Worlds Best Freshwater Biologists

marine biology

There are many freshwater biologists who dedicate their lives to understanding and protecting our planet’s water resources. These scientists conduct research on everything from the impact of pollutants on aquatic ecosystems to the spread of invasive species.

Here are just a few of them:

Animal on the snow

Dr. David Gilcrest

A close up of an animal

Dr. David Gilcrest is a leading authority on stream ecology and has published numerous papers on the subject. He is also the co-founder of the non-profit organization, Freshwater Land Trust, which aims to protect and restore America’s freshwater ecosystems.

Dr. Sandra Postel

Dr. Sandra Postel is a globally recognized water expert and the founder of the Global Water Policy Project. She has written extensively on water scarcity, water policy, and solutions for sustainable water management.

Dr. Carl Safina

Dr. Carl Safina is a renowned marine biologist and author who has written extensively on the threats facing the world’s oceans and marine life. He is also the co-founder of Blue Ocean Institute, a nonprofit organization that works to protect and restore the world’s oceans.

Dr. Ruth Patrick

Dr. Ruth Patrick was a leading ichthyologist and environmental scientist who pioneered aquatic ecology research. She was also the first woman to be named a National Medal of Science recipient.

Dr. Jane Lubchenco

Dr. Jane Lubchenco is a world-renowned oceanographer and marine biologist who has served as the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). In this role, she has been a vocal advocate for ocean conservation and sustainability initiatives.

Dr. Sylvia Earle

Dr. Sylvia Earle is a leading marine biologist and former Chief Scientist of NOAA. She has been an environmental advocate who played an instrumental role in making plastic pollution a public issue.

Dr. Michael Soulé

Dr. Michael Soulé is considered one of the founders of conservation biology as a field and received the Eminent Ecologist Award from the Ecological Society of America for lifetime achievements in the field. He has written over 300 articles about ecology and biodiversity extinction and was featured in the documentary The Cove.

Dr. David Schindler

Dr. David Schindler was a world-renowned limnologist whose research on lakes led to many ecological revelations. His work on acid rain helped shape policies that have prevented further damage to lakes around the world from acid deposition.

Dr. Eugene Odum

Dr. Eugene Odum was a pioneering ecologist who is best known for developing the concept of ecosystem ecology. He was also one of the founders of the Environmental Studies program at the University of Georgia and helped to establish environmental studies as a legitimate academic discipline.

Dr. John Holdren

Dr. John Holdren is currently President Obama’s Science Advisor and played a major role in shaping the Administration’s science and technology policies. He is a physicist and environmental scientist who has written extensively on energy policy, climate change, and public health.

Dr. Jane Goodall

Dr. Jane Goodall is a world-renowned primatologist who is best known for her work on chimpanzees. She founded the Jane Goodall Institute, which is dedicated to protecting chimpanzees and their habitats.

Dr. Amory Lovins

Dr. Amory Lovins is an environmental scientist and co-founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute, a think tank that specializes in sustainable energy solutions. He has written extensively on renewable energy, energy efficiency, and climate change mitigation strategies.

Dr. E.O. Wilson

Dr. E.O. Wilson is a renowned biologist and naturalist who has written extensively on biodiversity and conservation issues. He is considered the father of sociobiology and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his book On Human Nature.

Dr. Edward T. LaRue

Dr. Edward T. LaRue was a pioneering geographer and scientist who developed many of the principles used by freshwater resource managers to protect and restore our nation’s rivers and lakes. He helped form the United States Water Conservation Laboratory, which published hundreds of books on water resources from 1915-1996.

Dr. Francesca Lyman

Dr. Francesca Lyman is an ecologist who studies invasive species, restoration ecology, and ecological connectivity in aquatic systems. She has been recognized as one of America’s most influential scientists for her advocacy of science education.

Dr. John Lienhar

Dr. John Lienhard is a civil engineer and Professor Emeritus at the University of Houston whose work focuses on energy policy, energy use, and sustainable engineering design practices.


The above 16 scientists are only a handful of the many brilliant minds that have helped shape our understanding of ecology and the environment. They are each dedicated to their respective fields and have made significant contributions to the study and preservation of our planet’s ecosystems. Each has inspired countless others to work towards a more sustainable future. We owe them a great debt of gratitude.

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