Lia Protopapadakis came to the Environmental Science and Engineering program to enhance her analytical and technical skills and to forward a career reducing risks for coastal habitat and infrastructure by applying soft engineering solutions. She has an M.E.M. in Coastal Environmental Management from Duke University and a B.S. in Biology from USC (but don’t hold that against her!)

Prior to starting her doctoral degree, Lia worked for The Bay Foundation for over eight years. There she restored kelp forests, conducted research for fisheries management, and developed sustainable local seafood. She also staffed the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission’s Technical Advisory Committee and served on the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Marine Life Protection Act South Coast Regional Stakeholder Group and Lobster Advisory Committee. Her broad skillset includes conducting shipboard oceanographic research in the waters of the tropical Pacific, tropical Atlantic, and Antarctica; performing underwater surveys as a scientific diver; collecting spatial data from small fixed-wing aircraft; evaluating ecosystem-based management of open-water fisheries; and developing ocean policy and legislation in the U.S. Congress as a Knauss Sea Grant Fellow. She is published in Ecosphere and Fisheries Management and Ecology.