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Leah Gerber

Professor; Director, Center for Biodiversity Outcomes; Senior Sustainability Scientist
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 4501
Senior Sustainability Scientist
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 4501
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 4501
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 4501
Professor and GIOS Center Director
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 4501

Leah Gerber is a Professor of conservation science in the School of Life Sciences and Founding Director of the Center for Biodiversity Outcomes at Arizona State University. She is also a Senior Sustainability Scientist in the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, a Fellow in the Institute for the Future of Innovation in Society, an Honors Faculty in the Barrett Honors College and an Affiliate Faculty in Applied Mathematics.

By training, Gerber is a population ecologist and marine conservation biologist. She is motivated by a desire to understand the determinants of conservation outcomes. She applies understanding of coupled human-natural systems in achieving sustainable biodiversity outcomes. Gerber’s empirically-based research programs spans many dimensions of natural and social sciences, with the goal to inform policies and sustaining the health of the world’s oceans. She is also engaged in employing theories of change for indigenous communities and biodiversity conservation in Latin America.

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, risk assessment, adaptive management and structured decision making. This work includes over 100 publications in high quality journals (e.g., Science, Nature, PNAS, American Scientist and Ecology Letters). Gerber has garnered a broad base of research funding to support this work, including a National Science Foundation-Career Award and an award from the Pew Charitable Trusts.

As an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow, Gerber is passionately committed to communicating the relevance of science in tackling the complex environmental challenges of the 21st century. The impact of her work extends beyond scientific impact factors – she is most proud of her work that has been used in policy decisions and has stimulated public discourse in popular media.

In 2014, Gerber established ASU’s Center for Biodiversity Outcomes, a bridging organization to enable discoveries and solutions needed to conserve and sustainably manage the Earth’s biodiversity in a time of rapid biophysical, institutional and cultural change. In leading the center, she has built capacity in academic excellence and established new models for academic engagement in achieving societal outcomes. Because this leadership experiment is pushing the frontier of the unknown, Gerber is pioneering new models of engagement as part of an NSF Science of Science and Innovation Policy grant.


  • Ph.D. Wildlife Science, University of Washington-Seattle 1998 
  • M.M.A. Marine Policy, University of Washington-Seattle 1993 
  • B.A. Environmental Biology, Mills College, Oakland, CA 1992 
Research Interests

Leah Gerber’s research is motivated by a desire to connect academic pursuits in marine biological sciences to tenable decision tools and policy. This approach includes a solid grounding in natural history and primary data collection, quantitative methods and an appreciation for the interactions between humans and the environment. She has published broadly on life history, dispersal, monitoring, adaptive management, fisheries, animal behavior and ecosystem-based management. Importantly, the impact of her work extends beyond scientific impact factors – she is most proud of her work that has been used in policy decisions and has stimulated public discourse in popular media.

  • Adaptive management
  • Ecology
  • Biology/microbiology
  • Climate change
  • Ecosystems
  • Life below water
  • Mathematical and system dynamics modeling
  • Modeling and simulation
  • Fisheries
  • Environmental policy
  • Ecosystem services
  • Climate change and adaptation
  • Ecological behavior
  • Quantitative approaches to decision making under scientific uncertainty
  • Population biology
  • Marine ecology
  • Conservation
  • Decision science
  • Marine mammal biology
  • Fisheries management
  • Risk management
  • Boundary science

Journal Articles


Gerber, L.R. and Raik, D., (2018) Conservation science needs new institutional models for achieving outcomes. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 16(8):438-439.

Marshall, K. N., Levin, P. S., Essington, T. E., Koehn, L. E., Anderson, L. G., Bundy, A., Carothers, C., Coleman, F., Gerber, L.R., Grabowski, J. H., Houde, E., Jensen, O. P., Möllmann, C., Rose, K., Sanchirico, J. N., & Smith, A. D. (2018). Ecosystem-based fisheries management for social–ecological systems: Renewing the focus in the United States with Next Generation Fishery Ecosystem Plans. Conservation Letters,11(1) doi:10.1111/conl.12367 (link)

Noziglia, A.J., Abbott, J.K., Polidoro, B., Gerber, L.R.  (2018). Flame Retardant Contamination and Seafood Sustainability. Sustainability, 10(4), 1070. doi:10.3390/su10041070 (link)

Levin, P., Anderson, L., Rose, K., Koehn, L., Grabowski, J., Jensen, O., Essington, T., Smith, T., Marshall, K., Carothers, C., Sanchirico, J., Möllmann, C., Houde, E., Coleman, F., Bundy, A., & Gerber, L. R. (2018). Building effective fishery ecosystem plans. Marine Policy (link).

Mancha-Cisneros, M.M., Suarez-Castillo, A. N., Torre, J., & Gerber, L. R. (2018). The role of stakeholder perceptions and institutions for marine reserve efficacy in the Midriff Islands Region, Gulf of California, Mexico. Ocean and Coastal Management. (link)

Fujitani, M., Fenichel, E., Torre, J., & Gerber, L. R. (2018). Synthesizing ecological and human use information to understand and manage coastal change. Ocean and Coastal Management (link).

