Elena Litchman is a faculty member in the Department of Global Ecology of the Carnegie Institution for Science and a Professor (by courtesy) in the Department of Earth System Science. Prior to joining Carnegie and Stanford, she was an MSU Foundation Professor at Michigan State University. She received her undergraduate degree from Moscow State University, Russia, and Ph.D. in Ecology from University of Minnesota.

Dr. Litchman is an ecologist, interested in community assembly, resilience, and eco-evolutionary responses of microbial communities to changing environments, including anthropogenic global change, and the consequences of community changes for biodiversity, biogeochemical cycles, and ecosystem functioning. She works on a wide range of systems, from freshwater lakes, to oceans, gut microbiota and algal biofuel communities. She uses experiments, field work, data analyses and models to investigate fundamental and applied questions in ecology and environmental science.

She received the G. Evelyn Hutchinson Award from the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO), and the Petersen Foundation Excellence Professorship Award from the Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research, Germany. She is the recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) and the NSF CAREER Award.