Recent publications


Hartman, S., P. Muller, J. Brenner, and F. Muller-Karger. submitted. Changes in the Geographic Distribution of the Seabirds Gavia immer, Puffinus griseus, and Phoebastria nigripes Along the East and West Coasts of the USA Over Four Decades (1980-2018): Inferences from Environmental-Change Analysis. Diversity.

 O'Shaughnessy, K., et al. 2023. Horizon scanning for potentially invasive non-native marine species to inform trans-boundary conservation   management - Example of the northern Gulf of Mexico. Aquatic Invasions 18(4): 415-453. 

Brenner, J., and J. F, Bergan. 2023. The Laguna Madre:  A Conservation Framework. In K. Withers, B.R. Chapman, J.W. Tunnell and F.W. Judd (Eds.), The Laguna Madre of Texas and Tamaulipas, Revised Edition. Texas A&M University Press. College Station, 495 pp.


Dodd, J.A., et al. 2022. Invasiveness risk of naked goby, Gobiosoma bosc, to North Sea transitional waters. Marine Pollution Bulletin 181(3): 113763 .

Kiene, W., and J. Brenner. 2022. Marine protected area diplomacy with the Caribbean:  Securing the health of our shared ocean ecosystem. Science and Diplomacy (AAAS). 


Ortiz-Lozano, L., F.X. Martinez-Esponda, y L. Hensler (Eds.), 2021. El corredor arrecifal del sureste del Golfo de Mexico: retos y oportunidades para su proteccion y manejo. Centro Mexicano de Derecho Ambiental (CEMDA), A.C. Mexico City, 427 pp. [Brenner wrote prologue]

Victoria, M., H. Perez, J. Brenner, and Y. Okolodkov. 2021. A method to assess diver impacts on hermatypic corals. Examines in Marine Biology and Oceanography 4(1): 1-3. 


   Gil-Aguedo, D.L., C.E Cintra-Buenrostro, J. Brenner, P. Gonzalez-Diaz, W.E. Kiene, C. Lustic, and H. Perez-Espana. 2020. Coral reefs in the Gulf of    Mexico large marine ecosystem: conservation status, challenges and opportunities. Frontiers in Marine Science 6: 807.

Ongoing projects


2023 Modernization and Recapitalization of the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (Phase I) - IOOS, NOAA ($1,169,000). PI.

2022 Repairs and Replacements of Marine Observational Asset Damaged during 2020 and 2021 in the Gulf of Mexico - IOOS, NOAA ($1,369,149). PI.

2022 Accelerate Improvements in Hurricane Intensity forecasting Through Underwater Glider Field Campaigns - IOOS, NOAA ($1,070,000). PI.

2021 Continuing the Development of the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System - IOOS, NOAA ($7,606,641). PI.

2021 - 2023 Continued the Development of the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System - IOOS, NOAA ($1,269,558). PI.

Research projects completed


2016 – 2018     Identification of tuna migratory pathways in the Gulf of Mexico (PI)

Funded by the Anne Ray Charitable Trust. First, this project First mapped tuna species range within the Gulf of Mexico, high use habitats, and used a variety of data sources to map the migratory corridors for key Atlantic/Gulf tuna species – e.g., Albacore, bonito, bigeye tuna, bluefin tuna, blackfin tuna, little tunny, skipjack tuna, and yellowfin tuna. Second, we Identified threats to tuna and their conservation areas in the Gulf of Mexico. We analyzed the spatial data compiled for the species to identify a portfolio with areas of the Gulf that should be conserved to complete the full life cycles of as many species as possible and for specific fisheries. This process involved the development of species and multispecies spatial models of habitat use for the identification of the fidelity of species to specific habitats and pathways required to maintain healthy populations for their multiple benefits and the spatial optimization model MARXAN. Publications: Brenner, J., and V. McNulty. 2018. Gulf of Mexico tuna migrations. The Nature Conservancy. Arlington, 24 pp.


2016 – 2007     Spatial Patterns of Ecosystem Services Value of Private Protection Strategy in North America (PI)

Funded by The Nature Conservancy. This project used a spatially explicit value transfer analysis to assess the economic value provided by the diversity of ecological habitats protected in each project site. Outputs: Ecosystem services value transfer geodatabase, and site value map portfolio.