Álvarez-Romero J. G., Munguía-Vega, A., Beger, M.,  Mancha-Cisneros, M.M., Suarez-Castillo, A. N., Gurney, G. G., Pressey, R. L., Gerber, L. R.,  Morzaria-Luna, H. N., Reyes-Bonilla, H., Adams, V. M., Kolb, M., Graham, E., VanDerWal, J., Castillo-Lopez, A., Hinojosa-Arango, G., Petatan-Ramirez, D., Moreno-Baez, M., Godinez-Reyes, C. R., & Torre, J. (2017). Designing connected marine reserves in the face of global warming. Global Change Biology00, 1–21. (link)


Marshall, K. N., Levin, P. S., Essington, T. E., Koehn, L. E., Anderson, L. G., Bundy, A., Carothers, C., Coleman, F., Gerber, L. R., Grabowski, J. H., Houde, E., Jensen, O. P., Möllmann, C., Rose, K., Sanchirico, J. N., & Smith, A. D. (2017). Ecosystem-based fisheries management for social–ecological systems: Renewing the focus in the United States with Next Generation Fishery Ecosystem Plans.Conservation Letters. doi:10.1111/conl.12367 (link)

Hallett, L., Morelli, T. L., Gerber, L. R., Moritz, M., Schwartz, M., Stephenson, N., Tank, J.,   Williamson, M., & Woodhouse, C. (2017). Navigating translational ecology: Creating opportunities for scientist participation. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment4(10), 578-586. doi:10.1002/fee.1734. (link)

Enquist, C., Davis, F., Garfin, G. M., Gerber, L. R., Jackson, S., Littell, J., Tank, J., Terando, A., & Wall, T. (2017). Foundations of translational ecology. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, (5)10, 541-550. doi: 10.1002/fee.1733. (link)

Possingham, H. P. & Gerber, L. R. (2017). Ecology: The effect of conservation spending. Nature551, 309-310. doi:10.1038/nature24158. (link)

Gerber, L. R., & Quiroga, D. (2017). Incentives for Galápagos protection. Science,358 (6361), 313-314. doi: 10.1126/science.aar2049. (link)

Puritty, C., Strickland, L., Alia, E., Blonder, B., Klein, E., Kohl, M., McGee, E., Quintana, M., Ridley, R., Tellman, B., & Gerber, L. R. (2017). Without inclusion, diversity initiatives may not be enough. Science357, 1101-1102. doi:10.1002/aqc.2794. (link)

Thiele T., & Gerber L. R. (2017). Innovative financing for the High Seas. Aquatic ConservationMarine and Freshwater Ecosystems7(S1), 89–99. doi:10.1002/aqc.2794. (link)

Huang, B., Abbott, J. K., Fenichel, E. P., Muneepeerakul, R., Perrings, C., &Gerber, L. R. (2017). Testing the feasibility of a hypothetical whaling-conservation permit market in Norway. Conservation Biology31(4), 809-817. doi:10.1111/cobi.12916. (link)


Gerber, L. R(2016). Conservation triage or injurious neglect in endangered species recovery. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences113(13),3563-3566. doi:10.1073/pnas.1525085113. (link)

Gerber, L. R. (2016). Beyond the whaling stalemate. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment14, 82–183. doi.10.1002/fee.1259. (link)

Gerber, L. R. (2016). The marriage of business and ecology. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment14(1), 3. doi.10.1002/1209. (link)


Hernández-Camacho, C. J., Bakker, V. J., Aurioles-Gamboa, D., Laake, J., &Gerber, L. R. (2015). The use of surrogate data in demographic population viability analysis: A case study of California sea lions. PLoS One10(9),e0139158. doi:10.1371. (link)

Gerber, L. R. (2015). A deal with Japan on whaling? Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 13, 347–347. (link)

Troyer, C. & Gerber, L. R. (2015). Assessing the impact of U.S. Endangered Species Act recovery planning guidelines on managing threats for listed species.Conservation Biology, 29(5):1423–1433. doi:10.1111.cobi.12552. (link)


Gerber, L. R., Mancha-Cisneros, M., O’Connor, M. I., & Selig, E. (2014). Climate change impacts on connectivity in the ocean: Implications for conservation.Ecosphere, 5(3), 33. doi:10.1890/ES13-00336.1. (link)

Tallis, H., Lubchenco, J., Gerber, L. R., & 238 co-authors. (2014). Working together: A call for inclusive conservation. Nature, 515, 27–28. doi:10.1038/515027a. (link)

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

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

Gerber, L. R., Gondor, A., D’Agrosa, C., & Anadon, J. (2014). Conservation prioritization to conservation action in the Gulf of California, Mexico. Journal of Conservation Planning, 10, 1-16. (link)


Gerber, L. R., & White, E. (2013). Two-sex matrix models in assessing population viability: when do male dynamics matter? Journal of Applied Ecology51(1), 270-278. doi:10.1111/1365-2664.12177. (link)

Gregory, R., Arvai, J., & Gerber, L. R. (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)

Anandon, J. D., Mancha-Cisneros, M., Best, B., & Gerber, L. R. (2013). Habitat-specific larval dispersal and marine connectivity: Implications for spatial conservation planning. Ecosphere, 4(7), 1-15. doi:10.1890/ES13-00119.1. (link)

Gerber, L. R., Karimi, R., & Fitzgerald, T. (2013). Does trophic level indicate seafood sustainability? Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, doi:10.1890/13.WB.007. (link)

Senko, J., White, E., Heppell, S. S., & Gerber, L. R.  (2013). Comparing bycatch mitigation strategies for vulnerable marine megafauna. Animal Conservation,11(3), 122-123. doi: 10.1111/acv.12051. (link)

