James Morley

Assistant Professor

Coastal Studies Institute 362

Morley Lab


  • North Carolina State University, Ph.D., Zoology, 2013
  • North Carolina State University, M.S., Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, 2004
  • SUNY Cortland, B.S., Biology, 2000

Research Interests

Marine ecosystems are experiencing impacts from a changing climate, fishing, and increasing human populations on the coast. My research is aimed at understanding the impacts of these pressures on biological communities, so marine resources can be sustainably managed. The two major approaches of my work include:

  1. Using existing long-term biological survey data and environmental data to model species habitat use and distribution, which can be used to understand historic trends and also to predict future impacts.
  2. Conducting field-intensive investigations to collect novel data on species life history or habitat function. This aspect of my work ranges from high-tech sampling with acoustic imaging, to more traditional fisheries research with net or trap sampling and using biological tissues from organisms to answer important questions.

The scope of my work ranges from local studies that are focused on North Carolina’s resources to studies that encompass the entire North American coast. Ultimately, the goal of research in my lab is to provide valuable information to policy makers so that they have the right tools for decision making.


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