2015 – 2020         Gulf of Mexico Migratory Species Conservation (PI)

Funded by Lyda Hill Foundation, Shell Oil ($325k) and The Nature Conservancy. This project identified spatially explicit migratory corridors of marine megafauna species in the Gulf of Mexico using a database of more than 1200 individual satellite tracks contributed by more than 100 academic and governmental collaborators. The project aimed at informing managers and decision-makers of opportunities for site-based conservation and threat abatement. Outputs: Technical and decision-making reports and online decision support system at Publications: Brenner, J., C. Voight, and D. Mehlman. 2016. Migratory species in the Gulf of Mexico large marine ecosystem: Pathways, threats, and conservation. The Nature Conservancy. Arlington, 93 pp.; Brenner, J., and V. McNulty. 2018. Gulf of Mexico tuna migrations. The Nature Conservancy. Arlington, 24 pp; Brenner, J., and V. McNulty. in preparation. Conservation status of migratory species in the Gulf of Mexico. Coastal and Ocean Management.


2015 – 2017        Inventory of Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem Indicators using an Ecological Resilience Framework (co-PI)

Funded by NOAA’s RESTORE Science Program (NA15NOS4510227). This project identified ecological and ecosystem services indicators using an integrity framework that includes both the condition of key ecosystem types in the Gulf and the variety of benefits that they provide. Monitoring metrics for five major Gulf of Mexico habitat types were identified -i.e., salt marsh, mangrove, seagrass, oyster beds/reefs, and coral reefs. Outputs: Final reports to RESTORE Act Program. Publication: Goodin, K.L., D. Faber-Langendoen, J. Brenner, et al. 2018. Ecological resilience indicators for five northern Gulf of Mexico ecosystems. NatureServe. Arlington, 381 pp.


2014 – 2016        Prioritization of Critical Marsh Conservation and Restoration Areas based on Future Sea Level Rise Scenarios (PI)

Funded by NOAA’s Coastal Management Program through the Texas General Land Office (15-032-000-8374). This project developed a high-resolution SLAMM-based (Sea-Level Affecting Marshes Model) and scenarios, and a series of spatial indicators of coastal resilience in support of restoration in Copano Bay and San Antonio Bay in Texas. Outputs: Final report to TGLO and online data platforms at and Publication: Brenner, J., M. Murdock, and M.K. Brown. 2016. Prioritization of critical marsh conservation and restoration areas based on future sea-level rise scenarios in Copano and San Antonio Bays, Texas Area. The Nature Conservancy. Arlington, 77 pp.


2014 – 2016          Texas Coastal Bend Regional Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment (PI)

Funded by EPA through the CBBEP (1512) ($70k). This project completed a climate change vulnerability assessment for the central Texas coast. Nature and critical and other infrastructure were evaluated for their risks to several types of climate stressors – e.g., sea-level rise, temperature and precipitation increase, storms, etc. Outputs: Final report to CBBEP and public stakeholder workshop at Mission-Aransas NERR. Publication: Murdock, M., and J. Brenner. 2016. Texas Coastal Bend regional climate change vulnerability assessment. The Nature Conservancy. Arlington, 80 pp.


2012 – 2013          Sea Level Rise Affecting Marsh Model (SLAMM) in Corpus Christi Bay (co-PI)

Funded by EPA, TCEQ, and CBBEP (1306). This project used the SLAMM and ADCIRC models to assess the implications of sea-level rise and storm surge, respectively. The goal was to assess the resiliency of the coastal habitats and communities in the Corpus Christi, Bay area in Texas to these climate stressors. The project used spatial indicators to assess socio-ecological components of coastal resilience. Outputs: Final reports to the Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program (CBBEP) and TCEQ. Publication: Geselbracht, L., K. Freeman, A. Birch, J. Brenner, and D. Gordon. 2015. Modeled sea level rise impacts on coastal ecosystems at six major estuaries on Florida’s Gulf coast: Implications for adaptation planning. PLoS ONE 10(7): e0132079.


