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Michel A. Boudrias, PhD

Associate Professor, Marine Science and Environmental Studies

Michel A. Boudrias, PhD,has been on the faculty since 1996 and is currently chair of the department and Chair of the university's Sustainability Task Force.  Boudrias teaches classes that cover a wide range of topics from introductory marine biology to interdisciplinary coastal environmental science to classical invertebrate zoology.  He has taught Honors courses that combine traditional classroom concepts with intense field experiences. His research projects include long-term interdisciplinary projects combining marine ecology and marine chemistry in Baja California Sur and an integrated project studying the social, cultural and environmental impacts of tourism in Jamaica. 

Education

Ph.D., Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego; Oceanography
M.S., Oregon State University, Biological Oceanography
B. Sc., McGill University, Marine Biology

 

Scholarly and Creative Work

Boudrias has active research projects in two distinct fields: functional morphology of swimming in invertebrates and impacts of humans on shallow-water tropical beach communities.  He is considered a world expert in crustacean swimming combining classical morphological analysis with state-of-the-art fluid dynamic techniques. He has published several articles on the design of crustacean bodies and swimming limbs and is currently writing a book chapter dedicated to crustacean functional morphology. 

For the past decade, Boudrias has been studying the effects of pollution on the water quality and marine ecology of sandy beaches in Baja California Sur, Mexico.  His multidisciplinary team has studied heavy metal impacts, nutrient loading, long-term ecological change and the effects of stingray feeding. Five students have completed Master’s theses based on their work in Mexico.  He has recently begun a more complex multidisciplinary project studying the impacts of increased tourism on coral reefs, economics, and social issues in Jamaica.

Teaching Interests

Boudrias has taught several different types of courses from introductory biology and marine biology for freshmen, to classical invertebrate zoology to upper division writing and seminar courses in Marine Science and Environmental Studies. He integrates his research projects and techniques in all his courses and connects his labs to real world data and environmental issues.  He strongly believes that students learn science by active participation.  He enjoys team teaching in the Honors program where he has participated in a field intensive course in the summer (Pollution in the Sand) and semester course for science students on Locomotion.