Dr. Larry McKinney


Dr. Larry McKinney is the Executive Director of Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies. He graduated from Texas A&M University with a B.S. in Zoology in 1971, and a Ph.D. in Biology in 1976. He was also a Smithsonian Summer Fellow in 1976. Dr. McKinney effectively interacts with the many stakeholder interests in the Gulf of Mexico. Through his education and experience, he has the unique perspective to balance a healthy Gulf and a healthy economy. Through hands-on research and committed leadership, he has developed a reputation for taking on difficult and controversial environmental issues like endangered species conservation, water resource development, and habitat loss throughout the state of Texas.

Presently, half the wetlands in the Gulf of Mexico have been converted into houses, retail centers or cut up into canals and what's left may be sinking beneath our feet as we pump water and oil. The Gulf of Mexico is one of the most productive bodies of water on the face of the planet. Utilizing the "Harte Model," Dr. McKinney and his team bring together the diverse sciences that not only help to better understand the Gulf but also translate that science into effective policies and actions.

Additionally, Dr. McKinney works with the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agency's Committee on Offshore Energy Development, Chairs the Gulf Alliance Ecosystem Assessment and Integration Committee and has worked with a number State and Federal agencies on key Gulf issues. In 2009, he was invited to present testimony to the President's Ocean's Policy Taskforce. In addition, he has been recognized for his conservation efforts for Kemp's Ridley sea turtles in Texas and Mexico by Ocean Trust, Wild American Shrimp and Texas Shrimp Association.