Simon Levin is being honored for his studies into complex patterns in nature and how they came to be. Brian Wilson / Princeton University

Simon Levin, a Visiting Distinguished Professor in ecology & evolutionary biology, will receive the National Medal of Science – the nation’s highest scientific honor – at a White House ceremony during the spring. Levin, the George M. Moffett Professor of Biology at Princeton University, studies complex patterns in nature and how they came to be. At UCI, his work focuses on the dynamics of biodiversity and biocomplexity, the interactions between ecological systems and socioeconomic systems, and the management of natural resources. In addition to collaborating with colleagues in the Francisco J. Ayala School of Biological Sciences, Levin is part of UCI’s multidisciplinary Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Sciences. “I cannot imagine any scientist more deserving the National Medal of Science than Simon Levin,” said Adam Martiny, associate professor of Earth system science and ecology & evolutionary biology and a Levin collaborator. “I am fascinated by his ability to identify similarities in scientific problems across so many disciplines and come up with unexpected solutions.” Awarded annually, the National Medal of Science recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to science and engineering. Previously, UCI faculty members Frederick Reines, Francisco J. Ayala and R. Duncan Luce received the honor.