Lophelia II 2012 Explorers





Greg BolandGreg Boland
Biological Oceanographer
Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

Greg Boland is a biological oceanographer with the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), working out of the agency’s headquarters office in Herndon, Virginia.  He is the BOEM lead for the Lophelia II study. He is the benthic communities lead for BOEM studies in all national regions, including the Pacific, Atlantic, Alaska, and Gulf of Mexico. Before moving to headquarters, Greg worked in the BOEM Gulf of Mexico Region for 12 years, where he was responsible for both fisheries and deep-water community subject areas. Prior to his federal positions, he worked with LGL Ecological Research Associates in Bryan, Texas, and at Texas A&M University’s Department of Oceanography. His areas of interest include deep-sea biology, coral reef ecology, artificial reef ecology, and fishery biology.

Katharine CoykendallKatharine Coykendall
U.S. Geological Survey

Dr. Coykendall is a geneticist at USGS Leetown Science Center. Since childhood, she has wanted to become a marine biologist. As an undergraduate at the University of South Carolina, she narrowed the focus to studying population genetics of threatened and endangered marine species. She continued this trajectory at UC Davis getting a Ph.D in genetics. Her post-doctoral work as a collaboration between Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and Rutgers University focused on the gene flow in a deep sea hydrothermal vent tube worm. Currently, along with Dr. Cheryl Morrison, she is conducting research on the genetic connectivity of cold water corals and their associated invertebrates within and between deep sea habitats as well as gene expression studies to develop a bioassay for corals exposed to environmental stressors.

Emily CrumEmily Crum
Web Design Specialist
NOAA’s National Ocean Service, Communication and Education Division

Emily Crum is a web design specialist for NOAA’s National Ocean Service’s Communication and Education Division. She leads content development and design for the NOAA Ocean Explorer website and also manages the site’s associated Facebook and Twitter accounts. On this cruise, Emily will be serving as the web coordinator, collecting mission logs, photos, and videos to help members of the public understand, appreciate, and revel in the discoveries made about cold-water corals in the Gulf of Mexico.

Brian DeSantiBrian DeSanti
Graduate Student
Florida State University

Brian DeSanti holds a bachelor’s degree in marine science from Florida Gulf Coast University. He is currently working on his master’s degree in oceanography at Florida State University, where he is comparing Lophelia pertusa communities in the Gulf of Mexico. After completing his master’s degree, Brian would like to continue his education and get a Ph.D.

Denise DiGiovanni-GordonDenise DiGiovanni-Gordon
Data Manager
NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research

Denise DiGiovanni-Gordon is the primary Data Manager for NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research (OER). She is responsible for the hands-on management of the wide range of scientific data and information collected on OER-sponsored expeditions. In this role, Denise inventories OER data collections, provides quality assurance for standard metadata records in a range of formats, and pairs the data collections with the metadata in the preparation of archive submission packages. Denise works closely with her counterparts in each of the NOAA Data Centers and the NOAA Library to make sure that data packages submitted for archive are handled promptly and accurately. Denise also updates the OER Digital Atlas so that OER data are publicly accessible as soon as possible after archival.

Janessy FrometaJanessy Frometa
Biological Technician
U.S. Geological Survey

Janessy Frometa received her B.S. in Biology at the University of Florida in 2010. Since that time, she has been working as a research technician in Dr. Amanda Demopoulos's Benthic Ecology lab at the U.S. Geological Survey. Her research interests include deep sea biology and invertebrate ecology. While at sea, Janessy will oversee sediment core collections for infauna community analyses.

Samuel E. GeorgianSamuel E. Georgian
Ph.D Student
Temple University

Sam is a Ph.D student in the Cordes lab of deep-sea ecology in the Department of Biology at Temple University. He is interested in understanding what factors influence the spatial distribution of cold-water corals. His current research focuses on developing environmental niche models in order to explain and predict the distribution of Lophelia pertusa in the Gulf of Mexico. On this cruise, he will be primarily responsible for measuring water chemistry parameters and caring for live coral collections.

