The Primack Lab

Welcome to the Primack Lab


Our lab's research focuses on climate change and conservation biology. 


We study the effects of climate change on the timing of seasonal events, or phenology, in plants, birds, and insects, in spring and autumn. We are also interested in the consequences of phenology shifts for species, communities, and the potential for ecological mismatch.


The main geographical focus of our work is Concord, Massachusetts, due to the availability of extensive phenological records kept by Henry David Thoreau and later naturalists. We use Concord as a living laboratory to determine the effects of climate change and land use change on species and on the population dynamics of native and non-native species. We are comparing our results from Concord with long-term changes at Acadia National Park in Maine.


Our lab is also involved in international collaborations on climate change and phenology in Japan and South Korea, as well as working with researchers at botanical gardens in Germany, China, and Canada. Together with these botanical gardens we are researching the interannual and geographic variation in seasonal events like leaf-out, leaf senescence, and fruit ripening.


Another ongoing activity of our lab is producing conservation biology textbooks and working with co-authors to produce textbooks in other languages. In addition, Richard Primack serves as Editor-in-Chief of the international journal Biological Conservation.


Please send questions to Richard Primack. The Primack Lab is a part of the Department of Biology of Boston University.