Staff Profile
Emmett Duffy Photo


Emmett Duffy is Director of the Smithsonian’s Tennenbaum Marine Observatories Network, which coordinates the developing MarineGEO program. MarineGEO is building a worldwide partnership to administer an annual health exam for coastal marine life: documenting how and why coastal sea life is changing, and how that change affects resilience of the marine ecosystems humans depend on. The research focuses on biological diversity as the heart of healthy marine ecosystems and how they respond together to global change. Duffy is a marine biologist who has worked in seagrass and coral reef ecosystems around the world. He has contributed to scientific syntheses linking biodiversity to ecosystem health, the US National Climate Assessment, and visioning for development of an international Marine Biodiversity Observation Network. He was awarded an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellowship in 2006, Japan’s inaugural Kobe Prize in Marine Biology in 2011, and a Virginia Outstanding Faculty award in 2013. Duffy came to the Smithsonian in 2013 after 19 years at the College of William and Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science. 

Publications (Google Scholar)


  • O'Connor, Mary I., Gonzalez, Andrew, Byrnes, Jarrett E. K., Cardinale, Bradley J., Duffy, James Emmett, Gamfeldt, Lars, Griffin, John N., Hooper, David, Hungate, Bruce A., Paquette, Alain, Thompson, Patrick L., Dee, Laura E. and Dolan, Kristin L. (2017). A general biodiversity-function relationship is mediated by trophic level. Oikos, 126 (1) , 18-31.
  • Duffy, James Emmett, Godwin, Casey M. and Cardinale, Bradley J. (2017). Biodiversity effects in the wild are common and as strong as key drivers of productivity. Nature, (549) , 261-264.
  • Stuart-Smith, Rick, Edgar, Graham J., Barrett, Neville S., Bates, Amanda E., Baker, Susan C., Bax, Nicholas J., Becerro, Mikel A., Berkhout, Just, Blanchard, Julia L., Brock, Daniel J., Clark, Graeme F., Cooper, Antonia T., Davis, Tom R., Day, Paul B., Duffy, James Emmett, Holmes, Thomas H., Howe, Steffan A., Jordan, Alan, Kininmonth, Stuart, Knott, Nathan A., Lefcheck, Jonathan S., Ling, Scott D., Parr, Amanda, Strain, Elisabeth, Sweatman, Hugh, et al. (2017). Assessing National Biodiversity Trends for Rocky and Coral Reefs through the Integration of Citizen Science and Scientific Monitoring Programs. Bioscience, 67 (2) , 134-146.
  • Chak, Solomon Tin Chi, Duffy, James Emmett, Hultgren, Kristin M. and Rubenstein, Dustin R. (2017). Evolutionary transitions towards eusociality in snapping shrimps. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 1
  • Staaterman, Erica R., Ogburn, Matthew B., Altieri, Andrew H., Brandl, Simon J., Whippo, Ross, Seemann, Janina, Goodison, Michael R. and Duffy, James Emmett. (2017). Bioacoustic measurements complement visual biodiversity surveys: preliminary evidence from four shallow marine habitats. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 575 , 207-215.
  • Brandl, Simon J., Casey, Jordan M., Knowlton, Nancy and Duffy, James Emmett. (2017). Marine dock pilings foster diverse, native cryptobenthic fish assemblages across bioregions. Ecology and Evolution, 7 (17) , 7069-7079.
  • Isbell, Forest, Gonzalez, Andrew, Loreau, Michel, Cowles, Jane, Diaz, Sandra, Hector, Andy, Mace, Georgina M., Wardle, DavidA, O'Connor, Mary I., Duffy, James Emmett, Turnbull, Lindsay A., Thompson, Patrick L. and Larigauderie, Anne. (2017). Linking the influence and dependence of people on biodiversity across scales. Nature, 546 (7656) , 65-72.
  • Naeem, Shahid, Chazdon, Robin, Duffy, James Emmett, Prager, Case and Worm, Boris. (2016). Biodiversity and human well-being: an essential link for sustainable development. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 283 (1844)
  • Duffy, James Emmett, Lefcheck, Jonathan S., Stuart-Smith, Rick D., Navarrete, Sergio A. and Edgar, Graham J. (2016). Biodiversity enhances reef fish biomass and resistance to climate change . Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 113 (22) , 6230-6235.
  • Gamfeldt, Lars, Lefcheck, Jonathan S., Byrnes, Jarrett E. K., Cardinale, Bradley J., Duffy, James Emmett and Griffin, John N. (2015). Marine biodiversity and ecosystem functioning: what's known and what's next?. Oikos, 124 (3) , 252-265.
  • Chak, Solomon T. C., Rubenstein, Dustin R. and Duffy, James Emmett. (2015). Social Control of Reproduction and Breeding Monopolization in the Eusocial Snapping Shrimp Synalpheus elizabethae . American Naturalist, 186 (5) , 660-668.
  • Stuart-Smith, Rick, Bates, Amanda E., Lefcheck, Jonathan S., Duffy, James Emmett, Baker, Susan C., Thomson, Russell J., Stuart-Smith, Jemina, Hill, Nicole A., Kininmonth, Stuart J., Airoldi, Laura, Becerro, Mikel A., Campbell, Stuart J., Dawson, Terence P., Navarrete, Sergio A., Soler, German, Strain, Elisabeth M. A., Willis, Trevor J. and Edgar, Graham J. (2015). The potential of trait-based approaches to contribute to marine conservation. Marine Policy, 51 , 148-150.
  • Chak, Solomon Tin Chi, Duffy, James Emmett and Rubenstein, Dustin R. (2015). Reproductive skew drives patterns of sexual dimorphism in sponge-dwelling snapping shrimps. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 282 (1809)
  • Duffy, James Emmett, Reynolds, Pamela L., Boström, Christoffer, Coyer, James A., Cusson, Mathieu, Donadi, Serena, Douglass, James G., Eklöf, Johan S., Engelen, Aschwin H., Eriksson, Britas Klemens, Fredriksen, Stein, Gamfeldt, Lars, Gustafsson, Camilla, Hoarau, Galice, Hori, Masakazu, Hovel, Kevin, Iken, Katrin, Lefcheck, Jonathan S., Moksnes, Per-Olav, Nakaoka, Masahiro, O'Connor, Mary I., Olsen, Jeanine L., Richardson, J. P., Ruesink, Jennifer L., Sotka, Erik E., et al. (2015). Biodiversity mediates top-down control in eelgrass ecosystems: a global comparative-experimental approach. Ecology Letters, 18 (7) , 696-705.
  • Duffy, James Emmett, Ziegler, Shelby L., Campbell, Justin E., Bippus, Paige M. and Lefcheck, Jonathan S. (2015). Squidpops: A Simple Tool to Crowdsource a Global Map of Marine Predation Intensity . PloS One, 10 (11) , 1-17.