Karla Heidelberg

USC Associates Award for Excellence in Teaching

Associate Professor of Biological Sciences and Environmental Studies, Director of the Environmental Studies Program

USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences

Heidelberg holds a Ph.D. in Marine-Estuarine and Environmental Science and Biological Oceanography from the University of Maryland, College Park. As an Associate Professor of Teaching in USC’s Department of Biological Sciences, she was a resident faculty member at the Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina Island from 2006-2014.

Heidelberg’s research at USC has focused on the genomics and metabolism of microbes in coastal oceans. She also studies life in extreme environments such as Antarctica, hypersaline lakes in Australia, and hydrothermal vent systems on the ocean floor. Her teaching courses span biology, marine biology, ecology, and oceanography, and she has received several University awards including the Steven B. Sample Teaching and Mentoring Award for 2012-2013.

In addition to Heidelberg’s research and teaching accomplishments, she has worked with the National Science Foundation to define training in Science and Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) disciplines for the next generation. Through those efforts, she is exploring new ideas for strengthening STEM programs at USC.