Steve Palumbi, former director of Stanford’s Hopkins Marine Station in Pacific Grove and Stanford Professor of Biology and Oceans, is considered one of the world’s leading authorities on detective work in the ocean—for whales, corals, kelp, and other species—using genetic tools. He became fascinated with marine biology at a young age, growing up near the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean. His research projects in Pacific Grove have included identifying whale and shark products that end up for sale in commercial markets, finding heat resistant corals to survive climate change, and working with the Northern Chumash tribe on designating a new national marine sanctuary along their traditional coast.
About our program, Steve says, “Yap and Palau are magnificent locations with fabulous reefs, protected sharks, climate-resistant corals, and a deep cultural history of sustainability that meshes with our current global world.” His lectures will cover topics such as the people of the Pacific; the importance of whales; the newest findings in how corals fight back against climate change; and how coral reef fish live out their colorful lives.
At Stanford: Jane and Marshall Steel Jr. Professor in Marine Sciences, department of biology, School of Humanities and Sciences, since 2002; Harold A. Miller Director, Hopkins Marine Station, 2008–2017, and researcher since 2002; professor of oceans in the new Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability, and fellow, Woods Institute for the Environment, since 2011
Professor, department of organismic and evolutionary biology, Harvard University, 1996–2002
Co-author, The Extreme Life of the Sea, Princeton University Press, 2015; and The Death and Life of Monterey Bay: A Story of Revival, Island Press, 2012
Participant in several TV series: The Big Ocean, PBS; The Future Is Wild, BBC; Life After People, History Channel; One Ocean, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Peter Benchley Ocean Award for Excellence in Science, 2011