2011 – 2014           Assessing Nature-based and Engineered Adaptation Solutions to Climate Change (co-PI)

Funded by NOAA’s Climate and Society Initiative (CSI) (29326550-50792-A). This project used and developed new InVEST (Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs) models to assess benefits provided by oyster reefs, salt marshes and fresh marshes in protecting the coast, sequestering blue carbon and supporting fisheries in Galveston Bay area in Texas. Findings include the identification of marsh and oyster reef habitat size and distance to the shoreline to provide different ecosystem services to coastal communities. The changes in their value (market and non-market) were also assessed. Outputs: Final report to NOAA and the Lone Star Coastal Alliance. Publication: Ruckelshaus, M., G. Guannel, K. Arkema, G. Verutes, R. Griffin, A. Guerry, J. Silver, J. Faries, J. Brenner, and A. Rosenthal. 2016. Evaluating the benefits of green infrastructure for coastal areas: Location, location, location. Coastal Zone Management Journal 44(5): 504-516.


2010 – 2013          Gulf of Mexico Sea-level Rise Data Platform (PI)

Funded by NOAA through the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (S-08-TNC-GOMA-01). This project developed SLAMM-based sea-level rise and ADCIRC-based storm surge future scenarios for Galveston Bay and Jefferson County coast in Texas, St. Andrews Bay and Choctawhatchee Bay in Florida, and Grand Bay NERR in Mississippi. All products were published in an offline and online data platform to support the Gulf of Mexico Alliance. Outputs: Final reports to the Gulf of Mexico Alliance and online data platforms at and Publication: Thompson, M., J. Brenner, and B. Gilmer. 2014. Informing conservation planning using future sea-level rise and storm surge modeling impact scenarios in the Northern Gulf of Mexico. Ocean and Coastal Management 100: 51-62.


2010                      Biodiversity of Gulf of Mexico (BioGoMx) Spatial Patterns and Geodatabase (co-PI)

Funded by Harte Research Institute-TAMUCC. This project used geospatial technologies to create a geodatabase of the spatial representation of more than 15,000 marine species of the Gulf of Mexico. The species inventory developed by Felder and Camp 2009 was turned into a searchable geodatabase application and published online at Outputs: most complete basin-wide list of species from bacteria to birds created to date and was accepted as a collaborating project of the Census of Marine Life initiative. This project also served as the basis for IUCN’s Red List update of conservation status of bonny fish in 2011 and beyond.


2008 – 2009        Gecoserve: An Ecosystem Services Valuation Database (Post-doc Researcher)

Funded by the Harte Research Institute-TAMUCC. This project compiled a database of monetary value provided by nature as ecosystem services. Empirical economic estimates published in peer-reviewed literature using contingent and other valuations were mined and summarized by coastal habitat type. Output: The database was initially provided freely via app as a tool to conduct value transfer analysis to assess the contribution of natural capital to people’s well-being. At present it is available at


2008                     Human Footprint Along the Texas Coast (PI)

Funded by the Harte Research Institute-TAMUCC. This project assessed the spatial extent of human uses and impacts along the Texas coastal zone (counties). Using geospatial tools, the footprint of human activities was assessed using several spatial indicators of magnitude, extent, persistence, etc. and their impact in different land cover and habitat types. Spatial statistics and geodatabase tools were central to the assessment. Output: geodatabase and portfolio of maps depicting the sprawl of uses of the coastal zone.


2007 – present   Trinational Initiative for Marine Science and Conservation in the Gulf of Mexico & Western Caribbean

                              (Founding   Member)

Funded by the Ocean Foundation, Harte Research Institute-TAMUCC, Environmental Defense Fund, and others. This network of researchers, organizations and government agencies was created during the first core team workshop in Cancun, Mexico in 2007. Representatives of US and Cuba-based institutions developed the basis for the joint agreement to support marine sciences in the region - The goal was to support scientific collaboration across the Gulf of Mexico Large Marine Ecosystem and western Caribbean to promote the conservation of its natural resources. Five species-focused working groups were formed to promote the interaction and the development of joint proposals among researchers from the three countries. Output: several workshops, annual meetings and projects were supported while at Harte Research Institute and The Nature Conservancy.  

Note: projects completed prior to 2007 are not listed