Wesleyan portrait of Barry  Chernoff

Barry Chernoff

Robert Schumann Professor of Environmental Studies

Exley Science Center, 331

Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Exley Science Center, 331

Professor of Biology

Exley Science Center, 331

Chair, Environmental Studies Program

284 High Street,

Director, College of the Environment

284 High Street,

Professor, Environmental Studies

284 High Street,


Visit Professional Website

BS SUNY at Stony Brook
MS Adelphi University
PHD University of Michigan

Barry Chernoff

Professor Barry Chernoff joined the Wesleyan Faculty in 2003 where he holds the Robert K. Schumann Chair of Environmental Studies. He currently chairs the Environmental Studies Program and is Director of the College of the Environment. He teaches courses in Environmental Studies, Tropical Ecology, Aquatic Ecosystem Conservation, Quantitative Analysis and Evolutionary Biology for the College of the Enviornmernt and the departments of Biology and Earth and Environmental Sciences. Chernoff’s research centers on the freshwater fishes in North America and the Neotropical region, primarily those in South America in the Amazon. His research includes, ecology, evolutionary biology and conservation. Chernoff has published 89 peer-reviewed scientific works, including 6 books and edited volumes. He has led international teams on expeditions designed to conserve large watersheds of the world, having made more than 34 expeditions in 13 countries. Recently, Professor Chernoff and his students have been working on aquatic ecology and conservation genetics of fishes in Connecticut watersheds. In the past he has held professorial and curatorial positions at the Field Museum, University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Pennsylvania and the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. He holds a visiting position at Universidad Central de Venezuela. Chernoff has received a number of awards including the Caleb T. Winchester Outstanding Scholar and Teacher Award, 1 May 2006, awarded by Xi of Psi Upsilon, Wesleyan University and a Commendation for Excellence in Teaching, University of Chicago, 2000. Chernoff was elected to the Connecticut Academy of Sciences and Engineering in 2005, where he chaired the Environmental Science and Technology Board until 2010. From 1993-1999, he served on the U.S. National Committee for the International Union of Biological Sciences elected by the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council, and served as Vice-Chairman from 1995-1997 and Chairman from 1997-1999. He serves on the Inland Fish Commission’s Endangered and Threatened Fishes Panel for the CT Department of Environmental Protection. Chernoff co-wrote the script for a short documentary film entitled “Understanding Biodiversity” that was awarded finalist status at a number of film festivals, including Cannes, Toronto and Sundance, and received the Silver Apple Award from the American Educational Network. He has served on the boards of a number of community-oriented foundations, including the Confluence Greenway Project of St. Louis, Mo., and as President of the Sustainable Aquatic Research Center. A co-founder, Chernoff served as President of The Jonah Center for Earth and Art, from 2004-2010 in Middletown, CT. Chernoff performs with two musical groups: the electric rock band, Smokin’ Lillies, and the acoustic string band, Mattabesset.

Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

Fall 2019:    Tuesday  10:20 - 11:30  and  Thursday from 3:30-4:30 in the College of ther Environment (284 High St.) Room 201

                     or by appointment.


Fall 2019
ENVS 369 - 01
Ecological Resilience

ENVS 391 - 01
Senior Colloquium

Spring 2020
BIOL 508 - 01
Evolution Journal Club II

ENVS 201 - 01
Sophomore Seminar in ENVS

ENVS 306 - 01
Tropical Fish Ecology

ENVS 392 - 01
Senior Colloquium: Envr. Stud.