Peter Burn, PhD

Department of Biology

Phone: 617-573-8246
Fax: 617-573-8245

Office: Somerset Building, Rm. 735


  • PhD, University of New Hampshire
  • MS, Northeastern University
  • BA, University of Pennsylvania

Research Interests

  • Characterization and comparison of New England barrier island and salt marsh habitats
  • Uses of hypermedia in research and education


1996-present   Professor of Biology, Suffolk University
1989-1998       Consultant in Radiology (non-clinical), Massachusetts General Hospital
1989-1996       Associate Professor of Biology, Suffolk University
1982-1989       Assistant Professor of Biology, Suffolk University
1978-1981       Jessie Smith Noyes Post-doctoral Fellow, Osborn Laboratories of Marine Science, NewYork Zoological Society

Selected Publications

Perez, K., E. Davey, R.H. Moore, P.R. Burn, M. Rosol, D. Kopans. 1999. Application of Computer-Aided Tomography (CT) Scanning to the study of Benthic Estuarine Communities. Ecological Applications 9(3): 1050-1058

Burn, P.R., M.S. Potts, R.H. Moore, A.J. Fischman, H.W. Strauss. 1993. Tissue Distribution and and Excretion of 99mTc-Disofenin in three marine Species: Pleuronectes americanus (winter flounder), Homarus americanus (lobster), and Mya arenaria (soft-shell clam). Mar Biol 116: 355-361.

Recent Oral Presentations

Burn, P.R. 2005. Spanning Biogeographic Provinces and Plant Hardiness Zones: Observations on the Species Composition of Coatue (Nantucket), Sandy Neck (Barnstable), and Plum Island (Newburyport) Barrier Beaches. Presented at the Nantucket Biodiversity Initiative Conference. September 24, 2005.

Burn, P.R. 2006. Plum Island and the Great Marsh – Biology and Geology, Past, Present and Future.
Parker River National Wildlife Refuge Biodiversity Lecture Series. June 14, 2006.

Professional Activities

1995-present      President, Marine Studies Consortium
1990-2002         MA EOEA Coastal Resources Advisory Board
1985-present     Coordinator, Suffolk University Marine Science Program

Other Activities

1982-present     President, SuAsCo Watershed Association
2000-present     SuAsCo Watershed Community Council, Executive Committee
2002-present     Sudbury Assabet Concord Wild and Scenic Rivers Stewardship Council

Current Grant Support

Contract support from the NSF funded Electronic Field Guide Project with Rob Stevenson and Bob Morris of UMass Boston. In conjunction with this grant, my students and I have prepared Electronic Field Guides for the Shrubs, Trees and Flowers of the Plum Island (Newburyport, MA) barrier beach. Other EFGs are in progress. The basis for these EFGs is a hierarchically arranged, 36,000 digital image catalogue of the flora and fauna of Plum Island.

Courses Taught

BIO 114/L114 - Organisimal Biology and Lab
BIO 254 - Marine Biology
BIO 343 - Biodiversity and Conservation Biology
BIO 357 - Biology of Fishes
BIO 359 - Biology of Whales