Dr. Heike K. Lotze


Canada Research Chair in Marine Renewable Resources

MSc (University of Kiel, Germany, 1994)
PhD (University of Kiel, Germany, 1998)

PostDoc Dalhousie University (1999-2003)
PostDoc Alfred-Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Sylt, Germany (2003-2005)

  • Teaching & Research
  • Students' Research Topics
  • Graduates' Occupations
  • Publications
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  • Teaching & Research

    marine ecology, renewable resources, coastal ecosystems, human impacts, ecological history, experimental community ecology, ecosystem structure and functioning, management and conservation

    My research and teaching in marine ecology is shaped by a strong interest in human impacts on marine species and ecosystems and their consequences for the ocean and society. Human activities such as fishing and hunting, habitat transformation, and nutrient loading have affected marine resources and shaped their ecosystems for millennia but strongly accelerated over the past 2-3 centuries.

    Classes in which Heike currently teaches:

    This long-term history of change is often ignored in the study and management of today’s ecosystems. However, historical baselines and estimates of the total magnitude of change are essential to judge the current state of degradation and develop meaningful management and conservation goals. Past trends are also necessary to develop future projections. Human impacts not only accelerated over time but also expanded from inshore regions to the open ocean and the deep sea causing large-scale patterns of changes in diversity and community structure around the globe. Finally, human impacts multiplied throughout history and today, most species and ecosystem are affected by the cumulative effects of multiple human activities that don’t act in isolation.

    In my work, I try to reconstruct the long-term history of human-induced changes in marine species and ecosystems, to disentangle the cumulative effects of multiple human activities, and to analyze the consequences of changes on the structure and functioning of ecosystems. I use a multi-disciplinary approach integrating data from paleontology, archaeology, history, fisheries science, and ecology, and a combination of field and laboratory experiments and surveys, literature studies, and the analysis of large data sets.

    Resource Ecology, BIOL 3063 /Mari 3063. This class considers the ecology, utilization, and management of natural resources in fisheries, wildlife and forest management, agriculture and aquaculture. Topics include population dynamics, community interactions, and ecosystem support of resources as well as the history of resource utilization, practices of controlling production, pests, and predators, and sustainable management strategies.
    Term: Winter

    Pre-requisites: BIOL 2060.03, MATH 1000.03 (or STAT 1060.03 or DISP).

    Examples of Students' Research Topics
    • Allison Schmidt (PhD, since 2006): Causes and consequences of ecological changes in near-shore habitats.  

    • Christine Ward-Paige (PhD, 2005-2010): ‘Using divers' logs to detect changes in coastal shark populations.

    • Francesco Ferretti (PhD, 2004-2011): The role of sharks in marine ecosystems: evaluating overexploited marine fish communities to detect long-term effects of predator removal.

    • Sean Anderson (Masters, 2007-2010): Patterns and ecosystem impacts of global invertebrate fisheries expansion

    • Nancy Deschu (Masters, 2007-2010): The ecological role and life history requirements of species that depend on both marine and terrestrial environments.

    • Anna Magera (Masters, 2008-2011): Recovery trajectories for marine mammals – developing new models and identifying critical factors to recovery.

    Selected Publications

    Lotze HK (2012) Sea of Plenty? Historical trends, current issues, and future perspectives on our use of seafood. In: Stewart RS, Karol SA (eds) Food For Thought: A Multidisciplinary Discussion. Cape Breton University Press (in press).

    Lotze HK, Coll M, Magera AM, Ward-Paige CA, Airoldi L (2011) Recovery of marine animal populations and ecosystems. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 26(11): 595-605.

    Lotze HK, Erlandson JM, Newman MJ, Norris RD, Roy K, Smith TD, Whitcraft C (2011) Uncovering the ocean’s past. In: Jackson JBC, Sala E, Alexander K (eds) Shifting Baselines: The Past and the Future of Ocean Fisheries. Island Press: 137-162.

    Ward-Paige CA, Lotze HK (2011) Assessing the value of recreational divers for censusing elasmobranchs. PLoS ONE 6(10): e25609. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0025609

    Schmidt AL, Coll M, Romanuk T, Lotze HK (2011) Food-web structure, functioning and ecosystem services in eelgrass (Zostera marina) and rockweed (Ascophyllum nodosum) beds. Marine Ecology Progress Series 437: 51-68.

