George Sugihara
Professor of Biological Oceanography
Physical Oceanography Research Division

George Sugihara is a professor of biological oceanography in the Physical Oceanography Research Division at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego.

Sugihara was named the inaugural holder of the McQuown Chair in Natural Science.

Sugihara employs his skills in applied mathematics and theoretical biology to explore natural systems and to more fully understand their nonlinear or “chaotic” patterns. Sugihara’s current research at Scripps is aimed at finding solutions to environmental problems through a combination of scientific and financial market innovations, two areas which reflect his unusual background as a scientist and investment banker.

He conducts research on a variety of natural science topics including ecology, neuroscience and atmospheric science.

Sugihara leads collaborations across academic disciplines as well as with governmental and industrial partners to facilitate solutions to the challenges of sustainable marine resource management, especially in relation to declining marine fisheries. He believes that sustainable fisheries can benefit from skillful quantitative forecasting of wild fish stocks and the use of financial market tools to quantify and control risk.

His work on forecasting and understanding complex patterns developed with Lord Robert May of Oxford led him to the world of investment banking where he consulted for Merrill Lynch and eventually became a Managing Director for Deutsche Bank. There, as head of Global Quantitative Proprietary Trading, his research was successfully applied to automated trading on world financial markets. Since his return to academia, his prior financial experience has inspired his recent work at Scripps that focuses on designing market tools to support sustainable marine fisheries.

Sugihara received an M.S. in biology and a Ph.D. in mathematical biology, both from Princeton University, where he received the Ogden Porter Jabocbus Prize, Princeton’s highest academic award given by the Graduate School.

Prior to joining Scripps, Sugihara was the Wigner Prize Fellow at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and concurrently associate professor of Mathematics at the University of Tennessee. He has been a visiting professor at Cornell University, Imperial College London, Kyoto University and the Tokyo Institute of Technology. He held the UC San Diego John Dove Isaacs Chair at Scripps Oceanography, and was a visiting fellow at Merton College, Oxford University. He is recipient of several national and international awards, and is currently a member of the National Academy of Sciences Board on Mathematical Sciences and its Applications, a National Research Council advisory board that advises government agencies and guides the nation’s mathematics agenda to better serve national needs.

Last updated October 2009