UC Santa Cruz biologist tapped to contribute to national report on nature's role in society

Malin Pinsky also honored as a leading fisheries researcher by the University of British Columbia

Headshot of Malin Pinsky
Malin Pinsky (Photo by Nick Romanenko)

For America's first-ever report on nature’s inherent worth, and its contributions to the economy, our health and well-being, UC Santa Cruz's Malin Pinsky will co-author a chapter on nature and climate change. He is an associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and one of 10 experts contributing to the chapter.

Creation of the "National Nature Assessment" (NNA) was announced last month on Earth Day by its director, University of Washington Professor Phil Levin, who currently serves in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. The U.S. Global Change Research Program is heading the assessment, which is slated for completion in 2026 and will feature contributions from over 150 experts around the country–including many from the University of California.In addition to assessing nature's contributions to our culture, health, and well-being, the report's authors will take stock of nature's impact on jobs and livelihoods, safety, and more—while looking ahead to understand how these benefits might change in the future.

“The NNA will provide a comprehensive understanding of nature, enriched by diverse scientific expertise, indigenous knowledge, and lived experience of authors from across the United States," said Jane Lubchenco, deputy director for climate and environment at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. "The NNA is an opportunity to integrate and assess information—from multiple sources and through a diversity of voices—to capture and communicate what nature means to different people, and to explore the future of nature in this nation.”

Pinsky is a biologist with expertise in the adaptation of ocean life to climate change, including ocean conservation. He has more than 100 publications in Science, Nature, and other journals, and his research has been covered by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and BBC, among others. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, an Earth Leadership Fellow, and an Early Career Fellow of the Ecological Society of America.

"I'm looking forward to helping write this assessment with many of the best scientists in the world," Pinsky said. "Efforts like these are critical, linking the latest research progress to the needs of society."

Separately, the University of British Columbia (UBC) has named Pinsky the winner of its Peter A. Larkin Award for Pinsky's research related to climate change and sustainable marine fisheries globally. UBC will present the award to Pinsky on October 3, when he will deliver a free public lecture titled, "Marine fish on the move: challenges and prospects for fisheries adaptation."

Larkin was an eminent fisheries biologist and emeritus professor at UBC.