    Coll M, Schmidt AL, Romanuk, T, Lotze HK (2011) Food-web structure of seagrass communities across different spatial scales and human impacts. PLoS ONE 6(7): e22591. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0022591.

    Anderson SC, Mills-Flemming J, Watson R, Lotze HK (2011) Rapid global expansion of invertebrate fisheries: trends, drivers and ecosystem effects. PLoS ONE 6(3): e14735. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0014735.

    Ward-Paige CA, Pattengill-Semmens C, Myers RA, Lotze HK (2011) Spatial and temporal trends in yellow stingray abundance: evidence from diver surveys. Environmental Biology of Fishes 90(3): 263-276.

    Lotze HK, Coll M, Dunne J (2011) Historical changes in marine resources, food-web structure and ecosystem functioning in the Adriatic Sea. Ecosystems 14(2): 198-222.

    Anderson SC, Mills-Flemming J, Lotze HK (2011) Serial exploitation of global sea cucumber fisheries. Fish and Fisheries 12(3): 317-339.

    Worm B, Lotze HK, Jonssen I, Muir C (2010) The Future of Marine Animal Populations. In: MacIntyre AD (ed) Life in the World's Oceans: Diversity, Distribution and Abundance. Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford: Chapter 16, 315-330. 

    Ward-Paige CA, Mora C, Lotze HK, Pattengill-Semmens C, McClenachan L, Arias-Castro E, Myers RA (2010) Large-scale absence of sharks on reefs in the greater-Caribbean: a footprint of human pressures. PLoS ONE 5(8): e11968. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0011968.

    McCauley DJ, Micheli F, Young H, Tittensor DP, Brumbaugh D, Madin E, Holmes K, Dunbar R, Smith J, Lotze HK, Arnold, SN, Worm B (2010) Acute effects of removing large fish from a near-pristine coral reef. Marine Biology 157(12): 2739–2750.

    Tittensor DP, Mora C, Ricard D, Jetz W, Lotze HK, E. Vanden Berghe, Worm B (2010) Global patterns and drivers of marine biodiversity across taxa. Nature 466: 1098-1101.

    Coll M, Piroddi C, Steenbeek J, Kaschner K, Lasram FBR, Aguzzi1 J, Ballesteros E, Bianchi CN, Corbera J, Dailianis T, Danovaro R, Estrada M, Froglia C, Galil BS, Gaso JM, Gertwagen R, Gil J, Guilhaumon F, Kesner-Reyes K, Kitsos MS, Koukouras A, Lampadariou N, Laxamana E, López-Fé de la Cuadra CM, Lotze HK, Martin D, Mouillot D, Oro D, Raicevich S, Rius-Barile J, Saiz-Salinas JI, San Vicente C, Somot S, Templado J, Turon X, Dimitris V, Villanueva R, Voultsiadou E (2010) Biodiversity of the Mediterranean Sea: estimates, patterns and threats. PLoS ONE 5(8): e11842. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0011842.

    Lotze HK (2010) Historical reconstruction of human-induced changes in U.S. estuaries. Oceanography and Marine Biology: An Annual Review 48: 265-336.

    Ward-Paige C, Mills-Flemming J, Lotze HK (2010) Overestimating fish counts by non-instantaneous visual censuses: consequences for population and community descriptions. PLoS ONE 5(7): e11722. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0011722.  

    Ferretti F, Worm B, Britten GL, Heithaus MR, Lotze HK (2010) Patterns and ecosystem consequences of shark declines in the ocean. Ecology Letters 13: 1055-1071.

    Lotze HK, Worm B (2009) Historical baselines for large marine animals. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 24 (5): 254-262.

    Lotze HK, Glaser M (2009) Ecosystem services of semi-enclosed marine systems. In: Urban ER Jr, Sundby B, Malanotte-Rizzoli P, Melillo J (eds.) Watersheds, Bays and Bounded Seas. Island Press, Washington, DC, pp 227-249. 

    Lotze HK, Muir C (2009) Past Lives – Piecing together the ecological history of coastal ecosystems can inform today’s marine management. Webb T, Holt A (eds) Marine Ecology: Special issue. Bulletin of the British Ecological Society 40: 14-16.

