Lizabeth Bowen


My research program focuses on the interactions among immunology, toxicology, disease ecology, and ecosystem health. I analyze the physiologic and metabolic effects of stressors on organisms and how subsequent vulnerabilities translate into population and ecosystem health. Stressors can be either chemical (pesticides, petroleum hydrocarbons), physical (e.g., elevated water temperature), or biological (toxins, pathogens). My long-term goal is to better understand the effects of anthropogenic and natural stressors on individuals and how those stressors are reflected in an individual organism’s fitness (survival and reproduction), the population level effects of differential survival and reproduction of individuals, and the ecosystem level effects of population change.


  • Eco-immunology
  • Nearshore marine ecosystem health
  • Conservation biology
  • Eco-toxicology
  • Individual and population level susceptibility


Ph.D., Ecology, University of California, Davis. 2003.

  • Thesis: Immunogenetics in the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus): evolution of the major histocompatibility complex under differential ecological pressures

Master of Science, Ecology, University of California, Davis. 1995. 

  • Thesis: Defenses of insular endemic plants in the absence of herbivory

Bachelor of Arts, Biology. University of California, Santa Cruz. 1989.


  • Ecologist, U. S. Geological Survey, 2004–present
  • Assistant Project Scientist, UC Davis, 2005– 2009
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, UC Davis, 2003-2004
  • Post Graduate Researcher, UC Davis. 1998-2003
  • Post Graduate Researcher, UC Davis, 1998
  • Research Assistant, UC Davis, 1996
  • Teaching Assistant, UC Davis, 1994-1996