FullSizeRenderDr. Leah R. Gerber

PO BOX 874601
Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ 85287-4601
Office LSA 212
(480) 727-3109


My 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.  I have published broadly on life history, dispersal, monitoring, adaptive management, fisheries, animal behavior, and ecosystem-based management.  Importantly, the impact of my work extends beyond scientific impact factors – I am most proud of my work that has been used in policy decisions and has stimulated public discourse in popular media.

Curriculum vitae

Read Dr. Gerber’s Aldo Leopold Leadership Program biography at http://leopoldleadership.stanford.edu/fellows/gerber


Quantitative Conservation Biology
Environmental Leadership and Communication
Conservation Biology and Ecological Sustainability
Conservation Planning
Environmental Modelling
Principles of Sustainability
Marine Mammal Behavior and Conservation
Applications of Behavioral Ecology to Conservation Biology
Marine Conservation Biology
Principles of Ecology


Gerber, L.R. 2016. Conservation triage or injurious neglect in endangered species recovery. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1525085113. (PDF)

Gerber, L.R., P. Bakker, S. Bonini, S. McCormick. 2016. The marriage of business and ecology. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 14: 3. (PDF)

Hernández-Camacho, C.J., V.J. Bakker, D. Aurioles-Gamboa, J. Laake, L.R. Gerber. 2015. The use of surrogate data in population viability analysis: a case study of California sea lions. PLOS One. 10: e0139158. doi:10.1371/ journal.pone.0139158. (PDF)

Gerber, L.R. 2015. A deal with Japan on whaling? Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment13: 347. (PDF)

Troyer, C. M. and L. R. Gerber. 2015. Assessing the impact of the U.S. Endangered Species Act recovery planning guidelines on managing threats for endangered species. Conservation Biology. 29: 1423-1433. (PDF)

Gerber, L. R., M. Del Mar Mancha-Cisneros, M. I. O’Connor, and E. R. Selig. 2014. Climate change impacts on connectivity in the ocean: Implications for conservation. Ecosphere 5:33. (PDF)

Gerber, L. R., C. Costello, and S.D. Gaines. 2014. Facilitate, don’t forbid, trade between conservationists and resource harvesters. Ecological Applications 24:23-24. (PDF)

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

Gerber, L. R., C. Costello, and S. D. Gaines. 2014. Conservation markets for wildlife management with case studies from whaling. Ecological Applications 24:4-14. (PDF)

Gerber, L.R., and E.White. 2013. Two-sex matrix models in assessing population viability: when do male dynamics matter? Journal of Applied Ecology 51:270-278. (PDF)

Senko, J., E. R. White,  S. S. Heppell, and L.R. Gerber. 2013. Comparing bycatch mitigation strategies for vulnerable marine megafauna. Animal Conservation 17:5-18. (PDF)

Gregory, R., J. Arval, and L.R. Gerber. 2013. Structuring decisions for managing threatened and endangered species in a changing climate. Conservation Biology 27:1212-1221. (PDF)

Anadón, J.D., M.M. Mancha-Cisneros, B.D. Best, and L.R. Gerber. 2013. Habitat-specific larval dispersal and marine connectivity: implications for spatial conservation planning. Ecosphere 4:82. (PDF)

Rife, A.N., O. Aburto-Oropeza, P.A. Hastings, B. Erisman, F. Ballantyne, J. Wielgus, E. Sala, and L.R. Gerber. 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. (PDF)

Minteer, B.A., and L.R. Gerber. 2013. Buying Whales to Save Them. Issues in Science and Technology 29:58-68. (PDF)

Gerber, L.R., R. Karimi, and T. Fitzgerald. 2013. Does trophic level indicate seafood sustainability? Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 11:122-123. (PDF)

Cuddington, K., M.-J. Fortin, L.R. Gerber, A. Hastings, A. Liebhold, M. O’Connor, and C. Ray. 2013. Process-based models are required to manage ecological systems in a changing world. Ecosphere 4:20. (PDF)

Wildermuth, R.P., J.D. Anadón, and L.R. Gerber. 2013. Monitoring behavior: assessing population status with rapid behavioral assessment. Conservation Letters 6:86-97. (PDF)

L.R. Gerber. 2012. The scientific whaling loophole. Science 337:1038. (PDF)

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. Merelender, R.M. Perkl, D.V. Preziosi, and S.C. Trombulak. 2012. The role of landscape connectivity in planning and implementing conservation and restoration priorities. Issues in Ecology 16:21pp. (PDF)