Cuddington, K., Hastings, A., Fortin, M. J., Gerber, L. R., O’Connor, M., Liebhold, A., & Ray, C.  (2013). Process-based models are required to manage ecological systems in a changing world. Ecosphere, 4(2), 1-12. doi:10.1890/ES12-00178.1. (link)

Rife, A. N., Aburto-Oropeza, O., Hastings, P. A., Erisman, B., Ballantyne, F., Wielgus, J., Sala, E., & Gerber, L. R. (2013). Long-term effectiveness of a multi-use marine protected area on reef fish assemblages and fisheries landings.Journal of Environmental Management, 117, 276-283. (link)


Wildermuth, R., Anadon, J. A., & Gerber, L. R. (2012). Monitoring behavior: Assessing population status through rapid behavioral assessment. Conservation Letters6(2), 86-97. doi:10.1111/j.1755-263X.2012.00298.x. (link)

Dee, L. & Gerber, L. R. (2012). Applications of decision theory to conservation planning and management. Nature Education Knowledge, 3(3), 11. (link)

Rudnick, D. A., Beier, P., Cushman, S., Dieffenbach, F., Epps, C. W., Gerber, L. R., Hartter, J., Jenness, J., Kintsch, J., Merenlender, A. M., Perkl, R. M., Preziosi, D.V., RyanS.J., & Trombulak, S. C. (2012). The role of landscape connectivity in planning and implementing conservation and restoration priorities. Issues in Ecology, 16, 1-20. (link)

Gerber, L. R. (2012). The scientific whaling loophole. Science, 337(6098), 1038. doi:10.1126/science.337.6098.1038-a. (link)

Costello, C., Gerber, L. R., & Gaines S., (2012). Conservation science: A market approach to saving the whales. Nature, 481, 139-140. doi:10.1038/481139a. (link)

Gerber, L. R., KarimiR., & Fitzgerald, T. (2012). Sustaining seafood for public health. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment10(9), 487-493. doi:10.1890/120003. (link)

Fujitani, M. L., Fenichel, E., Torre, J., & GerberL. R. (2012). Implementation of a marine reserve has a rapid but short-lived effect on recreational angler use. Ecological Applications, 22(2), 597-605. doi:10.1890/11-0603.1. (link)

Flatz, R., YoungJ. K., Gonzalez-Suarez M., Hernandez, C. J., Immel, A., &Gerber, L. R. (2012). Weak polygyny in California sea lions and the potential for alternative mating tactics. PLoS ONE, 7(3), e33654. doi: 10.1371/journal/pone.0033654. (link)


Anadon, J. A., D’Agrosa, C., Gondor, A., & Gerber L. R., (2011). Quantifying the spatial ecology of wide-ranging marine species in the Gulf of California: Implications for marine conservation planning. PLoS ONE6(12), e28400. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0028400. (link)

Gerber, L. R., Estes, J., Gancos-Crawford, T. M, Peavey, L., & Read, A. J. (2011). Managing for extinction? Conflicting conservation objectives in a large marine reserve. Conservation Letters, 4(6), 417-422. doi:10.1111/j.1755-263X.2011.00197.x. (link)

Gerber, L. R. (2011). What is conservation biology? Nature Education Knowledge,1(10), 14. (link)

Gerber, L. R. & Gonzalez-Suarez, M. (2011). Population viability analysis: Origins and Contributions. Nature Education Knowledge, 1(11), 15. (link)

Hughes, Z. D., Fenichel, E. P., & Gerber, L. R. (2011). The potential impact of labor choices on the efficacy of marine conservation strategies. PLoS ONE, 6(8), e23722. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0023722. (link)

French, S. S., Young, J. K., Gonzalez-Suarez, M., Durham, S., & Gerber, L. R.(2011). Human Disturbance Influences Reproductive Success and Growth Rate in California Sea Lions (Zalophus californianus)PLoS ONE, 6(3), e17686. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0017686. (link)

Underwood, J. G., Francis, J., & Gerber, L. R. (2011). Incorporating biodiversity conservation and recreational wildlife values into smart growth land use planning.Landscape and Urban Planning, 100, 136-143. (link)


Chirakkal, H. & Gerber L. R., (2010). Short and long-term population response to changes in vital rates: Implications for population viability analysis. Ecological Applications, 20(3) 783-788. doi: 10.1890/09-0560.1. (link)

Wielgus, J., Balmford, A., Lewis, T., Mora, C., & Gerber, L. R. (2010). Coral reef quality and recreation fees in marine protected areas. Conservation Letters, 3, 38-44. doi:10.1111/j.1755-263X.2009.00084.x. (link)

Gerber, L. R., YoungJ. K., Gonzalez-Suarez, M., Hernandez-Camacho, C. J., & Sabo, J. L. (2010). The cost of male aggression and polygyny in California sea lions (Zalophus californianus). PLoS ONE, 5(8), e12230. (link)

Morissette, L., Kaschner K., Gerber, L. R. (2010). ‘Whales eat fish’? Demystifying the myth in the Caribbean marine ecosystem. Fish and Fisheries, 11. 388-404. doi:10.1111/j.1467-2979.2010.00366.x. (link)

Green, D.S., Young, J. K., Hernandez-Camacho, C. J., & Gerber, L. R. (2010). Developing a non-invasive indicator of pinniped health: Neonate behavior and growth in California sea lions (Zalophus californianus). Ciencias Marinas36(3), 311-321. (link)

