Robert Paul Levine died from natural causes on Jan. 25 at his home in West Tisbury. He was 95.

He was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. in 1926 and grew up in Los Angeles. After serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II, he received a doctorate in plant science from the University of California, Los Angeles.

In 1951, he began his academic career as assistant professor of biology at Amherst College before moving to Harvard University in 1953, where he remained until his appointment in 1978 as professor of genetics at the medical school at Washington University in St. Louis. At Amherst and Harvard, his research focused on the genetics of drosophila pseudoobscura and chlamydomonas reinhardtii, with a shift from evolutionary to molecular genetics. He chaired Harvard’s department of biology in the late 1950s, a period sometimes described as the Molecular Wars. In St. Louis, he continued research on chlamydomonas and conducted study of complement proteins, among other topics.

He also conducted research on yeast strains in wine making and, in 1984, co-founded Osage Ridge Winery in Augusta, Mo.

From 1992 to 1997, Dr. Levine was research professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station in Pacific Grove, Calif. His research included study of bacterial diseases in salmon, the symbiosis between sea anemones and algae, and biocomposite crystals. He continued research as emeritus professor through 2004.

In 2009, he and his wife, the artist Marie-Louise Rouff, settled in West Tisbury. He wrote science columns for the Martha’s Vineyard Times and served on the West Tisbury Library planning committee for the construction of its present building. For 10 years, he organized The World of the Troubadours and Trobairitz performances of medieval French poetry and music. He was also a writer of historical and detective fiction.

He is survived by his wife Marie-Louise Rouff; his former wife Ursula Goodenough; his children Greg Levine of El Cerrito, Calif., Jason Levine of Paris and Mathea Morais of West Tisbury; stepchildren Emanuel Pastreich of Yeosu City, Korea and Michael Pastreich of Chevy Chase, Md.; and 10 grandchildren.

A celebration of life will take place on the Island at a later date.

Donations can be made to the West Tisbury Public Library at 1042 State Road, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568.