Gerber, L.R., R. Karimi, and T.P. Fitzgerald. 2012. Sustaining seafood for public health. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 10:487-493. (PDF)

Fujitani, M.L., E. Fenichel, J. Torres, and L.R. Gerber. 2012. Implementation of a marine reserve has a rapid but short-lived effect on recreational angler use. Ecological Applications 22: 597-605. (PDF)

Flatz, R., J.K. Young, M. González-Suárez, J.K. Young, C.J. Hernández, A.J. Immel, and L.R. Gerber. 2012. Weak polygyny in California sea lions and the potential for alternative mating tactics. PLoS ONE 7:e33654. (PDF)

Costello, C., L.R. Gerber, and S. Gaines. 2012. A market approach to save the whales. Nature 481: 139-140. (PDF)

Anadón, J.D., C. D’Agrosa, A. Gondor, and L.R. Gerber. 2011. Quantifying the spatial ecology or wide-ranging species in the Gulf of California: Implications for marine conservation planning. PLoS ONE 6:e28400. (PDF)

Gerber, L.R., J. Estes, T.G. Crawford, L. Peavey, and A. Read. 2011. Managing for extinction? Conflicting conservation objectives in a large marine reserve. Conservation Letters 00:1-6. (PDF)

Hughes, Z.D., E.P. Fenichel, and L.R. Gerber. 2011. The potential impact of labor choices on the efficacy of marine conservation strategies. PLoS ONE 6:e23722. (PDF)

French, S.S., J.K. Young, M. Gonzalez-Suarez, and L.R. Gerber. 2011. Human disturbance influences reproductive success and growth rate in California sea lions (Zalophus californianus). PLoS ONE 6:e17686. (PDF)

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

Green, D.S., J.K. Young, C.J. Hernandez-Camacho, and L.R. Gerber. 2010. Developing a non-invasive indicator of pinniped health: Neonate behavior and growth in California sea lions (Zalophus californianus). Ciencas Marinas 36:311-321. (PDF)

Gerber, L.R., and M. Gonzalez-Suarez. 2010. Population viability analysis: Origins and contributions. Nature Education Knowledge 3:15. (PDF)

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

Gerber, L.R. 2010. What is conservation biology? Nature Education Knowledge 1:14. (PDF)

Flatz, R., and L.R. Gerber. 2010. First evidence for adoption in California sea lions. PLoS ONE 5:e13873. (PDF)

Morissette, L., Kaschner, K., and L.R. Gerber. 2010. ‘Whales eat fish’? Demystifying the myth in the Caribbean marine ecosystem. Fish and Fisheries 11:388-404. (PDF)

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

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

Chirakkal, H., and L.R. Gerber. 2010. Short- and long-term population response to changes in vital rates: implications for population viability analysis. Ecological Applications 20:783-788. (PDF)

Wielgus, J., A. Balmford, T.B. Lewis, C. Mora, and L.R. Gerber. 2010. Coral reef quality and recreation fees in marine protected areas. Conservation Letters 3:38-44. (PDF)

Underwood, J.G., C. D’Agrosa, and L.R. Gerber. 2010. Identifying conservation areas on the basis of alternative distribution data sets. Conservation Biology 24:162-170. (PDF)

Ward, E.J., H. Chirakkal, M. Gonzalez-Suarez, D. Aurioles-Gamboa, E.E. Holmes, and L.R. Gerber. 2009. 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 47:47-56. (PDF)

Holcomb, K., J.K. Young, and L.R. Gerber. 2009. The influence of human disturbance on California sea lions during the breeding season. Animal Conservation 12:592-598. (PDF)

Stamieszkin, K., J. Weilgus, and L.R. Gerber. 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 52:449-458. (PDF)

Weilgus, J., L.R. Gerber, E. Sala, and J. Bennett. 2009. Including risk in stated-preference economic valuations: Experiments on choices for marine recreation. Journal of Environmental Management 90:3401-3409. (PDF)

M., Flatz, R., D. Aurioles-Gamboa, P.W. Hedrick, and L.R. Gerber. 2009. Isolation by distance among California sea lion populations in Mexico: redefining management stocks. Molecular Ecology 18:1088-1099. (PDF)

Gerber, L.R, L. Morissette, K. Kaschner, and D. Pauly. 2009. Should whales be culled to increase fishery yield? Science 323:880-881. (PDF)

