Lev R. Ginzburg

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Lev R. Ginzburg
Lev Ginzburg 2012.jpg
Born 1945 (age 68–69)
Moscow, Russia
Residence Old Field, New York and Manhattan, New York
Nationality USA
Alma mater Leningrad State University
Known for

Lev R. Ginzburg (Russian: Лев Рувимович Гинзбург; born 1945) is a theoretical ecologist (mathematical ecologist), specializing in the foundations of population ecology.


Lev Ginzburg was born in 1945 in Moscow, Russia, but grew up in St. Petersburg, at the time Leningrad. He studied mathematics and theoretical mechanics at Leningrad State University (M.S. in 1967) and received his Ph.D. in applied mathematics from the Agrophysical Research Institute in 1970. He worked at this Institute until his emigration to the United States in 1975. After a few months at the Accademia Nazionale Dei Lincei (Rome, Italy), and one year at the Mathematics Department at Northeastern University (Boston, MA), he became a professor at the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the Stony Brook University (Stony Brook, NY) in 1977.[1] Since 1982 Dr. Ginzburg has also run Applied Biomathematics, a research and software firm focused on conservation biology, ecology, environmental health, engineering and education. The company develops new methods for the assessment of risk and uncertainty in these areas.[2] RAMAS® software is used by thousands of institutions in over 60 countries.[3]


Dr. Ginzburg’s work has been focused on the foundations of population ecology. His most widely known work is a theory of predation (the ratio-dependent or Arditi-Ginzburg model) that is an alternative to the classic prey-dependent Lotka-Volterra and MacArthur-Rosenzweig models.[4] His book, with Roger Arditi, How Species Interact summarizes their proposed alteration of the standard view.[5] Second in recognition has been inertial growth, or a quantity-quality, two-dimensional approach to population dynamics replacing the usual one-dimensional approach. His explanation of population cycles, based upon maternal effect model is the main point of the book Ecological Orbits.[6]

Dr. Ginzburg started publishing in the field of metabolic ecology in 2008. His work centers on the idea that generation time is an essential fourth dimension of an organism (in addition to the dimensions of space that it occupies).[7] The 4D view provides a simple, unifying explanation for various observed slopes of metabolic allometries. Since 2010 he has been working on an evolutionary theory of non-adaptive selection (selective disappearance of unstable configurations).[8] A book in progress (Non-Adaptive Selection, joint with John Damuth) relates to this area of research.[9]

Dr. Ginzburg's work in applied ecology and risk analysis has been conducted at Applied Biomathematics in collaboration with Dr. Scott Ferson and Dr. Resit Akcakaya.


Ginzburg has published over 150 scientific articles and nine books.


Theoretical Ecology[edit]

  • Damuth, J.; Ginzburg, L.R. (2015, projected), Non-Adaptive Selection (in preparation) 
  • Arditi, R.; Ginzburg, L.R. (2012), How Species Interact: Altering the Standard View on Trophic Ecology., New York, NY: Oxford University Press, ISBN 9780199913831 
  • Ginzburg, L.R.; Colyvan, M. (2004), Ecological Orbits: how planets move and populations grow, New York, NY: Oxford University Press, ISBN 9780198037545 

Applied Ecology & Risk Analysis[edit]

  • Pastorok, R.; Bartell, S.; Ferson, S.; Ginzburg, L.R. (eds.) (2001), Ecological Modeling in Risk Assessment, Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, ISBN 9781420032321 
  • Schultz, S.M.; Dunham, A.E.; Root, K.V.; Soucy, S.L.; Carroll, S.D.; Ginzburg, L.R. (1999), Conservation Biology with RAMAS EcoLab, Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates, ISBN 9780878937684 
  • Akçakaya, H.R.; Burgman, M.A.; Ginzburg, L.R. (1999), Applied Population Ecology: principles and computer exercises using RAMAS EcoLab, 2nd ed., Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates, ISBN 9780878930289 
  • Ginzburg, L.R. (ed.) (1991), Assessing Ecological Risks of Biotechnology, Stoneham, MA: Butterworth, ISBN 9780409901993 

Population Genetics[edit]

  • Ginzburg, L.R.; Golenberg, E.M. (1984), Lectures in Theoretical Population Biology, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, ISBN 9780135280430 
  • Ginzburg, L.R. (1983), Theory of Natural Selection and Population Growth, Menlo Park, CA: Benjamin Cummings, ISBN 9780805331806 
  • Gimelfarb, A.A.; Ginzburg, L.R., et al. (1974), The Dynamical Theory of the Biological Populations (in Russian), Moscow: Nauka 

Selected articles[edit]

Theoretical Ecology[edit]

Applied Ecology & Risk Analysis[edit]

Population Genetics[edit]


  1. ^ "About". Life.bio.sunysb.edu. Retrieved 2013-09-09. 
  2. ^ "RAMAS Software by Applied Biomathematics". Ramas.com. Retrieved 2013-09-09. 
  3. ^ RAMAS® is a registered trademark of Applied Biomathematics.
  4. ^ Arditi, R. and Ginzburg, L.R. 1989. Coupling in predator-prey dynamics: ratio dependence. Journal of Theoretical Biology 139: 311-326.
  5. ^ Arditi, R. and Ginzburg, L.R. 2012. How Species Interact: Altering the Standard View on Trophic Ecology. Oxford University Press, New York, NY.
  6. ^ Ginzburg, L.R.' and Colyvan, M. 2004. Ecological Orbits: How Planets Move and Populations Grow. Oxford University Press, New York, NY.
  7. ^ Ginzburg, L.R and Damuth, J. 2008. The space-lifetime hypothesis: viewing organisms in four dimension, literally. American Naturalist. 171:125-131.
  8. ^ Ginzburg, L.R., Burger, O., and Damuth, J. 2010. The May threshold and life history allometry. Biology Letters 6:850-853.
  9. ^ "Books & Book Reviews". Life.bio.sunysb.edu. Retrieved 2013-09-09. 

External links[edit]