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Marine Science Graduate Program

Lisa Ballance, PhD

Director, Protected Resources Division, Southwest Fisheries Science Center

Dr. Ballance's doctoral research focused on the ecology of seabirds associated with yellowfin tuna and spotted and spinner dolphin schools in the eastern tropical Pacific. She also studied comparative cetacean ecology in the eastern tropical Pacific and tropical Indian oceans. Her current research is heavily focused on cetaceans and seabirds in oceanic systems, ecological trends in space and time (at interannual to regime shift scales), and ecosystem-based approaches to management.

Education

Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, Ecology

M.S., Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Marine Science

B.A., University of California, San Diego, Biology 

 

Scholarly and Creative Work

Ballance has been the Director of the Protected Resources Division of NOAA’s SouthwestFisheriesScienceCenterin La Jolla, CAsince November 2007. In this role, she is responsible for setting the priorities for research on marine mammals and turtles for seven science programs and some 70 individuals, and for day-to-day management of division resources.

Ballance has been with NOAA Fisheries since 1988, when she joined the agency as a Graduate Research Associate working on her Ph.D. Her research focused on ecology of seabirds associated with yellowfin tuna and spotted and spinner dolphin schools in the eastern tropical Pacific. She obtained her doctoral degree from theUniversity ofCalifornia Los Angeles in 1993, and accepted a post-doctoral position the same year with the National Research Council conducting research on comparative cetacean ecology in the eastern tropical Pacific and tropical Indian oceans. She became a marine ecologist with theSouthwestFisheriesScienceCenter in 1996, Chief Scientist of the Eastern Tropical Pacific Cetacean and Ecosystem Research Cruises in 1999, and Leader of the Ecosystem Studies Program in 2001. Her research has always included a strong ecological component and is heavily focused on cetaceans and seabirds in oceanic systems, ecological trends in space and time (at interannual to regime shift scales), and ecosystem-based approaches to management.