Marine Lab’s Brian Silliman Awarded Fulbright Distinguished Chair to Study in Australia

March 12, 2018

Tim Lucas, 919/613-8084,


Brian Silliman, Rachel Carson Associate Professor of Marine Conservation Biology

DURHAM, N.C. – Brian Silliman, Rachel Carson Associate Professor of Marine Conservation Biology at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, has been awarded a 2019-20 Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Science, Technology and Innovation.

He will use his six-month appointment to work with researchers from Australia’s CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Organization) and University of Queensland to explore a better approach for restoring coastal ecosystems through harnessing mutualistic species interactions.

Silliman is one of only about 30 scholars nationwide this year – out of more than 9,000 Fulbright award recipients – awarded a Distinguished Chair, which is among the most prestigious appointments in the Fulbright Scholar Program.

His meticulously executed field studies have reshaped decades-old scientific theories about how salt marshes and other coastal ecosystems work; the roles animal communities play in them; human impacts on them; and best practices for ecosystem restoration and the management of invasive species. Much of his recent work has focused on the underappreciated role species interactions can play in restorations.
In recognition of his research achievements, Silliman was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences in 2015; a Visiting Professor with the Royal Netherlands Society of Arts and Sciences in 2011; and David H. Smith Conservation Fellow with The Nature Conservancy in 2004.  He has received the 2006 Young Investigator Award from the American Society of Naturalists, a 2007 Young Investigator Grant Award from the Andrew Mellon Foundation, and an NSF Career Grant Award in 2011.