González-Suárez, M., Aurioles-Gamboa D., & Gerber L. R. (2010). Past exploitation of California sea lions did not lead to a genetic bottleneck in the Gulf of California. Ciencias Marinas, 36(3), 199-211. (link)

Ward, E., Chirakkal, H., Gonzalez-Suarez, M., Aurioles-Gamboa, D., Holmes E. E., & Gerber, L. R. (2010). Inferring spatial structure from time series data: Using multivariate state-space models to detect metapopulation structure of California sea lions in the Gulf of California, Mexico. Journal of Applied Ecology, 47(1), 1365-2664. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2664.2009.01745.x. (link)

Morissette, L., Kaschner, K., & Gerber, L. R. (2010). Ecosystem models clarify the trophic role of whales off Northwest Africa. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 404,289-302. (link)

Underwood, J., D’Agrosa, C., & Gerber, L. R. (2010). Identifying conservation areas on the basis of alternative distribution data sets. Conservation Biology, 24(1), 162-170. doi:10.1111/j.1523-1739.2009.01303.x. (link)

Flatz, R. & Gerber, L. R. (2010). First evidence for adoption in California sea lions.PLoS ONE, 5(11), e13873. (link)

2009 (maternity leave spring 2009)

Stamieszkin, K., Wielgus, J., & Gerber, L. R. (2009)Management of a marine protected area for sustainability and conflict resolution: Lessons from Loreto Bay National Park (Baja California Sur, Mexico). Ocean and Coastal Management, 52(9), 449-458. (link)

Wielgus, J., Gerber, L. R., Sala, E., & Bennett, J. (2009). Including risk in stated-preference economic valuations: Experiments on choices for marine recreation.Environmental and Resource Economics, 90(11), 3401-3409. (link)

Holcomb, K., Young, J., & Gerber, L. R. (2009). The influence of human disturbance on the behavior of California sea lions during the breeding season.Animal Conservation, 12, 592–598. doi:10.1111/j.1469-1795.2009.00290.x. (link)

González-Suárez, M., Flatz, R., Aurioles-Gamboa, D., Hedrick, P. W., & Gerber, L. R. (2009). Isolation by distance among California sea lion populations in Mexico: Redefining management stocks. Molecular Ecology, 18, 1088-1099. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2009.04093.x. (link)

Gerber, L. R., Morissette, L., Kaschner, K., & Pauly, D. (2009). Should whales be culled to increase fishery yield? Science, 323, 880-881. doi:10.1126/science.1169981. (link)


Wielgus, J., Gonzalez-Suarez, M., Aurioles-Gamboa, D., & Gerber, L. R. (2008). A non-invasive demographic assessment of sea lions based on stage-specific abundances. Ecological Applications, 18(5), 1287-1296. doi:10.1890/07-0892.1. (link)

González-Suárez, M. & Gerber, L. R. (2008). A behaviorally explicit demographic model integrating habitat selection and population dynamics in California sea lions. Conservation Biology, 22(6), 1608-1616. doi: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2008.00995.x. (link)

Jacobs, D. F., Young, J. K., Hernandez-Camacho, C. J., & Gerber, L. R. (2008). Determinants of outcomes of agonistic interactions among male California sea lions (Zalophus californianus)Journal of Mammalogy, 89(5), 1212–1217. (link)

Gonzalez-Suarez, M. & Gerber, L. R. (2008). Habitat preferences of California sea lions: Implications for conservation. Journal of Mammalogy, 89(6), 1521-1528. (link)

Young, J. K., Gonzalez-Suarez, M., & Gerber, L. R. (2008). Determinants of agonistic interactions in California sea lions. Behavior, 145. 1797-1810. (link)

Wielgus, J., Sala, E., & Gerber, L. R. (2008). Assessing the ecological and economic benefits of a no-take marine reserve. Ecological Economics, 67, 32-40. (link)

Hernandez-Camacho, C. J., Aurioles-Gamboa, D., Laake J., & Gerber, L. R.(2008)Survival rates of the California sea lion, Zalophus californianus, in Mexico.Journal of Mammalogy, 89(4), 1059-1066. (link)

Robertson, K. L., Runcorn, C. W., Young, J. K., and Gerber, L. R. (2008). Spatial and temporal patterns of territory use of male California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) in the Gulf of California, Mexico. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 86,237-244. (link)

Hernandez-Camacho, C.J., Aurioles-Gamboa, D., & Gerber, L. R. (2008)Age-specific birth rates of California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) in the Gulf of California, Mexico. Marine Mammal Science, 24(3), 664-676. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-7692.2008.00199.x. (link)

Underwood, J. G., Hernandez-Camacho, C. J., & Gerber, L. R. (2008). Estimating sustainable bycatch rates for California sea lion populations in the Gulf of California. Conservation Biology, 23, 1523-1739. doi: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2008.00919.x. (link)

Young, J. K. & Gerber, L. R. (2008). The influence of social composition on reproductive behavior of territorial male California sea lions. Aquatic Mammals, 34(1), 103-110. doi: 10.1578/AM.34.1.2008.102. (link)

Rowell, K., Flessa, K. W., Dettman, D. L., Roman, M. J., Finlay, L. T., & Gerber, L. R. (2008). Diverting the Colorado River leads to a dramatic life history shift in an endangered marine fish. Biological Conservation, 141, 1138-1148. (link)


Gerber, L. R.Wielgus, J., & Sala, E. (2007). A decision framework for the adaptive management of an exploited species with implications for marine reserves. Conservation Biology, 21(6), 1594-1602. doi:10.1111/j.1523-1739.2007.00824.x. (link)

