Nancy N. Rabalais became the fourth Executive Director of Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium on June 14, 2005. Dr. Rabalais has been a researcher and faculty member with LUMCON since June 1983. Dr. Rabalais is internationally known for her research on the dynamics of hypoxic environments and interactions of the Mississippi River with the Gulf of Mexico. She additionally studies estuarine and coastal eutrophication, benthic ecology, and environmental effects of habitat alterations and contaminants. She and her research team are currently involved in studies of multiple environmental stressors, the 'Dead Zone' in the Gulf of Mexico, coastal observing systems, phytoplankton taxonomy, ecology and physiology, and the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Dr. Rabalais is a MacArthur Foundation Awardee, a Heinz Awardee, an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow, an Aldo Leopold Leadership Program Fellow, a Past President of the Estuarine Research Federation, a National Associate of the National Academies of Science, and past Chair of the Ocean Studies Board of the National Research Council, National Academy of Science.
Dr. Rabalais received the 2002 Bostwick H. Ketchum Award for coastal research from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and several research and environmental awards for her work on the causes and consequences of Gulf hypoxia. These include the Blasker Award for Environmental Science and Engineering shared with Dr. Gene Turner, the Ruth Patrick Award of the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography, the Clarke Prize, a NOAA Environmental Hero Award, a Gulf Guardian Award, and a Clean Water Act Hero.
Dr. Rabalais serves as the Chair of the National Sea Grant Advisory Board, a trustee for the Consortium on Ocean Leadership, President of the Southern Association of Marine Labs, President Elect of the National Association of Marine Labs, Board Member of the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System – Regional Association. She served as a member of the Scientific Steering Committee of the Land-Ocean Interchange in the Coastal Zone program (an International Biosphere Geosphere Programme), and several National Research Committees, most recently "Assessing Ecosystem Services in the Gulf of Mexico 2: Evaluating the Impact of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill."
Dr. Rabalais serves the scientific community on many expert panels, workshops, and symposia, and provides advice at the local, state and federal level. Dr. Rabalais earned her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from Texas A&I University in 1972 and 1975, and a Ph.D. in Zoology from The University of Texas at Austin in 1983.