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Board Members


Drew Harvell

Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Cornell University

The current focus of Dr. Harvell's laboratory group is on the ecology and evolution of host-pathogen interactions and coral resistance to disease. A subtheme of this work includes evaluating the impacts of a warming climate on marine ecosystems. Her analyses and papers have led to the now widespread acceptance that diseases in marine ecosystems can change seascapes, particularly in the very climate-sensitive coral reef ecosystems. Projects in Drew's lab involve a variety of approaches, including field studies, molecular techniques, chemical analyses and mathematical modeling. She has worked for many years on coral reefs in the Mexican Yucatan, Florida Keys, Hawaii and Indonesia. More recently work in temperate ecosystems include sea grass and sea star wasting diseases. Her work has been featured in national and international media. Drew is a fellow of the Ecological Society of America and a senior scientist at The Kohala Center, Hawaii and has been a sabbatical fellow at National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, Vice President of the Society of American Naturalists, chaired both the World Bank Targeted Research Program on Coral Disease and the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis program on the Ecology of Marine Disease.

Eleanor Sterling

Professor and Chief Conservation Scientist, Center for Biodiversity and Conservation

American Museum of Natural History


Eleanor Sterling was director of the American Museum of Natural History’s Center for Biodiversity and Conservation from 2000-2014 before her promotion to Chief Conservation Scientist. Building on her interdisciplinary training and experience, Eleanor bridges biological and socio-cultural perspectives and integrates them into management strategies for healthy ecological and human systems. She has over 30 years of field research and community outreach experience in both terrestrial and marine systems around the globe. Her current focus is on the intersection between biodiversity, culture, and languages and exploring the factors influencing resilience from a biocultural approach. She is also an expert in strategic planning and in implementation and evaluation of capacity development. Eleanor served as Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology at Columbia University for ten years, and was the Palmyra Atoll Research Consortium Executive Chair from 2006-2012.

Stephen Monismith

Professor, School of Engineering

Stanford University


The Obayashi Professor in the Stanford University School of Engineering, Stephen uses field, lab and computational experiments to look at a broad range of flows in lakes, estuaries and the oceans, focusing on mixing and transport processes that are central to ecology, biogeochemistry and environmental management. Through his work on estuarine dynamics, he has been active in San Francisco Bay-Delta issues.  In recent years, much of his efforts have focused on the physics of coral reef flows, with fieldwork and modeling carried out on reefs in the Red Sea, and in nearshore waters of Hawaii, Moorea, Palmyra Atoll, and Palau. Stephen has parallel interests studying the inner shelf flows found near and inside the kelp forests of California. Through his coral reef work, he had the opportunity to serve as the project director for a unique NATO-supported collaboration between Israeli and Jordanian scientists studying the northern Gulf of Aqaba.

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