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Jeffrey S. Levinton, Distinguished Professor

Ph.D., Yale University, 1971

Conservation biology, developmental evolution


Office: LS680

Phone:  (631)632-8602

Lab Website: Levinton Lab Website

Research Summary:

Jeffrey Levinton has done research on a wide variety of topics, all in the general area of marine ecology. His major interest is in relating feeding biology of marine bottom animals to population and community-level processes. Currently, he is working on feeding selectivity in suspension-feeding bivalves using flow cytometry and video endoscopy. In the last few years, he has also worked on the evolution of resistance to toxic substances and physiological adaptation of growth strategies to temperature regimes. Levinton has also done research on rate of evolution in the fossil record and maintains a strong interest in paleobiology. In collaboration with Gregory Wray, he is working on estimating the timing of the divergence of the animal phyla and has developed evidence against the Cambrian explosion hypothesis. He is currently doing simulations to understand the degree to which molecular data can confirm the notion of a Cambrian explosion. He is also working currently on the role of sexual selection and natural selection in the morphological evolution of fiddler crabs, and their relationship to phylogeny based on molecular data. His students have worked on related research topics, but also on grazing in coral reefs, chemical defense, and rocky shore ecology.

Levinton was a Guggenheim Fellow, a Fulbright Senior Scholar and is the author of a major text in marine biology and a monograph on macroevolution. He has served as an editor for The American Naturalist, Ecology, Ecological Applications, and was head of the Hudson River Fund Panel of the Hudson River Foundation. He is now an editorial advisor for Global Ecology and for the Journal of the Marine Biological Association.


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