Lophelia II 2008 Explorers
John Broadwater is Chief Archaeologist of the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). During 2005-2007, he was Program Manager for NOAA’s Maritime Heritage Program. From 1992-2005 he was Manager of the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary, during which time he directed seven major expeditions to the remains of the Civil War ironclad USS Monitor, which lies at a depth of 235 feet, 16 miles off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. During 1978-90, as Virginia's first State Underwater Archaeologist, he directed a study of shipwrecks from the 1781 Battle of Yorktown. He has participated in numerous national and international underwater archaeological expeditions, including deepwater archaeology expeditions in the Black Sea and North Atlantic. In September, 2001, he descended in the Mir 2 submersible to the wreck of the RMS Titanic. He has served on numerous advisory boards, and is a Fellow in The Explorers Club. He has published a variety of technical and popular articles and contributed to numerous archaeological books and encyclopedias. He has a master’s degree in American Studies from the College of William and Mary, and a Ph.D. in Maritime Studies from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland.
Andrew Bruening received his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina (USC), with his dissertation on the geology and paleoecology of south Florida. He is the lead science teacher at Metro Early College High School, a STEM (Science, Technology Engineering and Math) HS affiliated with The Ohio State University and Battelle Memorial Institute. During the past ten years, Andrew has attained considerable teaching experience. He taught high school Physics and Earth Science classes from 1998 to 2001 before returning to school for his Ph.D. in 2001. As a graduate student at USC, he taught laboratory courses and several undergraduate courses while completing his PhD. Andrew truly enjoys teaching and feels his enthusiasm in the classroom helps the students learn the material. He enjoys sharing his experience and love of geology and physical sciences with students. Andrew has always believed in involving students in research as much as possible, and works to incorporate his own research experiences into the classroom.
Walter Cho is a recent graduate of the PhD program of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program in Biological Oceanography. His research interests include the population genetics and ecology of deep-sea organisms, with a particular interest in seamount and coral-associated fauna.
Mr. Church has over 15 years experience in underwater archaeology and historical research. He has served as a marine archaeologist with C & C Technologies, Inc. (C & C) for the past 10 years. C & C is an international hydrographic survey company headquartered in Lafayette, Louisiana. Mr. Church routinely works with deep ocean Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs), as well as conventions marine geophysical equipment. While at C & C, he has lead field investigations on numerous deepwater shipwreck sites in the Gulf of Mexico, including U-166, Robert E. Lee, Gulfpenn, the Green Lantern Wreck, and the Viosca Knoll Wreck to name a few. Mr. Church was Chief Scientists and project manager for the Deep Wrecks I Study (MMS 2007-015), which is one of the most comprehensive biological and archaeological studies of deepwater shipwrecks to date and currently the deepest archaeological project in the Gulf of Mexico.
Mr. Church has a Masters degree in Maritime History and Nautical Archaeology from East Carolina University and a Bachelors of Arts degree in History with a minor in Biology from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. For his work on various deepwater shipwreck projects, Mr. Church received the Corporate Leadership Award (CORLA) from the United States Department of the Interior, Mineral Management Service (2002), the Cooperative Conservation Award from the Department of the Interior (2005), and the Excellence in Partnering Award from the National Oceanographic Partnership Program (2007).
Geoff Cook moved from Sydney, Australia to Ann Arbor,. Michigan in April 2008 take up the position of operations manager for SeaView Systems Inc. For the previous 15 years he was the owner/operator of an electrical contracting company and provided business management consulting and ROV technical support to SeaView Systems.
Erik is an ecologist studying cold-seep and coral communities in the Gulf of Mexico. On this project, his group is working on the physiological tolerances of Lophelia pertusa and the genetic connectivity among gorgonian populations. He received his Master’s from Moss Landing Marine Labs working on the age and growth of cold-water corals, and his PhD from Penn State where he studied the tubeworms of the upper slope of the Gulf of Mexico. As a post-doc at Harvard he worked on the ecology of the deep-sea coral Lophelia pertusa and their associated communities and the microbial ecology of Juan de Fuca Ridge hydrothermal vent chimneys.
