Darren T. Lerner, PhD, has served as the Pacific Islands Climate Adaptation Science Center University Consortium Director since 2016. As director, Dr. Lerner oversees all aspects of the university consortium, including developing goals, objectives, and policies; hiring and managing administration and staff; overseeing budgets; writing proposals and serving as principal investigator; awarding grants and scholarships; speaking publicly; coordinating legislative/congressional interactions; and leading/serving on state, regional, and national boards, task forces, committees, and other groups. He also works closely with the USGS Federal Director to ensure a smooth working center.
Dr. Lerner also serves as the director of the University of Hawaiʻi Sea Grant College Program (Hawaiʻi Sea Grant) and affiliate research faculty at the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology, where he conducts a research program focused on environmental physiology of fishes. Lerner also serves as graduate faculty in the Department of Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering and the Department of Urban and Regional Planning.
Lerner earned his bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in psychology from the University of Missouri, Columbia, a master’s degree in zoology from Oregon State University, and a PhD in organismic and evolutionary biology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He moved to Hawaiʻi in 2006 and was hired by Hawaiʻi Sea Grant in 2007.