2018 Redfield Award Recipient

Lisa Levin (Scripps Institution of Oceanography) 

The A.C. Redfield Lifetime Achievement award honors major, long-term achievements in the fields of limnology and oceanography, including research, education, and service to the community and society. Lisa Levin is the 2018 recipient of the A.C. Redfield Award for her extraordinary long-term contributions to understanding the composition and function of seafloor ecosystems, and for her leadership in identifying and communicating anthropogenic pressures on aquatic ecosystems, with relevance to policies for sustainable and healthy seas. Levin is Distinguished Professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego. The award will be presented at the Ocean Sciences Meeting in Portland, Oregon in February 2018.

In the 36 years since her first publication, Lisa Levin has had a profound influence in marine science through her broad research portfolio, creative teaching, dedicated mentorship of young scientists, and commitment to outreach and stewardship of deep-sea ecosystems. Levin’s research in areas such as larval dispersal, hypoxia and deep-sea biodiversity, is known for its rigor and scientific insights. Levin’s more than 230 papers have been cited more than 20,000 times, with 59 of Levin’s papers having more than 100 citations each. These statistics reveal a publication record that is impressive in reach and influence, and are a testament to her work’s impact across numerous subdisciplines of marine science.

A hallmark of Levin’s career has been pioneering the use of new technology and methodology. She helped lead the first use of isotope labeling tools for examining food chains in the deep sea. She was also first to use trace elemental fingerprinting for tracking invertebrate larvae to study connectivity of marine habitats. Throughout her career, Levin has elegantly combined a variety of classical and modern (including the use of submersibles and Remotely Operated Vehicles) methods in her work, demonstrating that the ecology of even the most remote ocean environments can be quantitatively studied.

Known in the ocean sciences community for her “insight, collaborative spirit and tireless dedication to deep-sea research,” Levin has been a leader in advancing conservation and observation of deep sea ecosystems. She served as Director for the Center for Marine Biodiversity (CMBC) and Conservation for six years, founded and co-leads the Deep Ocean Stewardship Initiative (DOSI), and has been instrumental in efforts to develop a Deep-Ocean Observing Strategy. A recognized and respected voice on threats to aquatic ecosystems, Levin’s reviews, commentaries, and policy papers can be found in venues such as Science and Nature. She has served numerous roles in the scientific community, such as an editor and referee to many journals and is a frequent session chair at ASLO and other conferences. She also regularly communicates with decision makers, ranging in scope from local advisory boards to global assemblies such as the International Seabed Authority and United Nations Climate Change Conference.

In all her endeavors, Levin is a mentor and role model to the next generation of aquatic scientists. She has mentored more than 30 graduate students and 35 undergraduate students. As Director of CMBC, she has developed interdisciplinary approaches to teaching ocean science in master’s and PhD programs, extending her influence to multiple institutions. She has contributed internationally as well, serving as a Visiting Professor in Namibia and South Africa and as a Lecturer in Senegal, Chile, and Peru.

“The A.C. Redfield Lifetime honors individuals who have excelled in all arenas of a scientific career: research, education and service. Lisa Levin is an extraordinary scientist and richly deserving of this award.  Lisa's contributions to deep sea biology research and the education of the next generation have been enormous. Her current work at the UN Climate Change Conferences and with the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) informs world policy and shines a light on the massive importance of the deep sea domain in carbon cycling” said ASLO President Linda Duguay.