Emily Crum is a writer/editor leading the Communications Branch of the Communications and Education Division of NOAA's National Ocean Service (NOS). She serves as the managing editor of the NOS Web site, manages the production of NOS-wide publications, and works with NOS Program Offices in the development of communication materials such as key messages, strategic plans, technical reports, outreach documents, Web sites, etc. Ms. Crum holds a bachelor's degree in environmental geology, a Master of Science in geological sciences, and a Master of Technical and Scientific Communication.
Peter Etnoyer is a doctoral fellow at Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. He studies deep-sea corals, particularly the gorgonacea, a group including sea fans and sea whips that thrive down to 5600 meters.
Keene Haywood holds a PhD in Geography from the University of Texas at Austin, an MFA in Science and Natural History Filmmaking from Montana State Univeristy, an MA in Marine Affairs from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS), and a BA in Anthropology also from the University of Miami. His masters and undergraduate degrees involved work in underwater archaeology. This background led to work with ROVs and side-scan sonar to document wrecks in deepwater off Florida's Atlantic coast. Dr. Haywood has also worked on several marine conservation projects related to coral reef preservation in Sri Lanka, the Philippines and the Florida Keys. Additionally, he has worked on various still and video/film projects mostly within the marine realm. He also has worked as a multimedia producer in Austin, Texas developing interactive media for educational purposes. He has also held staff positions with The Nature Conservancy as Project Director and most recently for the National Geographic Society in various roles related to digital media production. His current post is with the University of Texas at Austin's Division of Instructional Innovation and Assessment where he leads new media research and development into emerging technologies for applications in research and teaching. Dr. Haywood is a native Texan originally from Houston.
Dr. Jack Irion is Supervisor of the Social Science Unit in the Office of Leasing and Environment in the Gulf of Mexico Region. He has over 34 years experience in underwater archaeology and has participated in or directed archaeological expeditions in England, Mexico, Belize, Turkey, Italy, Puerto Rico, and throughout the United States. Prior to joining the MMS in 1995, Jack served as a private consulting marine archaeologist to both industry and government agencies. His work has resulted in the discovery and documentation of numerous historic sites and shipwrecks. Since joining the MMS, Dr. Irion has directed the Seafloor Monitoring Team, comprised of a group of diver/scientists with the MMS, in the documentation of several historic shipwrecks on the Outer Continental Shelf. These have included the Civil War gunboat U.S.S. Hatteras and the 19th century coastal steamers New York and Josephine, the latter of which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2000. Most recently, Jack has planned and participated in deepwater archaeological investigations of vessel casualties of World War II, as well as those of several nineteenth-century shipwrecks in the Gulf of Mexico.
Morgan Kilgour is a doctoral fellow in the Biodiversity and Conservation Laboratory at Harte Research Institute under Dr. Tom Shirley at Texas A&M University- Corpus Christi. Her focus for her dissertaion research is on the biology and ecology of galatheoid crabs in the Gulf of Mexico. Her research interests include marine ecology, deep sea biology, and benthic ecology.
Kaitlin recently graduated from the University of Florida where she recieved her Bachelor's degree in Biology with a minor in Greek Studies. She currently resides in Gainesville, Florida where she works as a biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey under Dr. Amanda Demopoulos, a benthic ecologist. The benthos lab focuses most of their work on isotope analysis and trophodynamics of benthic communities. Kaitlin acts as lab manager and assists with laboratory processing of samples and field sampling. Projects have included studying the connectivity of mangroves, seagrass beds, and coral reef habitats in the US Virgin Islands, trophodynamics and community structure of chemosynthetic seeps in the Gulf of Mexico, and studying the benthic ecology and trophodynamics of deep sea coral in the Gulf of Mexico. She will enter graduate school soon, but for now is enjoying her job and the field opportunities that allow her to travel and work in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean.
