Kathy Mills, Ph.D.

Research Scientist

Dr. Katherine Mills is a research scientist at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute and leads the Integrated Systems Ecology Lab.

Kathy has studied ecosystem change and fish-ecosystem relationships in the Gulf of Maine and Northeast U.S. Shelf regions for over a decade. She uses statistical analysis and modeling to understand (1) how physical and ecosystem conditions are changing; (2) how these changes affect fish populations, biological communities, and marine fisheries; and (3) how fisheries and fishing communities can effectively respond.

Kathy’s research spans a range of topics to investigate how physical changes affect ecological patterns and processes, such as the productivity, distribution, phenology, growth, and size structure of different species. She is also interested in how species-specific changes shape multispecies interactions and community-level dynamics.

Much of Kathy’s research also seeks to understand and inform management of fisheries as coupled social-ecological systems. This research integrates physical, biological, social and economic information to link changes in the ecosystem and management system to societal outcomes. Climate adaptation within marine fisheries is a major focus, with emphasis on assessing climate vulnerabilities, evaluating climate adaptation strategies, and providing information to support adaptation planning by fishery participants, fishing communities and fishery managers.