Simon Levin, the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, received a National Medal of Science, the nation’s highest scientific honor. Levin was honored at a White House ceremony in early 2016 along with eight fellow Medal of Science recipients, and eight recipients of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation.
Levin focuses his research on complexity, particularly how large-scale patterns — such as at the ecosystem level — are maintained by small-scale behavioral and evolutionary factors at the level of individual organisms. His work uses observational data and mathematical models to explore topics such as biological diversity, the evolution of structure and organization, and the management of public goods and shared resources. While primarily related to ecology, Levin’s work also has analyzed conservation, financial and economic systems, and the dynamics of infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance.