmental and social challenges a changing climate poses for nature and people. For example, in a recent paper Nick demonstrated how unfair climate change will be for developing nations, which will be much more severely impacted than is just given their low emissions. He suggests distributing international climate adaptation funds in a way that acknowledges and addresses this inequity.
Nick brings a wealth of experience and skills in spatial and climate modelling, data analysis, and the visualization, management and dissemination of data. His strong analytical skills are complemented by experience with field work, instrumentation management, and in running workshops and trainings in both developed and developing nations. Nick’s original training was in biological oceanography and his PhD was based on integrating large scale data sets with climate projections and ecological models to look at the relative benefits of different local management efforts for the Great Barrier Reef.
Nick has 30 publications on topics such as climate change vulnerability, climate change inequity, climate change adaptation, coral reef resilience, conservation planning, connectivity, ecosystem services, biodiversity, tropical cyclones and oceanography.
Nick is a dual American and Australian citizen and loves exploring and photographing the diverse landscapes in both countries.