Annalisa Berta completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Washington (1974) and received her Ph.D. in Paleontology (1979) at the University of California, Berkeley. She is a Professor of Biology at San Diego State University and a Research Associate at the San Diego Natural History Museum and Los Angels County Museum of Natural History, and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. She is an evolutionary biologist who for the last 30 years has been studying the anatomy, evolution and systematics of various fossil and living marine mammals, especially pinnipeds and whales. Her current research focuses on the anatomy and evolution of feeding in baleen whales. She is a past President of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, past Associate Editor of Marine Mammal Science and Co-Senior Editor of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. She has taught courses in organismal biology, genetics and evolution and a course that she developed on the evolution and ecology of marine mammals. She has written nearly 100 scientific papers and several books for the specialist as well as non-scientist including Return to the Sea: The Life and Evolutionary Times of Marine Mammals (Univ. California Press) and Marine Mammals: Evolutionary Biology, 2 ed. with J. Sumich and K. Kovacs (Elsevier, 3rd edition forthcoming in 2015).