Ben Halpern, Director of NCEAS

Ben Halpern is Director of the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) and professor at the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He also holds a position as Chair in Marine Conservation at Imperial College London and is the Director of the Center for Marine Assessment and Planning (CMAP) at UCSB. He has been involved with NCEAS for nearly two decades, first as a graduate student participant and post doc and later as a Center Associate and Deputy Director.

Ben’s research interests are primarily in marine ecology and conservation planning but span a wide range of disciplines. He has led several broad research programs addressing different aspects of managing ocean ecosystems, including a global synthesis of how much and where marine protected areas (MPAs) meet conservation and fisheries objectives, development of new tools and the application of them to a global assessment mapping the cumulative impact of human activities on the ocean, and development and global application of the Ocean Health Index.

Ben was a contributing author to the fifth International Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) report and was recently designated as one of the world’s most influential scientific minds by Thomson Reuters. He is also a Senior Fellow at the United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre. He earned his B.A. in Biology from Carleton College in 1995 and his Ph.D. in Marine Ecology from the University of California Santa Barbara in 2003.