IMS Affiliated Faculty

Faculty are hired by their respective departments, to which they owe primary responsibility; however, the institute continues to be involved in the identification of hiring and faculty needs of the cross-disciplinary marine program through active involvement in new faculty searches and in support of departmental recommendations. Affiliated faculty and researchers are those individuals that utilize any of the ORU’s resources (space, seawater, equipment, etc) and/or individuals whose research falls within one of the seven research clusters supported by IMS. IMS only appoints affiliates in the ORU based on the individual researchers request to be associated with the ORU.
Michael W. Beck
  • Pronouns he, him, his, his, himself
  • Title
    • Director, Center for Coastal Climate Resilience & AXA Chair in Coastal Resilience
  • Division Physical & Biological Sciences Division
  • Department
    • Institute of Marine Sciences
    • Coastal Science & Policy Program
    • Ocean Sciences Department
  • Affiliations Office of Research
  • Phone
    831-345-0175, 831-459-1459
  • Email
  • Website
  • Office Location
    • Long Marine Lab Ocean Health Building, COH 210
  • Mail Stop Long Marine Lab
  • Faculty Areas of Expertise Coastal Science, Climate Change

Biography, Education and Training

Professor Michael W. Beck is the Director of the Center on Coastal Climate Resilience and AXA Chair in Coastal Resilience at the University of California Santa Cruz and Co-Lead of the NSF CoPe Strong Coasts project. Mike aims to reduce risks to people, property, and nature in his work across science, policy, and practice. Mike served for 20 years as Lead Marine Scientist at The Nature Conservancy. He has advised government agencies in the US, Germany, UK, EU, Philippines, Jamaica, and Grenada, among others. He has collaborated with many global agencies and companies including AXA, Munich Re, Swiss Re, Lloyd’s of London, Risk Management Solutions, and the World Bank. Mike has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers and numerous Op-eds in major papers including the LA Times, NY Times, The Hill, and the Miami Herald. He has been a Fulbright Fellow and a Pew Marine Fellow. You can find more on his lab’s work at

Selected Publications


Beck, M. W.,  N. Heck, S. Narayan, P. Menéndez, B. Reguero, S. Bitterwolf, S. Torres-Ortega, G.-M. Lange, K. Pfliegner, V. McNulty, I. J. Losada. 2022. Return on Investment for Mangrove and Reef Flood Protection. Ecosystem Services 56:101440.

Reguero, B., C. D. Storlazzi, A. E. Gibbs, J. B. Shope, A. D. Cole, K. A. Cumming, M. W. Beck. 2021. The Value of U.S. Coral Reefs for Flood Risk Reduction. Nature Sustainability 4:688-698. 

Kleypas J., Allemand, D., Anthony K., Baker A., Beck M. W., Hale L. Z., Hilmi N., Hoegh-Guldberg O., Hughes T., Kaufman L., Kayanne H., Magnan A., Mcleod E., Mumby P., Palumbi S., Richmond  R., Rinkevich B., Steneck R., Voolstra C., Wachenfeld D. & Gattuso J.-P. 2021. Designing a blueprint for coral reef survival. Biological Conservation 257:109107.

Menéndez, P., Losada, I. J., S. Torres-Ortega, S. Narayan, M. W. Beck. 2020. Global flood protection benefits of mangroves. Scientific Reports 10:4404.

Beck, M. W., I. Losada, P. Menendez, Reguero, B.G., P. Diaz Simal, F. Fernandez. 2018. The global flood protection savings provided by coral reefs. Nature Communications 9:2186.

Reguero, B.G., M.W. Beck, D. Bresch, J. Calil, I. Meliane.  2018. Comparing the cost effectiveness of Nature-based and artificial Coastal Adaptation: A case study from the Gulf Coast of the United States.  PLoS ONE 13(4): e0192132.

Narayan, S., M.W. Beck, P. Wilson, C. Thomas, A. Guerrero, C. Shepard, B. G. Reguero, G. Franco, C. J. Ingram, D. Trespalacios. 2017. The Value of Coastal Wetlands for Flood Damage Reduction in the Northeastern USA. Scientific Reports 7:9463.

Ferrario, F., M. W. Beck, C. Storlazzi, F. Micheli, C. Shepard, L. Airoldi. 2014. The effectiveness of coral reefs for coastal hazard risk reduction. Nature Communications 5,3794: 1-9.

Shepard, C., Crain, C., Beck, M.W. 2011. The protective role of coastal marshes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS ONE 6(11): e27374.

Beck, M. W., Heck, K. L. Jr. , Able, K. W., Childers, D. L., Eggleston, D. B., Gillanders, B. M., Halpern, B., Hays, C. G., Hoshino, K., Minello, T. J., Orth, R. J. Sheridan, P. F., Weinstein, M. P. 2001. The identification, conservation and management of estuarine and marine nurseries for fish and invertebrates.  Bioscience 51:633-641.

Beck, M. W., R. D. Brumbaugh, L. Airoldi, A., Carranza, L. D. Coen, C. Crawford, O. Defeo, G. J. Edgar, B. Hancock, M. Kay, H. Lenihan, M. W. Luckenbach, C. L. Toropova, G. Zhang, X. Guo. 2011. Oyster reefs at risk globally and recommendations for ecosystem revitalization. Bioscience 61:107-116.