Dr. Nancy Knowlton holds the Sant Chair in Marine Science at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Her research focuses on the ecology, evolution and conservation of coral reef organisms, and has taken her to the Caribbean, Brazil, the eastern Atlantic, and the Indo-west and central Pacific. Her analyses have led to the now widespread recognition that estimates of marine diversity are probably too low by a factor of ten. Dr. Knowlton received her undergraduate degree at Harvard University and her PhD at the University of California at Berkeley, and was a professor at Yale University prior to moving to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. Later, she joined the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California at San Diego, where she was the founding Director of the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation and the leader of its interdisciplinary research and education (IGERT) program. Dr. Knowlton currently serves on the National Geographic Society's
Committee on Research and Exploration and Conservation Trust Committee, chairs the World Bank’s Targeted Research Program for Coral Reefs, is principal investigator of the Census of Marine Life’s Coral Reef Initiative, and is an Associate Editor for the Annual Review of Marine Science.