Ward, E., Hilborn, R., Towell, R., & Gerber, L. R. (2007). A state-space mixture approach for estimating catastrophic events in time series data. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 64, 899-910. (link)

Gerber, L. R., Keller, A. C., & DeMaster, D. P. (2007). Ten thousand and increasing: Is the western Arctic population of bowhead whale endangered?Biological Conservation, 137, 577-583. (link)

Wielgus J., Ballantyne, F., Sala, E., & Gerber, L. R. (2007). Viability analysis of reef fish populations based on limited demographic information. Conservation Biology, 212, 447-454. doi:10.1111/j.1523-1739.2006.00644.x. (link)

Young, J. K., Gerber, L. R., D’Agrosa, C., Hilborn, R., Hopcraft, G., & Arcese, P. (2007). Wildlife population increases in Serengeti National Park. Science, 315(5820), 1790-1791.doi:10.1126/science.315.5820.1790b. (link)

Gaines, S. D., Gaylord, B., Gerber, L. R., Hastings, A., & Kinlan, B. (2007). Connecting places: The ecological consequences of dispersal in the sea.Oceanography, 20(3), 90-99. (link)

Young, J. K., Hernandez, C. J., & Gerber, L. R. (2007). Long-distance movement of a pinniped neonate. Marine Mammal Science, 23(4), 926-930. doi:10.1111/j.1748-7692.2007.00138.x. (link)


Gerber, L. R. (2006). Including behavioral data in demographic models improves estimates of population viability. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 4(8),419-427. doi:10.1890/1540-9295(2006)4[419:IBDIDM]2.0.CO;2. (link)

Zacharias, M. A., Gerber, L. R., & Hyrenbach, K. D. (2006). Review of the Southern Ocean Sanctuary: Marine protected areas in the context of the International Whaling Commission Sanctuary Programme. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management, 8(1), 12-25. (link)

Gonzalez-Suarez, M., McCluney, K.E., Aurioles, D., & Gerber, L. R. (2006).Incorporating uncertainty in spatial structure for viability predictions: A case study of California sea lions (Zalophus californianus). Animal Conservation, 6, 219-227. doi:10.1111/j.1469-1795.2006.00022.x. (link)

2005 (maternity leave spring 2005)

Gerber, L. R., Hyrenbach, D., & Zacharias, M. A. (2005). Do the world’s largest protected areas conserve whales or whalers? Science, 307(5709), 525-526. doi:10.1126/science.1106120. (link)

Gerber, L. R.Beger, M., McCarthy, M. A., & Possingham, H. P. (2005). A theory for optimal monitoring of marine reserves. Ecology Letters, 8(8), 829-83. doi:10.1111/j.1461-0248.2005.00784.x. (link)

Gerber, L. R., Lafferty, K. D., McCallum, H., Sabo, J. L., & Dobson, A. (2005). Exposing extinction risk analysis to pathogens: Is disease just another form of density dependence? Ecological Applications, 15(4), 1402-1414. doi:10.1890/04-0880. (link)

Papastavrou, V., Leaper, R., Gerber, L. R., Hyrenback, K. D., & Zacharias, M. A. (2005). Debating whale sanctuaries. Science, 309(5731), 51-52. doi:10.1126/science.309.5731.51e.  (link)

McCallum, H., Gerber, L. R., & Jani, A. (2005). Does infectious disease influence the efficacy of marine protected areas? A theoretical framework. Journal of Applied Ecology, 42(4), 688-698. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2664.2005.01043.x. (link)

Green, J. L., Hastings, A., Arzberger, P., Ayala, F. J., Cottingham, K. L., Cuddington, K., Davis, F., Dunne, J. A., Fortin, M., Gerber, L. R., & Neubert, M. (2005). Complexity in ecology and conservation: Mathematical, statistical, and computational challenges. BioScience, 55, 6.[0501:CIEACM]2.0.CO;2.  (link)


Gerber, L. R., Buenau, K. E., & VanBlaricom, G. (2004). Density dependence and risk of extinction in a small population of sea otters. Biodiversity and Conservation, 13, 2741-2757. (link)

Harvell, D., Aronson, R., Baron, N., Connell, J., Dobson, A., Ellner, S., Gerber, L., Kim, K., Kuris, A., McCallum, H., Lafferty, K., McKay, B., Porter, J., Pascual, M., Smith, G., Sutherland, K., & Ward, J. (2004). The rising tide of ocean diseases: Unsolved problems and research priorities. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 2(7), 375-382. doi:10.1890/1540-9295(2004)002[0375:TRTOOD]2.0.CO;2. (link)

Gerber, L. R., Tinker, M. T., Doak, D. F., Estes, J. A., & Jessup, D. A. (2004). Mortality sensitivity in life-stage simulation analysis: A case study of Southern sea otters. Ecological Applications, 14(5), 1554-1565. doi: 10.1890/03-5006. (link)

Gerber, L. R. & Heppell, S. S. (2004). The use of demographic sensitivity analysis in marine species conservation planning. Biological Conservation, 120, 121-128. (link)

Hooker, S. K. & Gerber, L. R. (2004). Marine reserves as a tool for ecosystem-based management: The potential importance of megafauna. BioScience, 54(1),29-41.[0027:MRAATF]2.0.CO;2. (link)

Micheli, F., Amarasekare, P., Bascompte, P., & Gerber, L. R. (2004). Including species interactions in the design and evaluation of marine reserves: Some insights from a predator-prey model. Bulletin of Marine Science, 74(3), 653-669. (link)