Anne's research interests include the archaeology of shipwrecks, maritime cultural landscapes and submerged cultural resource. She has international experience in both marine and terrestrial environments, involving G.I.S, side-scan and sub-bottom profiler. Anne has a Bsc.Honours in Archaeology from Queens University, Belfast and a Msc. in Maritime Archaeology from University of Ulster. She is a fully qualified commercial diver having obtained her HSE Part 1 (surface supplied, wet bell, diver rescue) from Fort William, Scotland. Anne is currently a Research Associate and Program Co-Coordinator for the PAST Foundation.
Michael Kullman received a M.S. degree in Geography from Texas A&M University in 1996 and began working for TDI-Brooks International in 1997. He currently serves as both a GIS specialist and party chief during offshore hazard and seismic survey projects aboard the TDI-Brooks research vessel J.W. Powell.
Stephanie Lessard-Pilon is working towards her PhD at Penn State University after completing her BS in biology at Cornell University in 2005. She is examining the role of deep-water corals as a habitat source, as well as investigating temporal change at deep cold seep invertebrate communities using photomosaics in the Gulf of Mexico. She is also interested in the ecology of sea urchins and other benthic communities.
Jay is a second year grad student pursuing his M.S. degree. He completed his B.S. in May 2007 at Temple University. Jay is just getting started in marine research and will be studying corals, namely Lophelia pertusa, and their tolerances of certain physical parameters including temperature, dissolved oxygen, and pH. He hopes to pursue a Ph.D. and teach at the college level in the future. Jay enjoys running, spending time with friends, weight training, bars with cover bands, and his Honda Civic.
I am generally interested in understanding the interactions between evolution and ecology in marine organisms. I obtained my Bachelor and Masters Degrees in Biology and Ecology at the University of Lecce, Italy where I worked on biodiversity surveys and hydrozoan ecology and taxonomy in the Mediterranean Sea. During my Ph.D. at Duke University I worked on a number of topics that ranged from life cycle evolution in marine invertebrates, to evolution of calcium carbonate in Cnidaria, to multi-gene phylogenetic reconstructions and systematics. I then moved to the tropics as a Marine Science Network Postdoctoral Fellow at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. I worked on life cycle evolution and ecology of Hydrozoa across the Isthmus of Panama, hydromedusa blooms and upwelling events, and invasive species. I am currently working in the Deep Sea Lab. (Dr. C. Fisher) at PennState.
Matthew Porter is currently a senior majoring in biology at The Pennsylvania State University. He has previously worked on a project that used GIS software to manipulate high-resolution photo-mosaics from seep sites in the Gulf of Mexico, to help determine community structure. Currently, he is helping to help create and establish aquaria to maintain deep sea coral, and applying to graduate schools.
Andrea is a research associate at the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW), Center for Marine Science. She has worked in Dr. Steve W. Ross’s lab since 2002 and has participated in over a dozen offshore cruises off the southeastern United States. Andrea has worked on numerous projects investigating open ocean, shelf-edge, and deep coral ecosystems. Her research interests include the diversity, distribution, and connectivity of deep-sea corals and associated fauna. She also has interests in taxonomy, ecology, and life history strategies of marine fishes, particularly those that live in shallow and deep reef habitats. Andrea holds a BS in biology from Millersville University and a MS in marine biology from UNCW. In January 2009, Andrea will begin the PhD program at Temple University, where she will continue deep-sea coral investigations under the direction of Dr. Erik Cordes.
Arunima Sen is just starting her PhD at Penn State University. She received her BA from Earlham College, Indiana, where she majored in Biology. In true liberal arts fashion, she has worked on a number of completely unrelated projects, ranging from old growth forest ecology to obligate army-ant-following bird behaviour and population dynamics of coastal gastropods. She plans to focus her graduate work on deep sea chemosynthetic communities, but the specifics of her project still need to be fleshed out. She loves travel and hopes that her research will take her to many different corners of the world. She also hopes that an advanced degree will not deflect from her interest in grassroots conservation and environmental policy.
