Heather Leslie, Professor of Marine Sciences
An international leader in marine conservation science, Heather Leslie conducts research on the ecology, policy, and management of coastal marine ecosystems. Heather is Professor of Marine Sciences in UMaine’s School of Marine Sciences.
She studies the drivers of ecological and social processes in marine systems, and how to more effectively connect science to policy and management. Specific research areas include coastal marine ecology; human-environment linkages, particularly those related to coastal areas; and the design and evaluation of marine management strategies. Leslie’s work has appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Ecology, Conservation Biology, and Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.
A member of the University of Maine faculty since August 2015, Heather Leslie received an A.B. in Biology from Harvard University, a Ph.D. in Zoology from Oregon State University, and conducted postdoctoral research at Princeton University. From August 2015 through May 2023, she served as Director of the University of Maine’s marine laboratory, Darling Marine Center. Before arriving at UMaine, she was on the faculty at Brown University, as the inaugural Peggy and Henry D. Sharpe Assistant Professor. She is a Leopold Leadership Fellow and Storymaker Fellow and originally from Plymouth, Massachusetts. Heather lives by the Damariscotta River in Newcastle, Maine, with her two children and husband, microbial ecologist Jeremy Rich.