Keller, A. C. & Gerber, L. R. (2004). Monitoring and the Endangered Species Act: Revisiting the Eastern North Pacific gray whale. Endangered Species Update, 20(1), 87-92.  (link)

Gerber, L. R., Reichman, O. J., & Roughgarden, J. (2004). Food hoarding: future value in optimal foraging decisions. Ecological Modeling, 175, (link)


Gerber, L. R., Seabloom, E. W., Burton, R.S., & Reichman, O.J. (2003). Translocation of an imperiled species: Integrating spatial and habitat patterns.Animal Conservation, 6, 309-316. doi:10.1017/S136794300300338X. (link)

Buenau, K. E. & Gerber, L. R. (2003). Developing recovery and monitoring strategies for the endemic Mount Graham red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus grahamensis) in Arizona. Animal Conservation, 7, 1-6. (link)

Gerber, L. R. (2003). Delisting of species under the Endangered Species Act.Conservation Biology17(3), 651-652. doi: 10.1046/j.1523-1739.2003.02110.x. (link)

Shelden, K. E, Rugh, D. J., DeMaster, D. P., & Gerber, L. R. (2003). Evaluation of bowhead whale status: Reply to Taylor. Conservation Biology, 17(3), 918-920. doi:10.1046/j.1523-1739.2003.03003.x. (link)

Gerber, L. R., Botsford, L. W., Hastings, A., Possingham, H. P., Gaines, S. D., Palumbi, S. R., & Andelman, S. (2003). Population models for marine reserve design: A retrospective and prospective synthesis. Ecological Applications, 13, 47-64. doi:10.1890/1051-0761(2003)013[0047:PMFMRD]2.0.CO;2. (link)


Gerber, L. R. & Hatch, L. T. (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)

Schultz, C. B. Gerber, L. R. (2002). Are recovery plans improving with practice?Ecological Applications12(3), 641-647. doi:10.1890/1051-0761(2002)012[0641:ARPIWP]2.0.CO;2. (link)

Gerber, L. R., Kareiva, P. M., & Bascompte, J. (2002). The influence of life history attributes and fishing pressure on the efficacy of marine reserves. Biological Conservation, 106(1), 11-18. (link)

Lafferty, K. D. & Gerber, L. R. (2002). Good medicine for conservation biology: The intersection of epidemiology and conservation theory. Conservation Biology, 16(3), 1-12. doi: 10.1046/j.1523-1739.2002.00446.x. (link)


Gerber, L. R. & VanBlaricom, G. R. (2001). Implications of three viability models for the conservation status of the Western Population of Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus). Biological Conservation, 102(3), 261-269. (link)

Gerber, L. R. & Schultz, C. B. (2001). Authorship and the use of biological information in Endangered Species Act recovery plans. Conservation Biology,15(5), 1308-1314. doi:10.1111/j.1523-1739.2001.00110.x. (link)

Gerber, L. R. (2001). Conservation biology of cetaceans in marine communities of Baja California: Science or advocacy? Global Ecology and Biogeography, 10(3),335-336. doi:10.1046/j.1466-822X.2001.00171-8.x. (link)

Gerber, L. R. & Hilborn, R. (2001). Catastrophic events and recovery from low densities in populations of otariids: Implications for risk of extinction. Mammal Review, 31(2), 131-150. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2907.2001.00081.x. (link)


Gerber, L. R. (2000). Science and sentimentality. American Scientist, 88(6), 477-478.

Gerber, L. R., DeMaster, D. P., & Roberts, S. P. (2000). Measuring success in conservation. American Scientist88(4), 316-324. (link)


Gerber, L. R. & DeMaster, D. P. (1999). A quantitative approach to Endangered Species Act classification of long-lived vertebrates: Application to the North Pacific humpback whale. Conservation Biology, 13(5), 1203-1214. doi:10.1046/j.1523-1739.1999.98466.x. (link)

Gerber, L. R., DeMaster, D. P., & Kareiva, P. M. (1999). Gray whales and the value of monitoring data in implementing the U.S. Endangered Species Act.Conservation Biology13(5), 1215-1219. (link)

Gerber, L. R., Wooster, W. S., DeMaster, D. P., & VanBlaricom, G. R. (1999). Marine mammals: New objectives in U.S. fishery management. Reviews in Fishery Science, 7(1), 23-28. (link)


Gerber, L. R. (1998). Seeking a rational approach to setting conservation priorities for marine mammals. Integrative Biology, 1, 90-98. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1520-6602(1998)1:3<90::AID-INBI3>3.0.CO;2-Q. (link)


Norse, E. N. & Gerber, L. R. (1993). A global strategy for preserving biological diversity in the sea. Diversity, 9(3), 40-44. (link)


Book Chapters and Encyclopedia Articles


Mancha-Cisneros, M. & Gerber, L. R. (2015). Guiding principles for green economic development in the marine environment: Insights from small-scale fisheries. In Gasparatos and Willis, Biodiversity in the Green Economy. Routledge.


Hernandez, C. & Gerber, L. R. (2012). Sea lions. World Book Encyclopedia. World Book.

VanBlaricom, G. R., Gerber, L. R., & Brownell Jr., R. L. (2012). The Past, Present and Future of Marine Mammals. In: S.A. Levin (editor). Encyclopedia of Biodiversity, Volume 4. Academic Press, San Diego.

