Stephen Palumbi, Ph.D.

Science Advisory Board

Steve is the Jane and Marshall Steel Jr. Professor of Marine Sciences and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University. Steve has long been fascinated by how quickly the world around us changes. Work on the genomics of marine organisms tries to focus on basic evolutionary questions but also on practical solutions to questions about how to preserve and protect the diverse life in the sea. Steve has lectured extensively on human-induced evolutionary change, has used genetic detective work to identify whales, seahorses, rockfish and sharks for sale in retail markets, and is developing genomic methods to help find ocean species resistant to climate change. Work on corals in American Samoa and Palau has identified corals more resilient to heat stress. Work at the Hopkins Marine Station focuses on how kelp, sea urchins, abalone and mussels respond to short term environmental changes and to environmental shifts over small spatial scales. Steve is a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences, a member of the National Academy of Science, a Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation, and was awarded the Peter Benchley Ocean Award for Excellence in Science. In addition to hundreds of published scientific research papers, Steve has published several books for non-scientists including The Extreme Life of the Sea, The Death and Life of Monterey Bay: A Story of Revival, and The Evolution Explosion. Steve helped write, research and also appears in the BBC series The Future is Wild and the History Channel’s World Without People. Other recent films appearances include The End of the Line, and the Canadian Broadcasting series One Ocean. Major work continues on the microdocumentary project, the Short Attention Span Science Theater. Steve received his PhD in Marine Ecology from the University of Washington and started his career as a Professor at the University of Hawaii before moving to a Professorship at Harvard University and then joining the faculty of Stanford University in 2002.