González-Suárez, M., and L.R. Gerber. 2008. Habitat preferences of California sea lions: implications for conservation. Journal of Mammalogy 89:1521-1528. (PDF)

Young, K. J., M. González-Suárez, and L.R. Gerber. 2008. Determinants of agonistic interactions in California sea lions. Behaviour 145:1597-1810. (PDF)

Jacobs, D. F., C.J. Hernández-Camacho,  J.K. Young, and L.R. Gerber. 2008. Determinants of outcomes of agonistic interactions among male California sea lions (Zalophus californianus). Journal of Mammalogy 89:1212-1217. (PDF)

González-Suárez, M., and L.R. Gerber. 2008. A behaviorally explicit demographic model integrating habitat selection and population dynamics in California sea lions. Conservation Biology 22:1608-1618. (PDF)

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

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

Hernández-Camacho, C.J., D. Aurioles-Gamboa, and L.R. Gerber. 2008. Age-specific birth rates of California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) in the Gulf of California, Mexico. Marine Mammal Science 24:664-676. (PDF)

Wielgus, J., M. Gonzalez-Suarez, D. Aurioles-Gamboa, and L.R. Gerber. 2008. A noninvasive demographic assessment of sea lions based on stage-specific abundances. Ecological Applications 18:1287-1296. (PDF)

Underwood, J.G., C.J. Hernandez-Camacho, D. Aurioles-Gamboa, and L.R. Gerber. 2008. Estimating sustainable bycatch rates for California sea lion populations in the Gulf of California. Conservation Biology 22:701-710. (PDF)

Young, J. K., and L.R. Gerber. 2008. The influence of social composition on reproductive behavior of territorial male California sea lions. Aquatic Mammals 34:102-108. (PDF)

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

Robertson, K.L., C.W. Runcorn, J.K. Young, and L.R. Gerber. 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. (PDF)

Gerber, L.R., J. Wielgus, and E. Sala. 2007. A decision framework for the adaptive management of an exploited species with implications for marine reserves. Conservation Biology 21:1594-1602. (PDF)

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

Young, J.K., C.J. Hernandez-Camacho, and L.R. Gerber. 2007. Long-distance movement of a pinniped neonate. Marine Mammal Science 23:926-930. (PDF)

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

Sabo, J.L., and L.R. Gerber. 2007. Predicting extinction risk in spite of predator-prey oscillations. Ecological Applications 17:1543-1554. (PDF)

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

Wielgus J., F. Ballantyne, E. Sala, and L.R. Gerber. 2007. Viability analysis of reef fish populations based on limited demographic information. Conservation Biology 21:447-454. (PDF)

Young, J. K., L.R. Gerber, and C. D’Agrosa. 2007. Wildlife population increases in Serengeti National Park (commentary). Science 213:1790-1791. (PDF)

Gerber, L.R. 2006. Including behavioral data in demographic models improves estimates of population viability. Frontiers in Ecology and Environment 4:419-427. (PDF)

Zacharias, M.A., L.R. Gerber, and K.D. Hyrenbach. 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 8:12-25. (PDF)

Gonzalez-Suarez, M., K.E. McCluney, D. Aurioles, and L.R. Gerber. 2006. Incorporating uncertainty in spatial structure for viability predictions: a case study of California sea lions (Zalophus californianus californianus). Animal Conservation 9:219-227. (PDF)

Gerber, L.R., M. Berger, M. A. McCarthy, and H. P. Possingham. 2005. A theory for optimal monitoring of marine reserves. Ecology Letters 8:829-837. (PDF)

Gerber, L.R., K.D. Lafferty, H. McCallum, J.L. Sabo, and A. Dobson. 2005. Exposing extinction risk analysis to pathgens: Is disease just another form of density dependence? Ecological Applications 15:1402-1414. (PDF)

Gerber, L.R., S.S. Heppell, F. Ballantyne, and E. Sala. 2005. The role of dispersal and demography in determining the efficacy of marine reserves. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 62:863-871. (PDF)

Gerber, L.R., K.D. Hyrenbach, and M.A. Zacharias. 2005. Debating whale sanctuaries. Science (letter) 309:51-52. (PDF)

Gerber, L.R., K.D. Hyrenbach, and M.A. Zacharias. 2005. Do the largest protected areas conserve whales or whalers? Science 307:525-526. (PDF)

