Hunter is a Professor of Fisheries Ecology at the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at UC Santa Barbara. He is a population and community ecologist with training in coastal oceanography. His research combines ecological theory and field-based experimentation with marine science theory to address questions related to collaborative and data-poor fisheries management, habitat restoration, population enhancement, ecotoxicology, and the ecological impact assessment of human activities in the marine environment. He has worked closely with fishers, state and national governments, environmental NGOs, and colleagues in marine science to help solve problems related to over- and underfishing, habitat degradation, conserving biodiversity, and human food security. He is director of the Sustainable Aquaculture Research Center, a co-founder of the Honda Marine Science Foundation, and in 2013, along with UCSB colleagues was awarded California's highest environmental honor, the California Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA) in the field of Green Chemistry for its nanotechnology environmental health and safety efforts. He earned a BS from UC Berkeley, a MA from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, and a PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.