Dr. Nancy Knowlton holds the Sant Chair in Marine Science at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, where her research focuses on the diversity and conservation of life in the ocean. She received her BA at Harvard University summa cum laude, her PhD at the University of California at Berkeley, and was a NATO postdoctoral fellow.  Later, she was a professor at Yale University, a scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, and Professor and founding Director of the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Past service included advisory positions with the National Geographic Society, the World Bank, the Cosmos Prize, and the Census of Marine Life.  She was a past member of the editorial board of the Annual Review of Marine Science, the National Board of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Pew Marine Fellows Advisory Committee.  She currently serves on the Sloan Research Fellowship in Ocean Sciences Committee and the national board the Coral Reef Alliance.  She is an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow, winner of the Peter Benchley Prize and the Heinz Award, and author of Citizens of the Sea.


Coral reefs are the most diverse of all marine ecosystems and among the most threatened.  Dr. Knowlton will talk about what we know, and don't know, about the threats that they face, and what we might do to counter them.