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Leah Gerber

Leah Gerber
Senior Sustainability Scientist, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability
Founding Director, Center for Biodiversity Outcomes, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability
Professor, School of Life Sciences, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Faculty Affiliate, Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes

School of Life Sciences
Arizona State University
PO Box 874501
Tempe, AZ 85287-4501

Leah Gerber is Founding Director of the Center for Biodiversity Outcomes, where she leads a team of talented staff and scholars to build Arizona State University’s capacity to solve our most pressing biodiversity environmental challenges of the 21st century. In her spare time, she is a Professor of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Sciences in the School of Life Sciences, a Faculty Affiliate in the Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes and a Senior Sustainability Scientist in the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability. By training, Gerber is a population ecologist and marine conservation biologist who aims to connect science to policies for sustaining the health of the world’s oceans. As a population ecologist, she works at the interface between behavior, population ecology and demography of long-lived marine species. As a conservation biologist she works with government and non-governmental organizations to ensure that basic research is applied in relevant conservation settings. In both endeavors, Gerber employs empirical and modeling approaches to understand marine systems connect academic pursuits in marine biological sciences to tenable decision tools and policy. With a grounding in natural history and primary data collection, quantitative methods, and an appreciation for the interactions between humans and the environment, Gerber has pioneered new approaches in protected area design, population viability analysis, and incorporating uncertainty into environmental decision-making. Gerber has published broadly on life history, dispersal, monitoring, adaptive management, animal behavior and ecosystem-based management.  Gerber is the recipient of a National Science Foundation Career Award, a Fellow with the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program, and serves on the board of the Ecological Society of America. As the Founding Director for the Center for Biodiversity Outcomes, Dr. Gerber aims to accelerate the success of biodiversity management and sustainable biodiversity outcomes by fostering relationships amongst academics and decision makers. 

PhD, University of Washington - Seattle, 1998

MMA, University of Washington - Seattle, 1993

BA, Mills College, 1992

Journal Articles


Huang, B., J. K. Abbott, E. P. Fenichel, R. Muneepeerakul, C. Perrings and L. Gerber. 2017. Testing the feasibility of a hypothetical whaling-conservation permit market in Norway. Conservation Biology 31(4):809-817. DOI: 10.1111/cobi.12916. (link )


Gerber, L. R., C. Costello and S. D. Gaines. 2014. Conservation markets for wildlife management with case studies from whaling. Ecological Applications 24(1):4-14. DOI: 10.1890/12-1919.1. (link )

Gerber, L. R., C. Costello and S. D. Gaines. 2014. Facilitate, don’t forbid, trade between conservationists and resource harvesters. Ecological Applications 24(1):23-24. DOI: 10.1890/13-1541.1. (link )


Gregory, R., J. Arval and L. R. Gerber. 2013. Structuring decisions for managing threatened and endangered species in a changing climate. Conservation Biology 27(6):1212-1221. DOI: 10.1111/cobi.12165. (link )

Minteer, B. A. and L. R. Gerber. 2013. Buying whales to save them. Issues in Science and Technology Online 29(3):58-68. (link )


Gerber, L. R., M. Beger, M. A. McCarthy and H. P. Possingham. 2005. A theory for optimal monitoring of marine reserves. Ecology Letters 8(8):829-837. DOI: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2005.00784.x. (link )


Hooker, S. K. and L. R. Gerber. 2004. Potential importance of megafauna: Marine reserves as a tool for ecosystem-based management?. BioScience 54(1):27-39. DOI: 10.1641/0006-3568(2004)054[0027:MRAATF]2.0.C;2. (link )


Gerber, L. R. and L. T. Hatch. 2002. Are we recovering? An evaluation of recovery criteria under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Ecological Applications 12(3):668-673. DOI: 10.2307/3060976. (link )


Gerber, L., D. DeMaster and S. Roberts. 2000. Measuring success in conservation. American Scientist 88(4):316-324. DOI: 10.1511/2000.4.316. (link )