Dina Liebowitz

Dina photo

Science Integration Postdoctoral Fellow

California Ocean Science Trust & Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans

Institute of Marine Sciences, University of California, Santa Cruz

Contact Information:  1330 Broadway, Suite 1530, Oakland, CA




Ph.D.   Interdisciplinary Ecology, 2013. University of Florida, Gainesville
NSF IGERT Fellow in the Adaptive Management of Water, Wetlands, and Watersheds program
Dissertation: Environmentally mediated consumer control of nuisance algae in Florida’s springs

M.S.    Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, 2007. University of Florida, Gainesville
Concentration in Human Dimensions, and Tropical Conservation and Development
Thesis: Engaging stakeholders in managing marine protected areas on Andros Island, Bahamas

B.A.    Environmental Studies and Biology, 2000. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Thesis: Prehispanic earthworks, fire, and land use patterns in the Baures region of Bolivia

Work and Research Interests

My work is currently focused on exploring the interface of science, management, and policy for ocean and coastal regions in California, through the joint fellowship with PISCO and Ocean Science Trust. I have been working with stakeholders and researchers to synthesize a broad set of baseline data covering the ecosystems and human uses of the North Central Coast of California, which were collected to create a benchmark of conditions at the time that the marine protected areas (MPAs) in the region were implemented. We’ve used these data sets to explore a number of areas of interest, including: 1) the patterns and impacts of ecosystem connectivity and trophic subsidies on beaches, 2) methods development for filling in the “white zone”, a critical gap in substrate mapping coverage in nearshore waters, and 3) patterns of the abalone die-off in response to harmful algae bloom events. I am combining these projects with a host of others to create a State of the North Central Coast Region assessment, which we are sharing broadly with the community, and using to inform the Fish and Game Commission’s 5-year management review of the region’s MPAs. My research interests include community ecology of aquatic systems, both freshwater and marine (using a variety of observational and experimental approaches at multiple scales), and exploring the impacts of anthropogenic changes on these systems.


Liebowitz, D. (2014). Aquatic Ecosystem. In M. Brown (Ed.), Southern Africa Systems: Coupling Humanity and Environment in Southern Africa. Center for Environmental Policy, University of Florida. 

Liebowitz, D. M., Cohen, M. J., Heffernan, J. B., Korhnak, L. V., & Frazer, T. K. (2014). Environmentally mediated consumer control of algal proliferation in Florida springs. Freshwater Biology, 59(10), 2009-2023.

Heffernan, J., D. Liebowitz, T. Frazer, J. Evans, M.Cohen. (2010). Algal blooms and the nitrogen-enrichment hypothesis in Florida springs: evidence, alternatives, and adaptive management. Ecological Applications, 20(3), 816-829.

Liebowitz, D. (2010) Algal Blooms, Complexity, and Critters in Springs. In M. Tolbert (Ed.), AQUIFERious. 2nd Edition. Orlando, FL: Fidelity Press.