Lisa Levin is Distinguished Professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California, and was Director of the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation and Oliver Chair from 2011-2017.
Levin is a marine ecologist who studies benthic ecosystems in the deep sea and shallow water. Together with her students, she has worked with a broad range of taxa, from microbes and microalgae to invertebrates, fishes and whales. 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, ocean acidification and deoxygenation; (2) wetland biotic interactions as they mediate marsh function, invasion and restoration; and (3) larval ecology of coastal marine populations with emphasis on connectivity. Levin has participated in over 45 oceanographic expeditions around the world and served as Chief Scientist on about a third of these.
Levin is the author or co-author of more than 275 scientific publications. She iis currently an Associate Editor of Science Advances, and 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 Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, and served as Pogo Visiting Professor in Namibia and South Africa. 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 UC San Diego Kendall Frost Marsh Reserve.
Dr. Levin is founder and co-lead of the Deep-Ocean Stewardship Initiative (DOSI), which seeks to integrate science, technology, policy, law and economics to advise on ecosystem-based management of resource use in the deep ocean and strategies to maintain the integrity of deep-ocean ecosystems within and beyond national jurisdictions. She co-leads the DOSI climate working group, bringing climate science to policy makers and raising awareness about climate change in the deep ocean. Levin’s involvement in this arena includes authorship on the IPCC AR 5 and SR6 and the IPCC Special Report on The Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate, and attendance at the past 5 UNFCCC COPs. Levin is currently working to mainstream climate change considerations into management of deep-sea mineral and fisheries resources and into conservation of biodiversity.
She also helped establish and co-leads the Deep Ocean Observing Strategy (DOOS), a program within the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) which aims to coordinate deep ocean-observing to address needs of climate science and society.
Levin was awarded the American Association of Limnology and Oceanography’s Redfield Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018 and the Prince Albert I Grand Medal in Ocean Science in 2019.
(Updated January 2021)