Eric Galbraith

Full Professor

Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences
3450 University St.
Montreal, Quebec
Canada H3A 0E8

Email: eric.galbraith [at]

Research website



The global human population has become a dominant component of the Earth system, and is on an increasingly unsustainable trajectory due to rapid alteration of climate, biogeochemical cycles and ecosystems. Despite our very clear understanding of the problems, we have a murky vision of the solutions and are failing to make the large changes in trajectory that are required for sustainability. My work aims to help chart a course to global sustainability by better understanding the coupling between natural and social systems as emergent properties of the human-Earth system. My group uses statistical analyses, simple theory and numerical models to improve our predictive understanding of the dynamical processes at the interface between humans and the environment. 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. Our focus is now on developing integrated, quantitative descriptions of the two-way coupling between natural and human elements by bridging Earth system modelling methods with social science, including the behavioural motivations of human populations and outcomes for human experience and well-being.

Selected Publications

Barrington-Leigh, C., and Galbraith, E., (2019). Feasible future global scenarios for human life evaluations. Nature communications, 10(1), 161, doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-08002-2.

Galbraith, E.D., Le Mézo, P., Hernandez, G.S., Bianchi D., and Kroodsma, D., (2019). Growth Limitation of Marine Fish by Low Iron Availability in the Open Ocean. Frontiers in Marine Science, doi: 10.3389/fmars.2019.00509.

Heneghan, R., Hatton, I.A., and Galbraith, E.D., (2019). Climate change impacts on marine ecosystems through the lens of the size spectrum. Emerging Topics in Life Sciences 3(2), 233-243, doi: 10.1042/ETLS20190042.

Galbraith, E. and 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, doi: 10.1007/s00382-018-4157-8.

Galbraith, E.D., Carozza, D.A. and, Bianchi, D., (2017). A coupled human-Earth model perspective on long-term trends in the global marine fishery. Nature Communications, doi: 10.1038/ncomms14884.


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