Dr. Peter Levi received a B.A. in Biology from Lawrence University (Appleton, WI) with minors in International Relations and Environmental Science. Prior to graduate school, he spent several years working in environmental education, from San Diego to the Florida Keys and southern Maine to southern Africa. Peter completed his PhD in Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame in 2012 where he studied the ecosystem responses to Pacific salmon in streams and rivers throughout their native and introduced ranges. He then had a post-doctoral research appointment in the Department of Bioscience at Aarhus University in Denmark and a second in the Center for Limnology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Peter is an ecosystem ecologist interested in the function of streams, rivers, and reservoirs from both a theoretical and applied perspective. In his research, he uses an interdisciplinary approach to assess the ecological value and integrity of freshwater ecosystems, bridging diverse disciplines such as limnology, hydrology, biogeochemistry, and economics. Peter encourages students with interests in water resources, ecology, conservation, or environmental restoration to discuss research opportunities in his lab. As he continues to develop his research at Drake, Peter looks forward to working with wildlife and fisheries managers, conservation organizations, local and state politicians, and fellow academics in Iowa and the Upper Midwest.
Peter is dedicated to the liberal arts approach and especially enjoys Drake's small class sizes, frequent faculty-student interactions, and requirements for interdisciplinary coursework. The courses he teaches include Principles of Geology, Hydrology, and Global Biogeochemistry as well as other courses in the physical Earth sciences. Peter frequently engages with local schools and organizations in and around Des Moines, sharing the wonder of science with younger and older students alike through community outreach.