Christina A. KelloggChristina A. Kellogg
Principal Investigator - Microbiology
U.S. Geological Survey, St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center

Dr. Kellogg grew up on a charter boat in the U.S. Virgin Islands with the Caribbean Sea as her backyard, so it was no wonder she pursued a career in marine biology. She runs an environmental microbiology laboratory at the U.S. Geological Survey currently specializing in coral-associated microbes. Her research on tropical corals has taken her to the Florida Keys, Caribbean, Hawaii, and American Samoa, leading her friends to say that she specializes in ‘resort microbiology.’ Chris has been working in deepwater coral ecosystems since 2004 and considers herself extremely lucky to have had the privilege of visiting them personally using the Delta and Johnson-Sea-Link submersibles. On this cruise she will be attempting to grow previously uncultured bacteria from Lophelia pertusa and investigating the biogeography of coral-associated microbes. She loves science fiction and cannot believe they made a remake of Total Recall. To learn more please visit her professional page [https://profile.usgs.gov/ckellogg] External Link or follow her personal twitter feed: @DrChrisKellogg exit icon.

Betsy Larcom
Graduate Student
Pennsylvania State University

Betsy Larcom is a Master’s student in Biology at Penn State University. She works in the Fisher Lab and her primary research focuses on growth rates, density distribution, and size distribution of the cold-water coral, Lophelia pertusa, on oil rigs and shipwrecks in the Gulf of Mexico. On this cruise, she will be leading the coral imaging team. Her other research interests include studying biology and  teaching and learning at the post-secondary level, which will be the subject of her Ph.D research at Penn State.

Jay LundenJay Lunden
Ph.D Student
Temple University

Jay Lunden is a fifth-year Ph.D. student in the Biology Department at Temple University. His research focuses on the effects of ocean acidification on the cold-water coral, Lophelia pertusa. Jay is interested in how ocean acidification affects calcification and other physiological processes and hopes to expand this line of research in his future academic career. This will be Jay’s seventh research cruise and his fifth cruise as part of the Lophelia II project. On this cruise, Jay will serve as chief scientist and is responsible for coordinating all of the cruise objectives among the science party, remotely operated vehicle group, and the ship.

Jennifer McClain-CountsJennifer McClain-Counts
Biological Technician
U.S. Geological Survey

Jennifer McClain-Counts is a biological technician at U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) at the Southeast Ecological Science Center (SESC) in Gainesville, Florida. Jennie received her B.S. degree in Marine Biology (2006) and her M.S. degree in Marine Science (2010) from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. She is interested in the use of stable isotopes to determine trophic (food chain) relationships and currently works with Dr. Amanda Demopoulos (USGS - SESC) to examine the trophic and community structure of marine fauna collected in various habitats, such as wetlands, offshore wrecks, and deep-sea coral. During the cruise, Jennie will process push cores and box core samples for macrofauna analyses.

Danielle McKeanDanielle McKean
Undergraduate Student
Pennsylvania State University

Danielle is an undergraduate biology student entering her third year at The Pennsylvania State University. In the Fisher lab, she is currently assisting with analysis of data from inspection videos to gain further information about density, maximum size, and minimum growth rate of Lophelia pertusa on various energy company platforms. Upon graduation, Danielle plans to attend medical school to become a pediatrician. On the cruise she will be assisting with coral imaging and image processing. This is Danielle’s first cruise; she is excited to gain from this excellent opportunity and new experience.

Miles SaundersMiles Saunders
Technician/Geographic Information System Analyst
Pennsylvania State University

Miles Saunders received his B.S. in Geography from The Pennsylvania State University in May of 2007. After graduating, he worked for Stratamodel, Inc. conducting large-area geophysical surveys in a variety remote areas around the world.  In 2011, he joined Dr. Chuck Fisher’s Deep-Sea Laboratory as a Research Technician and Geographic Information Systems Analyst. His career interests include remote sensing, seafloor mapping, and expedition research. On this cruise, he is responsible for lab operations, cruise logistics, and geographic information.

Matthew SchmidtMatthew Schmidt
Undergraduate Student
Pennsylvania State University

Matthew is a senior undergraduate student of biology in the Eberly College of Science at The Pennsylvania State University. He is majoring in general biology, with his primary interest in coral reef ecology and conservation. Matthew recently spent some time in the Bahamas diving on impacted reefs, taking ReefCheck surveys. He is hoping to pursue a career in marine conservation. For the last three semesters, he worked as a research assistant with graduate student Betsy Larcom studying the range and distribution of Lophelia pertusa on a variety of oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. On this cruise, he will be comparing current Lophelia distribution to data taken from past inspections, as well as distribution changes between different rig structure types.