Lisa A. Levin Biography

Lisa Levin is Director of the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation  and Distinguished Professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. 

Before moving to Scripps in 1992 she was Assoc. Professor in the Dept. of Marine Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at North Carolina State University in Raleigh.

Dr. Levin is a marine ecologist who studies benthic ecosystems in the deep sea and shallow water. Together with her students Dr. Levin has worked with a broad range of taxa, from microbes and microalgae to invertebrates and fishes. Her recent research has emphasized 3 major themes:  (1) the structure, function and vulnerability of continental margin ecosystems, particularly those subject to oxygen and sulfide stress; (2) wetland biotic interactions as they mediate marsh function, invasion and restoration; and  (3) larval ecology of coastal marine populations with emphasis on connectivity and response to ocean acidification and deoxygenation. The deep ocean covers over half of the planet but most of it is less well known than the surface of the moon.

Dr. Levin’s research has been conducted over the past 3 decades on the margins of the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans using ships, submersibles and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to sample and conduct experiments. She has participated in over 35 oceanographic expeditions around the world and served as Chief Scientist on 12 of these.

She is the author or co-author of more than 175 scientific publications. Dr. Levin has served as North American editor of the journal Marine Ecology, as founding editorial board member of the Annual Reviews of Marine Science, as past contributing editor for Limnology and Oceanography and Marine Ecology Progress Series, and has edited 5 special volumes on aspects of deep-sea biodiversity.

Dr. Levin is a ‘Fellow of the Association’ of AAAS in Biological Sciences. a recently elected Fellow of the American Geophysical Union,  and recently served as Pogo Visiting Professor in Namibia and South Africa. In 2011 she was  the Anton Bruun Memorial Lecturer at the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and in 2012 gave the Sverdrup Lecture at the American Geophysical Union Meeting.  She has participated as steering committee member of the Census of Marine Life programs on chemosynthetic ecosystems (ChESS) and continental margins (CoMARGE), and the US Ocean Carbon Biochemistry Program, and in working groups for the US National Academy of Sciences, SCOR, SCOPE, NCEAS, and INDEEP. For many years she served on the San Diego Wetlands Advisory Board, the San Diego Bay Technical Advisory panel, and as faculty manager of the UCSD Kendall Frost Marsh Reserve.  

Within UCSD she has won the Chancellor’s Associates Faculty award for Excellence in Research, and has served at various times as representative to the UC Marine Council, Assoc. Dept. Chair, Chair of the Committee on Academic Personnel, and head of the Biological Oceanography Curricular Group. Dr. Levin is presently the inaugural holder of the Elizabeth Hamman and Morgan Dene Oliver Chair in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation Science at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.