Gerber, L. R., Gancos, T. N., & Halpern, B. (2012). Marine reserves and ecosystem-based management: Nested approaches for marine conservation. InA. Hastings and L. Gross, editors. Sourcebook in Theoretical Ecology. University of California Press.


Morissette, L., MelgoJ. L., Kaschner, K., & Gerber, L. R. (2009). Modelling the Trophic Role of Marine Mammals in Tropical Areas:  Data requirements, uncertainty, and validation. UBC Fisheries Center Research Reports17(2), 120 pp.


D’Agrosa, C., Gerber, L. R., Sala, E., Wielgus, J., & Ballantyne IV, F. (2007). Navigating Uncertain Seas: Adaptive monitoring and management of Marine Protected Areas. 32 pp.


Szteren, D., Aurioles D., & Gerber, L. R. (2006). Population status and trends of the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) in the Gulf of California, México. In: Trites, A., Atkinson, S., DeMaster, D., Fritz, L., Gelatt, T., Rea, L., & Wynne, K. (Eds.), Sea Lions of the World: Conservation and Research in the 21st Century.Alaska Sea Grant College Program, University of Alaska Fairbanks


Gerber, L. R. (2004). Biological uncertainty and extinction risk for Steller sea lions(Eumetopias jubatus) In: R.A. Akcakaya (Ed.), Developing models for conservation and management using RAMAS GIS. Island Press, Washington, DC.


Sabo, J. S. & L. R. Gerber. (2001). Trophic Ecology. In: McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York.


VanBlaricom, G. R., Gerber, L. R., & Brownell Jr., L. R. (2000). Extinctions of marine mammals. Pages 37-69 In: S.A. Levin (editor). Encyclopedia of Biodiversity, Volume 4. Academic Press, San Diego.


Gerber, L. R. (1999). Marine Conservation and Marine Reserves In: McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, ISBN 0-07-052771-7.

Morris, W., Doak, D., Groom, M., Kareiva, P., Fieberg, J., Gerber, L. R., Murphy, P., & Thomson, D. (1999). A practical handbook for population viability analysis. The Nature Conservancy, ISBN: 0-9624590-4-6. 133 pp.

Gerber, L. R. (1999). Scientific uncertainty and sentimentality: Extinctions & protective legislation of marine mammals In: International Cooperation in Science and Technology. Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, Inc. ISBN: 0-914446-13-4.


Conference Papers


Szteren, D., D. Aurioles and L. R. Gerber. 2006. Population status and trends of the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus californianus) in the Gulf of California, Mexico. Pp. 369-384 In: Trites, A. W., S. K. Atkinson, D. P. DeMaster, L. W. Fritz, T. S. Gelatt, L. D. Rea and K. M. Wynne eds., Sea Lions of the World. Sea Lions of the World: Conservation and Research in the 21st Century, 22nd Lowell Wakefield Fisheries Symposium. Anchorage, AK. (link )




Rudnick, D. A., S. J. Ryan, P. Beier, S. A. Cushman, F. Dieffenbach, C. W. Epps, L. R. Gerber, J. Hartter, J. S. Jenness, J. Kintsch, A. M. Merenlender, R. M. Perkl, D. V. Preziosi and S. C. Trombulak. 2012. The role of landscape connectivity in planning and implementing conservation and restoration priorities. Ecological Society of America. 16. (link )


Morissette, L., J. L. Melgo, K. Kaschner and L. R. Gerber. 2009. Modelling the trophic role of marine mammals in tropical areas: data requirements, uncertainty, and validation. Fisheries Centre, University of British Columbia. Research Report Vol. 17, No. 2. (link )


D’Agrosa, C., L. R. Gerber, J. Wielgus and F. Ballantyne. 2007. Navigating uncertain seas: Adaptive monitoring and management of marine protected areas. School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University and Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation, Scripps Institution of Oceanography. (link )