    Snelgrove P, Flitner M, Ekau W, Glaser M, Lotze HK, Phillipart K, Sompongchaiyakul P, Yuwono E (2009) Governance and management of ecosystem services in semi-enclosed marine systems. In: Urban ER Jr, Sundby B, Malanotte-Rizzoli P, Melillo J (eds.) Watersheds, Bays and Bounded Seas. Island Press, Washington, DC, pp 49-76. 

    Worm B, Lotze HK (2009) Changes in marine biodiversity as an indicator of climate and global change. In: Letcher T (ed) Climate and global change: observed impacts on Planet Earth. Elsevier, pp 263-279.

    Anderson S, Lotze HK, Shackell N (2008) Evaluating the knowledge base for expanding low-trophic level fisheries in Atlantic Canada. Canadian Journal for Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 65: 2553-2571.

    Coll M, Lotze HK, Romanuk T (2008) Structural degradation in Mediterranean Sea food webs: testing ecological hypotheses using stochastic and mass-balance modelling. Ecosystems 11: 939–960.

    Ferretti F, Myers RA, Serena F, Lotze HK (2008) Losing large predatory sharks from the Mediterranean Sea. Conservation Biology 22: 952-964.

    Lotze HK, Worm B (2008) Why we should care about the ocean. In: Flight N (ed) A Passion for This Earth:Reflections Inspired by David Suzuki. Greystone Books, Vancouver, Canada, pp 139-148.

    Lotze HK, Flitner M, Urban E Jr (2008) Coastal basins on the edge - Cumulative effects of multiple human activities where land and ocean meet. UNESCO – SCOPE – UNEP Policy Briefs No.7, September 2008.

    Peterson CH, Barber R, Christian RR, Cottingham K, Lotze HK, Simenstad C, Piehler M, Wilson JW (2008) National Estuaries. In: Julius SH, West JM (eds) Preliminary review of adaptation options for climate-sensitive ecosystems and resources. A Report by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, USA, 873 p.

    Diaz-Pulido G, McCook LJ, Larkum AWD, Lotze HK, Raven JA, Schaffelke B, Smith JE, Steneck RS (2007) Vulnerability of macroalgae of the Great Barrier Reef to climate change. Marshall PA, Johnson J (eds) Climate change and the Great Barrier Reef. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Townsville, pp 153-192.

    Lotze HK (2007) Rise and fall of fishing and marine resource use in the Wadden Sea, southern North Sea. Fisheries Research 87: 208-218.

    Lotze HK, Lenihan HS, Bourque BJ, Bradbury RH, Cooke RG, Kay MC, Kidwell SM, Kirby MX, Peterson CH, Jackson JBC (2006) Depletion, Degradation, and Recovery Potential of Estuaries and Coastal Seas. Science 312: 1806-1809.  

    Worm B, Barbier EB, Beaumont N, Duffy JE, Folke C, Halpern BS, Jackson JBC, Lotze HK, Micheli F, Palumbi SR, Sala E, Selkoe KA, Stachowicz JJ, Watson R (2006) Recent biodiversity loss undermines ocean ecosystem services at all scales. Science 314: 787-790.

    Worm B, Lotze HK, Myers RA (2006) Ecosystem effects of fishing and whaling in the North Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. In: Estes JA, DeMaster DP, Doak DF, Williams TM, Brownell RL, Jr. (eds) Whales, whaling, and ocean ecosystems. University of California Press, Berkley, CA, USA: 335-343.

    Worm B, Lotze HK (2006) Eutrophication, grazing, and algal blooms on rocky shores. Limnology and Oceanography 51 (1/2): 569-579.

    Lotze HK, Reise K (eds) (2005) Ecological history of the Wadden Sea. Helgoland Marine Research 59.

    Lotze HK (2005) Radical changes in the Wadden Sea fauna and flora over the last 2000 years. Helgoland Marine Research 59: 71-83.

    Lotze HK, Reise K, Worm B, van Beusekom JEE, Busch M, Ehlers A, Heinrich D, Hoffmann RC, Holm P, Jensen C, Knottnerus OS, Langhanki N, Prummel W, Vollmer M, Wolff WJ (2005) Human transformations of the Wadden Sea ecosystem through time: a synthesis. Helgoland Marine Research 59: 84-95.

