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Deep Sea Mining: Much To Gain...Much To Lose.

Dr. Lisa Levin Biography
Dr. Lisa Levin.jpg

Lisa Levin grew up in Los Angeles. She went on to complete her B.A. degree summa cum laude in Biology at Radcliffe College in 1975. She joined the Scripps Institution of Oceanography for her graduate studies, earning a PhD in Oceanography from the University of California, San Diego in 1982 Her dissertation was on tidal flat ecology and deep-sea sediments. 

Following 9 years as a professor at North Carolina State University, Dr. Levin  joined the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.  There she became interested in deep-sea environments, including methane seeps and oxygen minimum zones. Her work also considers the structure of vulnerable ecosystems, wetland biotic interactions and larval ecology of coastal marine populations.


Dr. Levin has worked extensively in the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans using a range of deep-sea equipment including submersibles, remotely operated underwater vehicles. She has participated in over 40 oceanographic expeditions. She has monitored cold seep sediments, checking the interaction of fauna with flow and reporting the first review of the different size groups of organisms.


In 2011 she was made the director of the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation, which she led for six years.   She was made the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Anton Bruun Memorial Lecturer


Dr. Levin co-founded the Deep-Ocean Stewardship Initiative (DOSI), a group that seeks to integrate science, technology, policy, law and economics to advise on the management of resource use in the deep ocean in order to maintain the integrity of deep-ocean ecosystems.  In 2017 she founded the Deep Ocean Observing Strategy (DOOS), which outlines the requirements for future deep ocean observations.


In 2016 Dr. Levin spoke at the 2016 United Nations Climate Change Conference. She is interested in the ethical challenges of mining the deep sea for metals. She was part of the 2018 World Economic Forum, speaking about the dangers of mining the deep seabed. 

Dr. Levin was awarded the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) A.C. Redfield Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018 and the Prince Albert 1 Grand Medal in Science in 2019.

She has published over 280 papers that have been cited more than 30,000 times.


 In 2024 Dr. Lisa Levin was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.


More about Dr. Levin

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