Research Activity
  • Gerber,Leah R*, Sabo,John L. Developing Decision Support Tools for Sustainable Water Infrastructure (ASUF 30006444). ASU FDN(2/1/2015 - 12/31/2016).
  • Gerber,Leah R*. Sustaining Fisheries for Public Health. Lighthouse(11/3/2011 - 12/31/2013).
  • Gerber,Leah R*. Can fisheries catches in tropical waters be increased through reduction of whale stocks? Examining the scientific evidence using three case studies. PEW CHARITABLE TRUSTS(7/1/2007 - 4/30/2010).
  • Gerber,Leah R*, D&#039;Agrosa,Caterina E. Ecoregional Assessment: Conservation Area Prioritization and Connectivity Analysis. NATURE CONSERVANCY(3/13/2007 - 7/31/2009).
  • Gerber,Leah R*. Marine Reserves as a Tool for Ecosystem-Based Management (Stage 2): The Potential Importance of Long-Lived Reef Fishes. PACKARD (DAVID & LUCILE) FDN(4/1/2006 - 3/31/2007).
  • Gerber,Leah R*. Recreational Values and Benefit Transfers of Fishery Resources in the Gulf of California, Mexico. OCEAN FDN(3/12/2006 - 6/30/2007).
  • Gerber,Leah R*. Marine Reserves as a Tool for Ecosystem-Based Management: The Potential Importance of Long-Lived Reef Fishes. CONSERVATION INTERNATL'l(1/1/2005 - 12/31/2006).
  • Gerber,Leah R*. Marine Reserves as a Tool for Ecosystem-Based Management: The Potential Importance of Long-Lived Reef Fishes. PACKARD (DAVID & LUCILE) FDN(10/1/2004 - 12/31/2005).
  • Gerber,Leah R*. CAREER: Integrating Behavior and Demography in Marine Mammal Conservation. NSF-BIO(4/15/2004 - 3/31/2010).
  • Collins,James*, Davidson,Elizabeth W, Gerber,Leah R, Kinzig,Ann, Rutowski,Ronald L. UMEB: EDUCATING A NEW GENERATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROFESSIONALS. NSF-BIO(9/1/2003 - 8/31/2004).
Fall 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 492Honors Directed Study
BIO 494Special Topics
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
BIO 578Environmental Leadership & Com
BIO 591Seminar
Spring 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
SOS 412Conservation in Practice
BIO 412Conservation in Practice
BIO 493Honors Thesis
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
BIO 591Seminar
BIO 598Special Topics
GPH 598Special Topics
Fall 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 425Marine Conservation Ecology
BIO 492Honors Directed Study
BIO 494Special Topics
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
BIO 584Internship
BIO 591Seminar
Spring 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
BIO 591Seminar
SOS 592Research
Fall 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
BIO 591Seminar
Spring 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 411Quant Methods in Conserv & Eco
BIO 493Honors Thesis
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
BIO 591Seminar
SOS 592Research
Fall 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 189Life Sciences Career Paths
BIO 492Honors Directed Study
BIO 591Seminar
SOS 596Scientific Paper
Spring 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 411Quant Methods in Conserv & Eco
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
BIO 591Seminar
SOS 592Research
Fall 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 591Seminar
Spring 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 411Quant Methods in Conserv & Eco
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
BIO 591Seminar

2017       International Congress for Conservation Biology Workshop 202: Partnerships for conservation

2016       Expanding diversity in the next generation of ecology: What works to recruit, matriculate, and retain disadvantaged youth in undergraduate degrees in ecological degree programs?

2014       Developing decision tools to facilitate recovery planning under the Endangered Species Act,   National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center to develop new decision tools for recovery and spending decisions in endangered species conservation.

2013       Escaping the Ivory tower, Symposium at annual AAAS meeting, Boston, Massachusetts.

2013       “Integrating theory and data in marine science” Plenary Speaker at Western Society of Naturalists Meeting, Monterey, California.

2011       “'All You Need to Know is...: Advice from Theorists on Managing Ecosystems in a Changing Climate”, Symposium at the 2010 Ecological Society of American meeting in Pittsburg, PA



National and International

2016-     Red List Committee, International Union for the Conservation of Nature

2016-     Co-director, ASU-Conservation International Knowledge Partnership

2016-     Reducing Ocean Waste Task Force, World Business Council on Sustainable Development

2016-     Lead Author, Global Assessment, Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

2016-     Knowledge Partner Liaison Delegate, World Business Council on Sustainable Development

2016       External Reviewer, Scientific Committee, International Whaling Commission

2015-7   Lenfest Ecosystem Based Fishery Management Task Force member, Pew Charitable Trusts

2015-     Nominating Committee, Indianapolis Prize, Indianapolis Zoo

2015       External Review Panel, NMFS Endangered Species Program, NOAA

2014-6   Member at large, Ecological Society of America’s Board of Governors

2013       Editorial Board, Conservation Biology

2012       Antarctic Ecosystems Review Panel, NSF

2012       Development Committee, Ecological Society of America

2012       Chair, NMFS shark predation management review panel, Center for Independent Experts

2011       Chair, Review Panel, Hawaiian monk seal translocation plan, NMFS

2011       Editorial Board, ISRN Ecology

2007       Editorial Board, Conservation Letters

2007       Ocean Science Review Panel, NSF

2006       Advisory Panel for NSF CAREER program

2003-8   Editorial Board, Conservation Biology

2004-9   Editorial Board, Endangered Species Research

2002-7   Recovery Team Member and Plan co-author, White Abalone Recovery Team

2002-     Recovery Team Member, Mount Graham Red Squirrel Recovery Team

2002       Reviewer, President’s Panel on Ocean Exploration, NOAA

2002       Advisory Panel Member, Abalone Recovery and Management Team

2000-2    Policy Committee, Society for Conservation Biology Board of Governors

2002-5    Science Chair, Marine Section of the Society for Conservation Biology

1996-8    Member-at-Large, Society for Marine Mammalogy Board of Governors

2003-    Reviewer, Ecology and Biological Oceanography Panels, National Science Foundation


Regional and ASU

2015-     President’s Council on Women in Leadership, ASU

2014-     Founding Director, Center for Biodiversity Outcomes, ASU

2012       Coordinator, Hugh Hanson Ecology Seminar Series, ASU

2012-     Director, Environmental Leadership and Communications Certificate, ASU

2011-     Research and Training Initiatives Committee, School of Life Sciences, ASU

2011-     Advisory Board for the Ecosystem Conservation and Resilience Initiative, ASU

2007-9   Personnel committee, School of Life Sciences, ASU

2007-9   Undergraduate Programs Committee, School of Sustainability, ASU

2006-9   Review committee, School of Life Sciences Undergraduate Research Program, ASU

2005-     Honors Disciplinary Faculty, Barrett Honors College, ASU

2004-7   Research Coordination Network for the Colorado Delta Region, NSF

2002-     Co-director, Undergraduate Conservation Biology Program, Arizona State University

2003-6   Undergraduate Programs Committee, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University