Candidate for Member at Large: Naomi Levine

Naomi Levine

Ph.D. 2010 (Chemical Oceanography, MIT-WHOI Joint Program, USA)


Biographical Information

Naomi LevineMy research focuses on understanding the interactions between climate and marine microbial ecosystem composition and function. Specifically, I aim to elucidate the underlying mechanisms responsible for biogeochemical cycling in marine microbial ecosystems and to identify climate-ecosystem feedback loops. My interdisciplinary work combines biological, chemical, and physical oceanography and leverages experiments, field observations, and numerical models. I received my BA in Geosciences from Princeton University and my Ph.D. in Chemical Oceanography from the MIT-WHOI Joint Program, where I combined numerical models and in situ observations to gain new insight into carbon and sulfur cycling in the oceans. My interest in the interactions between fluctuating environments and ecosystem dynamics led me to Harvard University as a NOAA Climate and Global Change Postdoctoral Fellow. My postdoctoral work utilized an innovative mathematical modeling framework to demonstrate that the inclusion of individual-level dynamics fundamentally changes ecosystem-scale biogeochemical cycling. In December 2013, I started my lab at the University of Southern California where I hold joint appointments in Marine and Environmental Biology, Molecular and Computational Biology, and Earth Sciences. My current work focuses on understanding the impact of marine microbial evolution on carbon cycling, studying the impact of small-scale physical heterogeneity on large-scale ecosystem dynamics, and understanding the impact of variations in heterotrophic microbial community composition on dissolved and particulate carbon cycling. I am a 2016 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow and Simons Foundation Early Career Investigator in Marine Microbial Ecology and Evolution.

Candidate Statement

I am excited about the opportunity to serve on the ASLO board as a Member at Large. I believe that the work that ASLO does is incredibly important for bringing our field together, for helping to promote exciting and innovative research, and for increasing diversity and representation. If elected, I would help continue the great work being done in programs such as LOREX in addition to thinking of other creative ways that we can better promote and support underrepresented groups in our field. At USC, I have been very active in the Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) program serving as the faculty mentor for the Ph.D. advisory board – a group tasked with increasing the support and retention of female STEM graduate students at USC. I have also served as the faculty advisor for the USC Young Researchers Program that brings local under-represented minority high school students from the Los Angeles area to USC where they are paired with a PhD mentor to complete a research project. I am also very passionate about bridging the gap between different disciplines and between experimentalists, observationalists, and modelers. In the current age of ‘omics and big data, I believe we have the opportunity to work together to solve important problems in ways that were not previously possible. Moving the fields of Limnology and Oceanography forward in this way requires overcoming barriers such as technical language/jargon differences as well as differences in research culture. I have been engaged in this type of work through the US Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry group where I have served as the co-chair of the Time-series Committee. I am also co-organizing the OCB scoping workshop this fall for the BioGeoSCAPES program. As a Member at Large, I would work to support and extend ASLO's current efforts in this area through sessions at meetings that facilitate interdisciplinary interactions, and through symposiums (such as Eco-DAS) to facilitate training and support of the next generation of interdisciplinary scientists.

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