    Worm B, Sandow M, Oschlies A, Lotze HK, Myers RA (2005) Global patterns of predator diversity in the open ocean. Science 309: 1365-1369.

    Lotze HK, Milewski, I (2004) Two centuries of multiple human impacts and successive changes in a North Atlantic food web. Ecological Applications 14(5): 1428-1447.

    Lotze HK (2004) Repetitive history of resource depletion and mismanagement: the need for a shift in perspective. In: Browman HI, Stergiou KI (eds) Perspectives on ecosystem-based approaches to the management of marine resources. Marine Ecology Progress Series274: 282-285.

    Wahl M, Molis M, Davis A, Dobretsov S, Dürr ST, Johansson J, Kinley J, Kirugara D, Langer M, Lotze HK, Thiel M, Thomason JC, Worm B, Zeevi Ben-Yosef D  (2004) UV effects that come and go: a global comparison of marine benthic community level impacts. Global Change Biology 10: 1962-1972.

    Lotze HK, Milewski I, Worm B, Koller Z (2003) Nutrient pollution: A eutrophication survey of eelgrass beds in estuaries and coastal bays in northern and eastern New Brunswick. Conservation Council of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB, Canada, 60 p.

    Worm B, Lotze HK, Myers RA (2003) Predator diversity hotspots in the blue ocean. Proceedings of the National Academy of SciencesUSA 100: 9884-9888.

    Lotze HK, Milewski I (2002) Two hundred years of ecosystem and food web changes in the Quoddy region, outer Bay of Fundy. Conservation Council of New Brunswick, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, 188 p.

    Lotze HK, Worm B (2002) Complex interaction of ecological and climatic controls on macroalgal recruitment. Limnology and Oceanography 47: 1734-1741.

    Lotze HK, Worm B, Molis M, Wahl M (2002) Effects of UV radiation and consumers on recruitment and succession of a marine macrobenthic community. Marine Ecology Progress Series: 243: 57-66.

    Worm B, Lotze HK, Hillebrand H, Sommer U (2002) Consumer versus resource control of species diversity and ecosystem functioning. Nature 417: 848-851.

    Lotze HK, Worm B, Sommer U (2001) Strong bottom-up and top-down control of early life stages of macroalgae. Limnology and Oceanography 46: 749-757.

    Worm B, Lotze HK, Sommer U (2001) Algal propagule banks modify competition, consumer and resource control on Baltic rocky shores. Oecologia 128: 281-293.

    Lotze HK, Schramm W (2000) Can ecophysiological traits explain species dominance patterns in macroalgal blooms? Journal of Phycology 36: 287-295, Corrigenda J. Phycol. 36: 622.

    Lotze HK, Worm B (2000) Variable and complementary effects of herbivores on different life stages of bloom-forming macroalgae. Marine Ecology Progress Series 200: 167-175.

    Lotze HK, Worm B, Sommer U (2000) Propagule banks, herbivory and nutrient supply control population development and dominance patterns in macroalgal blooms. Oikos 85: 46-58.

    Hillebrand H, Worm B, Lotze HK (2000) Marine microbenthic community structure regulated by nitrogen loading and herbivore pressure. Marine Ecology Progress Series 204: 27-38.

    Worm B, Lotze HK, Sommer U (2000) Coastal food-web structure, carbon storage and nitrogen retention regulated by consumer pressure and nutrient loading. Limnology and Oceanography 45: 339-349.

    Worm B, Reusch TBH, Lotze HK (2000) In situ nutrient enrichment: methods for marine benthic ecology. International Reviews in Hydrobioloy 85: 359-375.

    Worm B, Lotze HK (2000) Nutrient pollution, low-trophic level harvesting and cumulative human impacts on coastal ecosystems. In: Rockweed: Science and Management. Huntsman Marine Science Center, St. Andrews, NB, Canada, pp. 40-41.

    Lotze HK, Schramm W, Schories D, Worm B (1999) Control of macroalgal blooms at early developmental stages: Pilayella littoralis versus Enteromorpha spp. Oecologia 119: 46-54.

    Worm B, Lotze HK, Boström C, Engkvist R, Labanauskas V, Sommer U (1999) Marine diversity shift linked to interactions among grazers, nutrients and dormant propagules. Marine Ecology Progress Series 185: 309-314.


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