Darren Lerner

Darren Lerner

  • Director Hawaiʻi Sea Grant College Program, SOEST, UH Mānoa
  • Interim DirectorWater Resources Research Center, UH Mānoa

Contact Info:

  • lerner@hawaii.edu

Dr. Lerner is a member of the ʻIke Wai leadership team, providing guidance to the overall project, along with support for strategic research efforts and workforce development. He lends his expertise in program management, communication, education, and research to the project. Dr. Lerner assists the members of the ʻ‘Ike Wai team to find opportunities for collaborations and leverage for ongoing projects, and works in support of the project goals in influencing education, outreach, and policy outcomes, while solving the significant issues with the islands hydrogeology.


Dr. Lerner received his bachelor’s degree in political science and psychology from the University of Missouri. He received his master’s degree from Oregon State University in zoology and his Ph.D in organismic and evolutionary biology from the University of Massachusetts. He also served as a USDA postdoctoral research fellow at the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. In addition to his current position as the director of Hawaiʻi Sea Grant and interim director of the Water Resources Research Center, Dr. Lerner also serves as the University Consortium Director for the Pacific Islands Climate Science Center. Actively supporting graduate students through research support and participating on graduate committees, Dr. Lerner serves as affiliate graduate faculty member for the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology, the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, and the Department of Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering at the UH Mānoa. His research focuses on cellular, molecular, and organismal levels of environmental physiology with an emphasis on the impact of environmental contaminants on fish growth, physiology, and behavior.

Other roles

  • Executive Committee, Assoc. of Public & Land Grant Universities, Board on Oceans, Atmosphere and Climate
  • Treasurer and Board Member, Sea Grant Association
  • Board Member, Oceana Representative, National Institutes for Water Research
  • Senior Convener, S/Japan Joint Symposium Series on Atmosphere, Ocean and Coastal Sciences
  • Member of numerous organizations including: the Urban Land Institute, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, the American Fisheries Society, and the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology