Estuary to the Abyss Explorers
Fred Andrus received his BA and MA in anthropology, with a focus in archaeology, from the University of Georgia. He then earned his PhD in geology. Dr. Andrus' research often focuses on the relationship among past climate, ecology, and human activity. A recent project assessed changes in Pacific Ocean temperatures and fish populations through stable oxygen isotope analysis of fish otoliths excavated from archaeological sites on the coast of Peru. The goal of this research was to better define the Holocene history of El Niño. Other projects also focus on the paleoclimatic and paleoecological records preserved in the geochemistry of marine organisms, such as mollusks and corals, and what these records reveal about past climate and human-environment interaction. On this cruise, Dr. Andrus will be analyzing deep-water corals to add to collections made in 2003.
Katrina Bryan earned a BS in biology from Francis Marion University, in 1995. She taught high-school biology, chemistry, and physical science before becoming a middle-school science teacher. Currently, she serves as the school programs manager at the South Carolina Aquarium, where she works with K-12 students and teachers participating in the Aquariums Standards-Based Structured School Program. She will serve as Educator-at-Sea on the Estuary to the Abyss Expedition.
Lenny Collazo received a BS in electrical engineering and an MBA from Texas A & M University. He currently works as the database administrator for the NOAA National Coastal Data Development Center (NCDDC) at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. He part of a team responsible for reviewing and improving the data management process for the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration. Collazo will be the data manager on the Estuary to the Abyss Expedition.
Ms. Thornton-DeVictor holds a BS in biological sciences from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. In 2000, she completed her MS at Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center, where she investigated the growth rate of the Caribbean coral Porites astreoides. She spent several years doing assessment, monitoring, and restoration work on coral reefs in South Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean. Her interest in scleractinian coral and octocoral taxonomy and ecology includes deeper water species, which she will investigate on this expedition. An avid scuba diver, she has collected organisms for the Southeastern Regional Taxonomic Center (SERTC) curated specimen collection from the South Atlantic Bight. She also maintains the center's Web site and specimen image library. The specimens she collects on this cruise will be added to the SERTC voucher specimen collection.
Joshua D. Dubick is a marine scientist at the Charleston National Ocean Service lab, Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research. He earned a BA in interdisciplinary studies at Miami University and an MS in marine sciences from the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez. In Puerto Rico, he conducted research on age, growth, and reproduction of the spotted eagle ray. Prior to joining NOAA, Dubick worked for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, conducting fisheries-independent biological surveys of the fauna of the South Atlantic Bight. In his position with NOS, he manages a newly created collection of benthic macroinvertebrates. On this cruise, he will help with the benthic surveys and collection of invertebrates and fishes on the submersible dives.
Kelly Filer is a student at the University of Charleston in South Carolina, working on her MS in marine biology. Her research focuses on the life history of the American barrelfish (Hyperoglyphe perciformis). Filer received her bachelors degree in biology and Spanish from the University of Virginia, in 2001. Prior to graduate school, she worked in both DNA sequencing at University of Virginia and fish systematics at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA.
Cara Fiore earned a BS in biology, with a chemistry minor, at SUNY Cortland. Marine experiences at Shoals Marine Lab and in Belize led her to pursue a master's in marine biology at the College of Charleston, Grice Marine Lab. Her thesis aims to identify the South Atlantic Bight sponge community and its associated fauna. She plans to continue her studies and to pursue a PhD.
Sarah Griffin received a BS in biology and geography from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, in 1998. She is currently a graduate student in environmental studies at the College of Charleston. Her research focuses on the distribution of large sessile invertebrates at shelf edge, upper slope, and Charleston Bump sites, as well as the importance of reef morphology in determining their diversity and abundance. Griffin is using video tapes recorded on previous Ocean Exploration cruises to quantify invertebrates and categorize reef morphology. She is also clipping video segments that show various sea-floor features, for use in a regional fisheries GIS.
