Marine Biology News

Dissolving Away Confusion
January 9, 2014

At the California Science Center, USC Dornsife students use interactive games to communicate complex scientific concepts. One…

Octopus Got Your Tongue?
January 6, 2014

A USC Dornsife linguist and marine biologist join forces in a National Science Foundation study that uses octopuses to shed…

Raising the Anchor
November 13, 2013

Geraldine Knatz’s motto is “It’s impossible, it’s difficult, it’s done.” Preparing for retirement, the first woman executive…

Taking the Bull by the Horns
July 26, 2013

USC Dornsife undergraduate Iñaki Pedroarena-Leal took the initiative and landed a prestigious internship at the Smithsonian…

Fuhrman Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
April 26, 2013

USC Dornsife’s Jed Fuhrman researches how complex marine microbial systems interact and change over time, resulting in…

Marine and Environmental Biology

The core scientific mission of the Marine and Environmental Biology section is to understand marine organisms, their interactions in complex marine ecosystems, and the emergent properties of the communities that result from these interactions. By design and by necessity this work includes studies at all levels of biological organization: molecular, genetic, organismal, population and community, and the intersection between the activities of organisms and the abiotic world.

The interdisciplinary and integrative nature of our research presents opportunities to create unique linkages across scales, educating our students in the connections between molecular biology, physiological ecology, neurobiology, and the larger-scale functions of organisms and ecosystems. It also creates natural links to other units within the university, including the earth sciences department, the Viterbi School of Engineering, the Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies, as well as outside USC, such as the nearby L.A. County Natural History Museum.

  • The research interests of the MEB faculty are diverse, but include particular strengths in two areas: microbial ecology, biogeochemistry, and geobiology, including biodiversity and molecular ecology; and
  • Integrative organismal biology, encompassing classical fields of experimental biology, physiology, physiological ecology, conservation biology, and the population and quantitative genetics of marine species, using state-of-the-art genomics approaches.

We aspire to become the globally recognized center for the study of the structure and dynamics of microbial ecosystems and for the conservation and enhancement of living marine resources. Through our graduate program, it is our intention to set the standard for the training of the next generation of scientists in these two key areas.

Marine and Environmental Biology Section Head: David Hutchins

  • Department of Biological Sciences
  • University of Southern California
  • Allan Hancock Foundation Building
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-0371