New Executive Director Named for Scripps Marine Biodiversity and Conservation Center


Scripps Institution of Oceanography / University of California, San Diego


Russell Chapman, founding dean of the School of the Coast and Environment at Louisiana State University (LSU), has been named the new executive director of the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation (CMBC) at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego.

In his new role, Chapman coordinates research and education efforts within CMBC, and in collaboration with other UCSD programs. He plays a key role in scientific and institutional policy and fund-raising, and guides CMBC in program planning and development. His focus also involves establishing new, innovative and interdisciplinary biodiversity and conservation programs at Scripps.

Chapman brings a wealth of experience to this position, having been responsible for general management and long-range planning of the academic business and research activities of the School of the Coast and Environment at LSU. He created a Corporate Partners Program to generate private-sector funding for the school and established special endowments. He also served as associate vice chancellor for research and economic development at LSU and was responsible for the development of interdisciplinary programs within the campus and between LSU and other institutions and the private sector.

"Russ' creativity and perseverance will certainly help elevate Scripps' scientific biodiversity and conservation programs to a higher level of academic excellence and achievement," said Nancy Knowlton, director of CMBC. "His accomplishments in both scientific research and academic administration will truly serve us well."

Chapman earned a bachelor's degree in biology at Dartmouth College and an M.S. and Ph.D. in botany from the University of California, Davis. He has published widely on the ultrastructure and molecular evolution of algae and has advised scores of graduate students during his distinguished scientific career.

Established in 2001, the Scripps Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation has played a major role in addressing the challenges facing marine conservation on a global scale. The center's scientific goals include assessing the state of marine ecosystems now and in the past and developing predictive models for the future; devising novel approaches that effectively link scientific fields, and designing technically sophisticated, regionally appropriate strategies to prevent and reverse biodiversity collapse. Through its educational programs, CMBC scientists are training new marine biodiversity and conservation researchers in the U.S. and around the world. As part of its public service goals, CMBC is strengthening public understanding of scientific issues and providing sound scientific analyses to policy makers.

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