Program Manager for Integration
National Coastal Data Development Center
Jeff Jenner earned an MS in mechanical engineering from Stanford University. For the first 10 years of his career, he worked for NASA and the Air Force on spacecraft programs, including the Space Shuttle and Space Station. In 1994, he "transitioned" to environmental science, managing NASA earth observation airplanes and commercial remote sensing programs. From 1995 to 1997, he served as the first Michael J. Smith Professor of Space Systems at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA, where he taught human spaceflight courses while earning his MS in physical oceanography. He continued graduate studies in marine science at the University of Southern Mississippi after joining NOAA, in 2001. In addition to his duties at the NCDDC, Jenner is part of the team that provides data management services to the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration. He will serve as Web coordinator on this expedition.
A crustacean taxonomist, Dr. King obtained her PhD from the University of Melbourne (Australia), in 2001. Her research interests include the systematics of isopods and amphipods. She is the principal taxonomist and manager of the Southeastern Regional Taxonomic Center (SERTC), established in 2001 at the Marine Resources Research Institute of the SCDNR. A primary aim of the SERTC is to assemble a regionally focused voucher collection of marine invertebrates from the South Atlantic Bight region (Cape Hatteras, NC to Cape Canaveral, FL), with a searchable collection of associated taxonomic literature. During this cruise, Dr. King will be collecting and identifying various invertebrates for the SERTC collection, as well as examining the changes in invertebrate community structure that occur at different depths.
Josh Loefer is a marine biologist with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. He will assist with cruise logistics, data acquisition, sample collection, and satellite tagging of billfish. He received a BA in biology from Furman University in 1996, and an MS in marine biology from the College of Charleston in 2000. His main research interests include the life history of sharks, snappers, and groupers; satellite telemetry tagging of billfishes and sharks; and the hydrography of the Charleston Bump complex.
Scott Meister is a fish biologist for the Marine Resources Monitoring and Prediction (MARMAP) program, a co-operative between SCDNR and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). His research background includes age/growth studies of bank and black sea bass as well as continuing reproductive analysis of wreckfish. His work also tracks the movement patterns of offshore reef fishes and records swim-bladder deflation in recreationally captured reef fishes. Recently, Meister has been documenting the lionfish invasion on reefs in the southeastern U.S. He is a research diver with the SCDNR; and he promotes marine-enviroment awareness to local school students. Meister received his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.
Paulette Mikell has been with the SCDNR for 12 years and has been affiliated with several projects, ranging from bivalve aquaculture to fisheries research. She has a BS from the College of Charleston. Mikell works with the Marine Resources Monitoring and Prediction (MARMAP) project, a cooperative fishery-independent monitoring and research program supported by the National Marine Fisheries Service. Currently, she is involved in life history studies of various southeastern reef fishes; she is also a participant in monitoring cruises aboard the R/V Palmetto. She participated in the 2001 Ocean Explorer cruise, the Islands in the Stream. This time, she will be assisting with the deployment and retrieval of sampling gear as well as the organization of collections.
Dr. Mitchell received his DVM from the University of Illinois (UI) in 1992 and an MS in clinical epidemiology, with an emphasis on wildlife medicine, also from UI, in 1997. He completed his PhD in clinical epidemiology, with an emphasis on Salmonella in reptiles, at Louisiana State University in 2001. He is an assistant professor in zoological medicine and surgery at LSU, with primary interests in reptiles, amphibians, fish, and raptors. His areas of research emphasis include clinical pathology, epidemiology of infectious diseases, clinical toxicology, and biotelemetrics. He is currently the director of the LSU Wildlife Hospital of Louisiana, which rehabilitates and releases over 1,800 raptors and native Louisiana wildlife, annually. He founded the International Aquatic and Terrestrial Conservation Medicine and Biotelemetrics Research Laboratory at LSU. (Its projects currently focus on elasmobranchs, amphibians, reptiles, raptors, cetaceans, and bears from Louisiana, Florida, Belize, Massachusetts, Mississippi, El Salvador, and the Galapagos Islands.) He is a past-president of the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians, and he sits on National Wildlife Rehabilitation Association board. The scientific editor for the Journal of Herpetological Medicine and Surgery, he also peer-reviews manuscripts regularly for several veterinary journals.
