Deep Sea Precious Corals Explorers


Amy Baco-Taylor Amy Baco-Taylor
Visiting Investigator, Biology Department
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
PI - Precious Corals as Habitat for Macroinvertebrates in Hawaii

Amy Baco-Taylor received a B.S. in marine biology and a B.S. in molecular biology from Florida Institute of Technology. She then moved to the University of Hawaii, where she completed her Ph.D. in oceanography, studying the succession and phylogenetics of invertebrates associated with deep-sea whale skeletons. Amy is now a Visiting Investigator at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where her research focuses on seamount invertebrates with an emphasis on deep-sea corals and their associated fauna. Her general research interests are the ecology and evolution of benthic marine organisms. Amy has participated in 33 research cruises and has completed 44 dives in research submersibles including the Pisces IV, Pisces V, Alvin, Johnson-Sea Link, and the Turtle. She has also used a number of research ROV's including the Jason II, ATV, Scorpio, RCV-150 and the Tiburon.

Aaron P. BaldwinAaron P. Baldwin
PhD Student, Crustacean Biology
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Aaron Baldwin will be assisting with the identification of marine invertebrates and corals. Mr. Baldwin received his BS in marine biology in 2000 from Sheldon Jackson College in Sitka, Alaska. He then moved to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where he completed his MS in 2002 studying crustacean reproductive biology. He recently completed his second year of a PhD program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks studying the population biology and trophic positions of shallow water coastal shrimps.Mr. Baldwin has had lifelong interest in marine invertebrates. His current interests are the taxonomy and ecology of shallow water marine crustaceans, mollusks, and polychaete worms. Aaron is the senior author of a field guide to mollusks of the northeast Pacific that is currently in press. He hopes to remain in Alaska after completing his PhD and spend his life studying Alaska’s vast array of invertebrates species. Outside of school Mr. Baldwin enjoys fishing, camping, and spending time with his wife and two children. 

Morgan Kilgour Morgan Kilgour
Graduate Student
University of Alaska, Fairbanks

Morgan Kilgour is currently a graduate student of Dr. Tom Shirley at the University of Alaska Fairbanks working towards an MS in Marine Biology. She will be looking at how invertebrates vary by depth and substrate on WWII shipwrecks in the Gulf of Mexico. After graduating from the University of California, Santa Cruz in June of 2003, Ms. Kilgour worked as a lab assistant to the Salmon Population Analysis Team for the NOAA Fisheries lab in Santa Cruz. During her career at NOAA she worked as a field technician as well as researching historical reports of coho salmon in California. She also volunteered at UCSC’s Marine Mammal Performance and Physiology Project under Dr. Terrie Williams, and participated in Pete Raimondi and Giacomo Bernardi’s marine field quarter in Moorea, French Polynesia.

Ms. Kilgour is originally from Sacramento, California, and is now residing in Juneau, Alaska to do her graduate work.

Thomas C. Shirley, Ph.D Thomas C. Shirley, Ph.D
Professor, Invertebrate Biology
School of Fisheries & Ocean Sciences
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Co-PI - Precious Corals as Habitat for Macroinvertebrates in Hawaii

Since receiving his doctorate in Zoology and Physiology from Louisiana State University in 1982, Dr. Tom Shirley has been conducting research and teaching graduate courses in marine biology at the Juneau Center, School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, University of Alaska Fairbanks. Dr. Shirley has extensive scuba and submersible experience and has described new species of invertebrates from 3 different phyla from around the world, including the Arctic, Antarctic, Gulf of Mexico, Mediterranean, Philippines, and Alaska.  Much of Dr. Shirley’s ongoing research addresses the life history of commercially important crabs of Alaskan waters.  Most recently Dr. Shirley has been exploring seamount ecology, corals and their faunal assemblages. Tom is a boating and fishing enthusiast, and enjoys birding, hiking and exploring the remote wilderness of Alaska.