Interim Dean, Seaver College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences
Lee Kats began service as the interim dean of Seaver College in 2023. Kats served as the vice provost from 2011 to 2023, and from 2001 until 2011 as the associate dean of research. As vice provost, he worked closely with Pepperdine's Information Technology Department; Office of Research, Grants, and Foundation Relations, and with the Office of Institutional Effectiveness. Kats also serves as academic director of the Center for Faith and the Common Good, and is involved in the University's strategic planning process and implementation.
Kats is a professor of biology and the Frank R. Seaver Chair in Natural Science at Pepperdine, and he has been at the forefront of the University's research efforts since he began teaching at the University in 1990. His research focuses on the areas of animal ecology, tropical ecology, and conservation biology, and for more than 30 years his students and he have studied the conservation biology of local amphibians. He also enjoys traveling as a faculty member, and he conducts research and teaches in Costa Rica and Argentina. To learn more about Kats' current research with Pepperdine students, visit the Behavioral Ecology Research Laboratory website.
Kats earned a BA from Calvin College in Michigan and a PhD in biology from the University of Kentucky.