Lisa T. Ballance

Director Marine Mammal Institute & Endowed Chair for Marine Mammal Research

Office: 541-867-0445
Fax: 541-867-0102

Curriculum Vitae: 

Profile Field Tabs

Director Marine Mammal Institute, Oregon State University (2019-present)
Professor Department of Fisheries & Wildlife, Oregon State University (2019-present)
Editorial Board Ecology (2016-present)
Contributing Editor Marine Ecology Progress Series (2020-2024)
Professor (Adjunct) Scripps Institution of Oceanography (2005-2020)
Professor (Affiliate) University of San Diego (2009-2020)
Director Marine Mammal & Turtle Research, SW Fisheries Science Center, NOAA (2007-2019)
Chair NOAA Fisheries National Seabird Program (2015-2019)
Research Advisor The National Academies (2009-2019)
Chair Pacific Seabird Group (2002)
Leader Cetacean Ecology Program, SW Fisheries Science Center, NOAA (2001-2007)
Editorial Board Marine Ornithology (2000-2010)
Chief Scientist Stenella Abundance Research, SW Fisheries Science Center, NOAA (1999-2019)
Marine Ecologist, SW Fisheries Science Center, NOAA (1996-2019)


Dr. Lisa T. Ballance is the Director of Oregon State University’s Marine Mammal Institute, Endowed Chair of Marine Mammal Research, and Professor of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Sciences. In this role she oversees the vision and implementation of research, education, and outreach for the Institute’s 60 Professors, post-doctorates, students, and staff. Prior to joining OSU’s Marine Mammal Institute, Dr. Ballance directed NOAA’s Marine Mammal and Turtle Research Division in La Jolla, CA, providing scientific leadership and oversight for 70 scientists conducting applied research in the context of Endangered Species and Marine Mammal Protection Act directives. She was also Chief Scientist of NOAA’s Eastern Tropical Pacific Dolphin Research Program, which provided the scientific basis for the “Dolphin Safe” label found on tuna cans in supermarkets all over this country.

Dr. Ballance holds a PhD in marine ecology, an MS in marine science, and a BS in biology. She has studied the ecology and conservation biology of whales, dolphins, porpoises, and seabirds for over 30 years around the world, including the tropical Pacific and Indian Oceans, Antarctica, the Bering Sea, and Cambodia’s Mekong River. She has published more than 150 scientific papers, book chapters, and technical reports; regularly gives invited presentations at professional conferences, universities, public lectures, and policy-related briefings; and been awarded research funding from a wide variety of sources including National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, US Navy, and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. Dr. Ballance is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, recipient of the Department of Commerce Bronze and Silver Medals, NOAA Fisheries’ Supervisor of the Year, and cover feature of the Association for Women in Science.

Post-doctorate, The National Academies, 1993-1996
Ph.D. Ecology, University of California Los Angeles, 1993
M.S. Marine Science, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, 1987
B.A. Biology, University of California San Diego, 1981
Professional Affiliations: 
Scientific Advisor Oikonos Ecosystem Knowledge (2003-present)
Society of Marine Mammalogy (Life Member)
Society of Conservation Biology (Life Member)
Pacific Seabird Group (Life Member)
British Ornithologists' Union (Life Member)
Fellow National Conservation Leadership Institute (2018)
Elective Member American Ornithologists' Union (2013)
Honors and Awards: 
Fellow American Association for the Advancement of Science (2021); NOAA Bronze Medals (2008, 2019); NOAA Fisheries Employee of the Year (2007, 2019); Association for Women in Science Cover Feature (2013); U.S. Department of Commerce Silver Medal (2003)
Affiliated with: 
Marine Mammal Institute
Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, & Conservation Sciences
Courses Taught: 
Marine Tetrapods, Marine Mammal Biology (Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego)
Hatfield Marine Science Center
My Publications