Eric Galbraith

Eric Galbraith

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Experimental Sciences & Mathematics

A native of Halifax, Canada, Galbraith completed an undergraduate degree in Earth and Planetary Science at McGill University in 1997, then worked as an exploration geologist in Peru and a tour guide on polar expedition cruises before undertaking a PhD at the University of British Columbia, completed in 2006. This was followed by three years of postdoctoral research at Princeton University, developing and using Earth System models, with a focus on ocean biogeochemistry and long-term climate variability. Galbraith returned to McGill University as a professor, where he worked until joining ICREA in 2015.

Research interests

Over the past century, humans have emerged as a dominant component of the Earth system. For decades, it has been clear that we are on an  increasingly unsustainable trajectory due to rapid alteration of climate, biogeochemical cycles and ecosystems at the global scale. Despite this clarity, we have not yet made the large changes in trajectory that are required to ensure sustainability. Part of this lack of action can be attributed to an incomplete understanding of the emergent properties of the human-Earth system, including the behavioural motivations of humans and outcomes for human experience and well-being. I am interested in using statistical analyses, simple theory and numerical models to improve our predictive understanding of the coupled human-Earth system. Most of my past work has addressed uncertainty in the natural science side of the system, including the study of past, natural climate changes, and the controls on the chemical composition and large-scale ecology of the global ocean. My focus is now on developing integrated, quantitative descriptions of the two-way coupling between natural and human elements by bridging Earth system modeling methods with social science. Most of my current work is developing these approaches for the global marine fishery, through the ERC-funded BIGSEA project.

Selected publications

– Lotze HK et al. 2019, ‘Global ensemble projections reveal trophic amplification of ocean biomass declines with climate change’, Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences Of The United States Of America, 116, 26, 12907 – 12912.

Galbraith ED, Le Mezo P, Hernandez GS, Bianchi D & Kroodsma D 2019, ‘Growth Limitation of Marine Fish by Low Iron Availability in the Open Ocean’, Frontiers In Marine Science, 6, UNSP 509.

– Heneghan RF, Hatton IA & Galbraith ED 2019, ‘Climate change impacts on marine ecosystems through the lens of the size spectrum’, Emerging Topics In Life Sciences, 3, 2, 233 – 243.

– Barrington-Leigh C & Galbraith Ec 2019, ‘Feasible future global scenarios for human life evaluations’, Nature Communications, 10, 161.

– Guiet J, Galbraith E, Kroodsma D & Worm B 2019, ‘Seasonal variability in global industrial fishing effort’, Plos One, 14, 5, e0216819.

– Toggweiler JR, Druffel Ellen RM, Key RM & Galbraith ED 2019, ‘Upwelling in the Ocean Basins North of the ACC: 1. On the Upwelling Exposed by the Surface Distribution of C-14’, Journal Of Geophysical Research-oceans, 124, 4, 2591 – 2608.

– Carozza DA, Bianchi D & Galbraith ED 2019. Metabolic impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems: implications for fish communities and fisheries, Global Ecology and Biogeography. 28, 2, 158-169.

Galbraith E & de Lavergne C 2019, ‘Response of a comprehensive climate model to a broad range of external forcings: relevance for deep ocean ventilation and the development of late Cenozoic ice ages‘. Climate Dynamics, 52, 1-2, 653 – 679.