Brian Reed Silliman

Brian Reed Silliman

Rachel Carson Professor of Marine Conservation Biology

Brian Silliman is the Rachel Carson Professor of Marine Conservation Biology. He holds both B.A. and M.S. degrees from the University of Virginia, and completed his Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Brown University. In recognition of his research achievements, Silliman was named a Distinguished Fulbright Chair with CSIRO in 2019; 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 also received several awards, including the Young Investigator Award from the American Society of Naturalists (2006), a Young Investigator Grant Award from the Andrew Mellon Foundation (2007), and a NSF Career Grant Award (2011). Dr. Silliman has published 21 book chapters and over 150 peer reviewed journal articles, and co-edited four books: Human Impacts on Salt Marshes: A Global Perspective (with T. Grosholtz and M. D. Bertness), Marine Community Ecology (with M. Bertness, J. Bruno and J. Stachowicz), Effective Conservation: Data not Dogma (with P. Karieva and M. Marvier) and Marine Disease Ecology (with D. Behringer and K Lafferty). His teaching and research are focused on community ecology, conservation and restoration, global change, plant–animal interactions, and evolution and ecological consequences of cooperative behavior.

In The News


Silliman, Brian R., Qiang He, Christine Angelini, Carter S. Smith, Matthew L. Kirwan, Pedro Daleo, Julianna J. Renzi, et al. “Field Experiments and Meta-analysis Reveal Wetland Vegetation as a Crucial Element in the Coastal Protection Paradigm..” Current Biology : Cb, May 21, 2019.
Thomsen, M. S., A. P. Ramus, Z. T. Long, and B. R. Silliman. “A seaweed increases ecosystem multifunctionality when invading bare mudflats.” Biological Invasions 21, no. 1 (January 15, 2019): 27–36.
Renzi, J. J., Q. He, and B. R. Silliman. “Harnessing positive species interactions to enhance coastal wetland restoration.” Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 7, no. APR (January 1, 2019).
He, Qiang, Brian R. Silliman, Johan van de Koppel, and Baoshan Cui. “Weather fluctuations affect the impact of consumers on vegetation recovery following a catastrophic die-off..” Ecology 100, no. 1 (January 2019).
Paxton, A. B., E. Blair, C. Blawas, M. H. Fatzinger, M. Marens, J. Holmberg, C. Kingen, et al. “Citizen science reveals female sand tiger sharks (Carcharias taurus) exhibit signs of site fidelity on shipwrecks.” Ecology, January 1, 2019.

Recent Grants


ENVIRON 377LA: Marine Invertebrate Zoology (ENVIRON 377LA: Marine Invertebrate Zoology)
ENERGY 795: Connections in Energy: Interdisciplinary Team Projects (ENERGY 795: Connections in Energy: Interdisciplinary Team Projects)
BIOLOGY 273LA: Marine Ecology (BIOLOGY 273LA: Marine Ecology)
BIOLOGY 293A: Research Independent Study (BIOLOGY 293A: Research Independent Study)
EOS 377LA: Marine Invertebrate Zoology (EOS 377LA: Marine Invertebrate Zoology)


Contact Information

135 Duke Marine Lab Road
Beaufort, NC 28516


Ph.D., Brown University (2004)