- Evolutionary biology and ecology of marine organisms, protists in particular (foraminifera, tintinnids, calcareous nannofossils, radiolaria, diatoms, silicoflagelaltes)
- Biology and molecular phylogeny of reef (Papua New Guinea, Enewetak Atoll, French Polynesia, Pacific Rim) and ancient reef and carbonate platform foraminifera with the aim of better understanding evolution of reef biotas through time, especially the influence of photosymbioses
- Evolution of the earliest shelled protists in the Precambrian and Cambrian and metazoan origins and early evolution, as well as their Cambrian radiation
- Mass extinctions and radiations in the history of life on Earth.
- Habitats and taphonomy of possible life on Jupiter's Icy Moons, Europa in particular, and on Mars.
Honors and Awards
- NSF Undergraduate Research Award, 1962.
- Fellow, Shell Foundation, 1964-65.
- Fellow, Geological Society of America, 1964—
- Fellow, Wolfson College, Oxford University, 1975—
- Fellow, Cushman Foundation for Foraminiferal Research, 1976—
- Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1978—
- Lipps Island, Antarctica. named in honor of by Antarctic Board of Geographic Place Names, 1979.
- Antarctic Medal of the United States. 1979.
- Fellow, California Academy of Sciences, 1985—
- Lippsina Haman, 1985.
- Fellow, Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal, 1998--.
- Fellow, Christensen Research Foundation. 1989.
- Cancris lippsi Finger, 1992
- American Publishers Joint Award to Co-Authors for Excellence in Scholarly Publishing for contributions to: The Proterozoic Biosphere, A Multidisciplinary Study, J.W. Schopf and C. Klein, (Editors) Cambridge Univ. Press (1992)
- W. Storrs Cole Award, Geological Society of America, 1993.
- Friend of Darwin Award, National Center for Science Education, 1993.
- Science Magazine’s “Editor’s Choice” for GSA Bulletin paper, 2005.
- Joseph A. Cushman Award for Excellence in Foraminiferal Research, 2006.
- Centennial Fellow and Patron, Paleontological Society, 2009.
- Raymond C. Moore Medal for Sustained Excellence in Paleontology, SEPM, 2010.
- Honorary Life Member, AAAS, 2014.
- Soaring Eagle Award for life time achievement, Eagle Rock High School, Los Angeles, 2014
Museum of Paleontology
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720