James McCarthy is an Alexander Agassiz Professor of Biological Oceanography and director of Harvard University's Museum of Comparative Zoology. He holds faculty appointments in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, and is the head tutor for degrees in environmental science and public policy. His research interests relate to the regulation of plankton productivity in the sea, in particular the cycling of nitrogen in planktonic ecosystems. He was the founding editor of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Global Biogeochemical Cycles journal. For the past five years he has served as co-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Working Group II, which has responsibilities for assessing impacts of, and vulnerabilities to, global climate change. He has been elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. In 1997, he was the recipient of the New England Aquarium's David B. Stone award for distinguished service to the environment and the community.