Dr. David O. Conover


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Dr. David O. Conover serves as the Vice President for Research at Stony Brook University and Operations Manager for the SUNY Research Foundation. Prior to his current role, Dr. Conover served as the Director, Division of Ocean Sciences at the National Science Foundation (NSF) where he managed a budget exceeding $350 million, the 2nd largest division at NSF. In addition to the development and management of annual budgets, Dr. Conover oversaw two major facility construction projects: the Ocean Observatory Initiative ($386 million); and the research vessel, R/V Sikuliaq, ($200 million) destined for operations in the Arctic ocean. His duties at NSF also involved U.S. federal support of academic research, facilities, and education programs in ocean sciences, including fleet operations and deep submersible programs. He instituted two new research solicitations involving diversity and broadening participation: one providing post-doc fellowships and one providing research initiation awards to early career scientists.

Dr. Conover retains the position of Professor of Marine Science in the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS) at Stony Brook University, Long Island, N.Y. where he served as Dean from 2003-2010. As an expert on the ecology of marine fishes and fisheries science, he has authored over 125 publications. His most recent research involves determination of the long-term evolutionary (Darwinian) impacts of size-selective harvest regimes on the productivity of marine fish stocks. In 1997, Dr. Conover was named as the first recipient of the Mote Eminent Scholar Chair in fisheries ecology, a prestigious international award honoring those who have made major advances in the understanding of harvested marine species. He has also been the recipient of an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellowship. 

Dr. Conover joined the faculty of Stony Brook University as an Assistant Professor in 1981. He served as Associate Dean of Marine Sciences from 1995-97 and became Dean in 2003. Under Dr. Conover’s leadership, SoMAS greatly expanded its faculty, added two undergraduate majors, more than quadrupled its enrollment, acquired new waterfront research and education facilities, and increased its endowments ten-fold. He has served on the boards of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, the National Association of Marine Laboratories, the Oceans and Atmospheres section of the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges, and was Chairman of the Board of the New York Sea Grant Institute. Dr. Conover also founded the New York Marine Sciences Consortium, an organization of 28 academic institutions with expertise in marine science research and education.

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