Dr. Lewis is a CA SeaGrant Delta Science Research Fellow and the PI of the Biogeochemistry and Fish Ecology Laboratory at the University of California, Davis. His current work utilizes field surveys and otolith image analysis and microchemical techniques to better understand habitat use and suitability for common and endangered estuarine fishes in the San Francisco Estuary.


Levi completed his PhD in the Coral Reef Ecology Lab at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.  His dissertation research explored how humans alter species interactions and ecological processes that affect the health and persistence of habitat-forming corals.

Otolith showing fluorescent internal tag (left) & daily rings (right)

After completing his M.S., Levi accepted a summer position at the Interdisciplinary Center for Mass Spectrometry at UC Davis. There he processed otoliths (ear bones) of threatened & endangered fishes from the Sacramento River Delta, using image analysis and laser ablation microchemistry to reconstruct their age, growth, and origins


Seagrass research in San Diego

Levi attained his M.S. in Biology in the Fish Ecology Lab at San Diego State University under the guidance of Dr. Todd Anderson.  Levi’s master’s thesis examined the community-wide effects of small predators in seagrass ecosystems and trophic diversity among amphipod mesograzers.




Levi working a salt marsh in San Francisco Bay

Following graduation, Levi accepted a research position at the UCD Bodega Marine Lab where he studied the condition of fish populations in salt marshes bordering San Francisco and Tomales Bays.





Levi seining with Jim Hobbs in Bodega Bay

As a student at UC Davis, Levi received a fellowship to conduct his own research project on fishes in the seagrass beds of Bodega Bay, CA. He also worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Sacramento, CA, evaluating salmon spawning habitat in rivers and drafting flow recommendations for hydropower projects.



Levi, en route toward his PhD

Levi grew up in San Diego playing in, on and around the ocean.  His delight in fishing and reverence for conservation led him to a career in ecology and conservation.

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