William (Bill) Shedd graduated from the University of Rochester in 1973 with a B.A. in geology. As part of his coursework there, he attended the 1972 fall semester at the West Indies Lab, St. Croix, U.S.V.I. and worked for the Smithsonian Institute under Dr. Walter Adey on a Holocene carbonate reef research project. He worked for Western Geophysical on a marine crew in the Gulf of Mexico in 1974 until he began his M.S. coursework at Louisiana State University in geology. After completing his coursework at LSU, he worked for Shell Oil Co. from 1977 to 1981 and several independent oil companies as a geoscientist until becoming a co-founder of Independent Energy Corp. in 1989. From 1994 to 1997 he consulted for several large and small independent oil companies in exploration, development, log analysis, geophysical interpretation, and well site analysis. In 1997, he joined the Minerals Management Service as a geophysicist in the Resource Evaluation Division, Geological & Geophysical Section evaluating lease blocks after lease sales. While doing this work, he recognized that seafloor amplitude response on industry 3-D seismic data is an effective tool in locating oil and gas seeps, subsurface migration conduits, natural gas hydrates, and chemosynthetic communities. He then joined the Resource Studies Section at the MMS and became active in the submersible dive program contracted through LSU to Dr. Harry Roberts to groundtruth the seismic mapping of the seafloor amplitude anomalies. He is currently also active in the methane hydrate assessment in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic basins.
Jeff Snyder is the owner of SeaVision Marine Services LLC, a small business based in Rhode Island that provides hydrographic survey and remotely-operated vehicle services for both inshore and offshore clients. A former Navy Special Operations Officer with a B.S. in Geology from Duke and an M.S. in Geosystems from MIT, Jeff carries over 12 years of experience conducting operations to support marine search, survey, and underwater investigation projects. He is a USCG-licensed captain and an ACSM-certified hydrographer. Jeff is the senior project manager for all remotely-operated vehicle operations to support the three legs of this NOAA research cruise.
Doug Weaver is a marine biologist and geographic information specialist with Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, and a doctoral student in the department of Physical and Life Sciences. His research interests include fisheries ecosystem function and reef fish community ecology, seafloor mapping and habitat characterization. He has logged over 1,000 SCUBA dives in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, and participated in over 70 research cruises conducting remotely operated vehicle (ROV), submersible, and multibeam mapping surveys in the Gulf of Mexico and Florida Keys.
Robert Westrick holds a Master’s degree in Maritime History & Nautical Archaeology from East Carolina University. He is a registered professional archaeologist. Westrick has worked on numerous shipwreck projects over the past decade ranging from remote sensing surveys to complete excavation and mapping investigations. In 1997 he secured the necessary permits from the United States Navy, obtained funding from the Institute for International Maritime Research, and completed the first archaeological survey of the U.S.S. Peterhoff, a Civil War steamship lost off the coast of North Carolina. In addition to his work on various Civil War shipwrecks in North Carolina and Virginia, Westrick has worked on projects ranging from 17th century Spanish merchant ships off Bermuda to 19th century schooners in Lake Erie. He recently participated in a project to excavate Blackbeard’s flagship, Queen Anne’s Revenge, lost off the coast of North Carolina in 1718. Mr. Westrick joined C & C Technologies in 2008 as a marine archaeologist.
Leslie Wickes recently graduated Penn State University with a BS in biology. While earning her degree she worked in the Fisher Laboratory using geographic information systems (GIS) and chemical data to study community composition on deep sea hydrothermal vent chimneys. Since graduating she has joined the Cordes lab at Temple University and will work to maintain live coral collections both on the ship and upon returning to the lab. As it is her first time out at sea, she will be interested in all aspects of the exploration and will assist in various tasks and research.