Becca Selden

Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences

Marine ecologist seeking to understand past, present, and future changes to marine ecosystems and the human communities that rely on them.

My research focuses on how fishing and climate change are altering marine ecosystems. In turn, I examine how food web structure mediates resilience to the cumulative impact of these stressors and the potential for ecosystem recovery. Finally, I investigate how social-ecological systems respond to global change. To do this, I use a combination of field, observational, and quantitative approaches to examine historical and future ecosystem changes and evaluate the outcome of management interventions.

I aim to equip the students of my courses with the skills needed to tackle the multi-faceted nature of complex environmental problems. To accomplish this, I facilitate student-driven learning in applying scientific concepts to find solutions for conservation and management issues. The marine ecosystems in New England provide an ideal focal point for course content and field laboratories. Further, I look forward to incorporating innovative active learning approaches, such as the interactive Shifting Fishes game I developed with NPR’s Science Friday, to help bridge the gap between students who enter college interested in STEM and those who ultimately pursue science careers. At Wellesley, I teach a lecture section of introductory Organismal Biology (BISC 111), Statistics in the Biosciences (BISC 198), Marine Biology (BISC 210), and Issues in Marine Biology seminar (BISC 310).

I strive for my research to be relevant for policy. To that end, I have sought out opportunities to present my research to decision-makers. I testified about my research on climate and fisheries in front of the House Sub-committee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife in May 2019. I was invited to discuss the implications of climate change for marine restoration in a panel for congressional staff during Capitol Hill Ocean Week in June 2019. Finally, I presented my views on the power of interdisciplinarity in achieving ocean solutions in a side panel at the United Nations in June 2019.

I enjoy playing ice hockey and soccer, cooking and eating good food, and exploring with my husband and son.