Green, J.L., A. Hastings, P. Arzberger, F.J. Ayala, K.L. Cottingham, K. Cuddington, F. Davis, J.A. Dunne, M-J. Fortin, L.R. Gerber, and M. Neubert. 2005. Complexity in ecology and conservation: Mathematical, statistical, and computational challenges. BioScience 55:501-510. (PDF)

McCallum, H., L.R. Gerber, and A. Jani. 2005. Does infectious disease influence the efficacy of marine protected areas? A theoretical framework. Journal of Applied Ecology 42:688-698. (PDF)

Gerber, L.R., M.T. Tinker, D. Doak, and J. Estes. 2004. Mortality sensitivity in life-stage simulation analysis: A case study of Southern sea otters. Ecological Applications 14:1554-1565. (PDF)

Harvell, D., R. Aronson, N. Baron, J. Connell, A. Dobson, S. Ellner, L.R Gerber, K. Kim, A. Kuris, H. McCallum, K. Lafferty, B. McKay, J. Porter, M. Pascual, G. Smith, and K. Sutherland. 2004. The rising tide of ocean diseases: Unsolved problems and research priorities. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 2:375-382. (PDF)

Keller, A.C., and L.R. Gerber. 2004. Monitoring and the Endangered Species Act: Revisiting the Eastern North Pacific Gray Whale. Endangered Species UPDATE 20:87-92. (PDF)

Gerber, L.R., O.J. Reichman, and J. Roughgarden. 2004. Food hoarding: future value in optimal foraging decisions. Ecological Modeling 175:77–85. (PDF)

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

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

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

Hooker, S., and L.R. Gerber. 2004. Marine reserves as a tool for ecosystem-based management: The potential importance of megafauna. BioScience 54:29-41. (PDF)

Gerber, L.R., E.W. Seabloom, R. Burton, and O.J. Reichman. 2003. Translocation of an imperiled woodrat population: Integrating spatial and habitat patterns. Animal Conservation 6:309-316. (PDF)

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

Gerber, L.R. 2003. Delisting of species under the Endangered Species Act. Conservation Biology 17:651-652. (PDF)

Shelden, K.E, D.J. Rugh, D.P. DeMaster, and L.R. Gerber. 2003. An evaluation of bowhead whale status. Conservation Biology 17:918-920. (PDF)

Gerber, L.R, L. Botsford, A. Hastings, H. Possingham, S. Gaines, S. Palumbi, and S. Andelman. 2003. Population Models for Reserve Design: A retrospective and prospective synthesis. Ecological Applications (Special Issue on Marine Reserves) 13:S47-S64. (PDF)

Gerber, L.R., and L.T. Hatch. 2002. Are we recovering? An evaluation of recovery criteria under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Ecological Applications 12:668-673. (PDF)

Schultz, C., and L.R. Gerber. 2002. Are recovery plans improving with practice? Ecological Applications 12:641-647. (PDF)

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

Lafferty, K., and L.R. Gerber. 2002. Good medicine for conservation biology: The intersection of epidemiology and conservation theory. Conservation Biology 16:1-12. (PDF)

Gerber, L.R., and G.R. VanBlaricom. 2001. Implications of three viability models for the conservation status of the western population of Steller Sea Lions (Eumetopias jubatus). Biological Conservation 102:261-269. (PDF)

Gerber, L.R., and C. Schultz. 2001. Authorship and the use of biological information in Endangered Species Act Recovery Plans. Conservation Biology 15:1308-1314. (PDF)

Gerber, L.R. 2001. Conservation biology of cetaceans in marine communities of Baja California: Science or advocacy? (Book review). Global Ecology and Biogeography 10:335-336. (PDF)

Gerber, L.R., and R. Hilborn. 2001. Catastrophic events and recovery from low densities in populations of otariids: implications for risk of extinction. Mammal Review 31:131-150. (PDF)

Gerber, L.R., D.P. DeMaster, and S.P. Roberts. 2000. Measuring success in conservation. American Scientist 88:316-324. (PDF)

Gerber, L.R., and D.P. DeMaster. 1999. A quantitative approach to Endangered Species Act classification of long-lived vertebrates: Application to the North Pacific Humpback Whales. Conservation Biology 13:1203-1214. (PDF)

Gerber, L.R., D.P. DeMaster, and P.M. Kareiva. 1999. Gray whales and the value of monitoring data in implementing the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Conservation Biology 13:1215-1219. (PDF)

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

Gerber, L.R. 1998. Seeking a rational approach to setting conservation priorities for marine mammals. Integrative Biology 1:212-221. (PDF)

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