James B. McClintock (born Ann Arbor, MI) is an American professor of biology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and studies various aspects of marine biology in Antarctica. He is an authority on the effects of climate change in Antarctica which is detailed in his book Lost Antarctica – Adventures in a Disappearing Land,.
McClintock received his bachelor's degree from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1978 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Florida in 1984. In 1987, after completing a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of California at Santa Cruz, he joined the faculty of the Department of Biology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and is the Endowed University Professor of Polar and Marine Biology.
McClintock discovered his professional passion while growing up along the Pacific Ocean in Santa Barbara, CA. His initial research focused on echinoderm (primarily sea star and sea urchin) nutrition, and reproduction in both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. In 1982 he made his first scientific foray into the chilly Indian Ocean as a participant in the French Antarctic Research Program working at a research base on the sub-Antarctic island of Kerguelen. The following two years, as a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow, McClintock continued his echinoderm studies in the freezing waters of Antarctica's Southern Ocean at the United States research station McMurdo Station.
Since 1989 McClintock has led or co-directed fourteen scientific expeditions with the United States Antarctic Program (USAP) in which he and his research collaborators have become the world’s authorities on Antarctic marine chemical ecology. This work, funded by NSF, has been conducted at the United States research facilities McMurdo Station (Ross Sea) and Palmer Station (Antarctic Peninsula). McClintock has published over 200 scientific publications, and co-edited and co-authored several books related to a multitude of aspects dealing with marine invertebrates. In 1998, the U.S. Geographic Board named McClintock Point on the north side of New Harbor, McMurdo Sound, Antarctica, in recognition of his contributions to Antarctic marine biology. In 1999 he became an elected Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
His current work, also funded by the NSF, focuses of the impacts of climate change along the western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP). This region of the planet is experiencing unprecedented warming. Moreover, Antarctic seas are uniquely subject to the impacts of ocean acidification, the result of oceans absorbing anthropogenic atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). Research projects are underway to examine how the combination of rising seawater temperatures and increased levels of ocean acidification may impact Antarctic marine plants and animals that have calcified body parts. A separate NSF-funded research program co-directed by McClintock involves an investigation of large populations of king crabs currently invading Antarctic shelf waters as sea temperatures rise and their prospective impacts on seafloor communities.
McClintock is very active in educational outreach activities related to his career as an Antarctic marine ecologist. He is an appointed member of the Advisory Board of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation.
In addition to participating in research expeditions, McClintock leads an annual educational tourist ship based Climate Change Challenge cruise to the Antarctica Peninsula. He also co-leads study away programs to the Galapagos, Bahamas and Costa Rica as part of his teaching activities at UAB. At home, McClintock enjoys canoeing, fishing and spending time with his wife and two children. He is the author of A Naturalist Goes Fishing, published by St. Martin's Press (2015).