Christina Ralph earned her BS in biology from Loyola University, New Orleans, in 2001. After working in a research lab, which focused on fish and invertebrate communities of the Mississippi River delta and Florida Everglades, she decided to pursue a masters degree in marine biology at the College of Charleston. She is conducting her thesis project under the guidance of Dr. George Sedberry at the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. Specifically, she is studying fish assemblages on deep reefs along the South Atlantic Bight through the analysis of videos recorded from submersible dives on previous Ocean Exploration cruises. She is interested in how fish assemblages have changed from 1985 to 2002, and their relationship to habitat, based on reef morphology.
Leslie Sautter received her PhD in geological sciences at the University of South Carolina, in 1990. Her recent research focuses on the distribution and ecology of benthic foraminifera within surface sediments of the South Atlantic Bight. She is also examining the rocky outcrops exposed on the deep reef habitats of the shelf edge and Charleston Bump. In 1992, Dr. Sautter joined the faculty at the College of Charleston, where she teaches marine and coastal geology and general marine science to undergraduates, graduate students, and K-12 teachers. Her involvement with developing new methods of teaching marine science to college students and teachers earned her the 2002 National Marine Education Award. With NOAA/NOS funding, she recently established Project Oceanica, which brings scientific results to a broad audience of users focusing on college students through development of Web-based, research-oriented educational resource products. Dr. Sautter participated in both the 2001 and 2002 Islands in the Stream expeditions; she will serve as a shipboard geologist and science education liaison for the Charleston Bump expedition.
Zeb Schobernd is a graduate student at the College of Charleston and works as a research assistant for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. He received his BA in biology from Earlham College in 2002. His main research interests are in reef fish ecology and population dynamics. He is currently working on his thesis project, analyzing population trends in the serranid species found in the South Atlantic Bight.
George Sedberry received a BS in biology from Old Dominion University, and his MS and PhD in marine science from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary. He is currently a senior marine scientist and assistant director at the Marine Resources Research Institute, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. His interests and experience are in the biology, conservation, and management of reef fishes and highly migratory oceanic fishes, as well as deep-sea biology and coral-reef ecology. Most of his research is concentrated on hard-bottom reefs of subtropical and temperate waters off the southeastern U.S., but he has conducted research on Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Belize and Madeira, and on population biology of fishes from the North and South Atlantic, Caribbean Sea, Mediterranean Sea, and the western South Pacific. He serves on the MPA Advisory Panel and the Snapper/Grouper Assessment Panel of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, and is on the boards of the Southeast Center for Ocean Science Education Excellence and the South Carolina Marine Educators Association. He is also an adjunct professor at the College of Charleston. He has authored over 75 scientific publications on marine fishes and ecosystems.
Jessica Stephen received her BS in marine science from Rider University in 1996, and her MS in marine science from the University of South Carolina in 2001. Her research experiences have taken her from tidal creeks and estuaries to offshore waters. Her masters work concentrated on penaeid shrimp nutrition for aquaculture farming. From there she started working at SCDNR in the Shellfish Research section, where she participated in oyster reef restoration projects and oyster keystone community studies. She currently works with the Marine Resources Monitoring Assessment and Prediction (MARMAP) section, helping to develop a database/GIS system based on 30-plus years of independent fisheries data. She also assists on various research studies of fisheries communities, populations, and stock assessments. On this cruise, she will assist with data acquisition, sample collection and data management.
Jim Sullivan received a BS in biological sciences in 1996 and a PhD in marine sciences in 2002, both from the University of Georgia. In 2003, he spent a year as a National Sea Grant Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellow at National Marine Sanctuary Program headquarters near Washington, DC. Now the regional projects coordinator at Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary, his work includes the development of the Latitude 31-30 Transect project. This project seeks to provide the oceanographic, biological, and ecological context for Grays Reef and to serve as a vehicle for engaging other groups in the National Marine Sanctuary Program through the idea of connectedness. The Estuary to the Abyss cruise travels along the 31-30 parallel and will provide key information for the future management of Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary.
Byron White is a marine biologist at the SCDNR Marine Resources Research Institute in Charleston. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University, with 18 years of experience in fisheries biology research. He has worked in the South Pacific, the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, as well as the Atlantic. His research interests include age, growth, and reproductive biology of reef fish as well as deep-sea fishes.