Illuminating Biodiversity in Deep Waters of Puerto Rico 2022
April 6 - 19, 2022
[ Disponible en español ]
Andrea M. Quattrini
Expedition Chief Scientist, Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History
Andrea Quattrini is a Research Zoologist and Curator of Corals at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History and chief scientist on this expedition. Andrea investigates the factors that generate biodiversity in the marine environment, particularly in the deep sea. She has been studying deep-sea coral communities, including those off the southeastern U.S and in the Caribbean, for two decades and has participated in numerous research expeditions with submersibles and remotely operated vehicles.
Expedition Co-Principal Investigator, NOAA Fisheries National Systematics Laboratory and Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
With an undergraduate degree in mathematics and economics (Amherst College), Allen Collins began studying biology in earnest after a five-year career in economic consulting. After receiving his doctorate (University of California Berkeley), he held a few postdoctoral positions before joining NOAA as a research zoologist and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History as a curator in late 2004. An expert on jellyfish and other relatively simple animals, he supports museum-based marine science by hosting interns, mentoring students, participating in outreach, and providing tours of collections to as many individuals as possible.
Expedition Co-Chief Scientist, Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Biology at Temple University
Erik Cordes is a full professor and Vice Chair in the Department of Biology at Temple University. He studied marine science at Southampton College in New York, Moss Landing Marine Labs, Penn State, and Harvard University. He has worked on the ecology of the deep sea for over 25 years. He has spent at total of almost two years at sea on over 30 research cruises and has made 46 dives in human-occupied submersibles to deep-sea coral reefs, natural hydrocarbon seeps, and hydrothermal vents. He has collaborated with professional communicators, visual artists, filmmakers, and musicians to bring the deep sea to the widest audience possible.
Remotely Operated Vehicle Pilot/Technician
Jim Bertramson was born in Algiers, Louisiania, and spent his formative years growing up in Jakarta, Indonesia, where he first fell in love with the ocean, scuba diving, and snorkeling with his family among the reefs of the ‘Thousand Islands.’ Since then, he has continued diving and snorkeling around the world in locations such as Krakatoa, Trinidad, Mexico, Belize, Australia, Manado, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Valhalla Nuclear Missile Silo near Abilene, Texas. In addition to his NAUI Master diver and PADI Advanced Open Water diving certifications, Jim obtained professional licenses as a commercial diver, EMT, dive medic, pre-hospital trauma advanced life support specialist and certified hyperbaric technician that led to a seven-year career in the commercial diving industry and eight and a half years working in the field of hyperbaric medicine. Jim is continuing to explore the ocean’s mysteries now as an remotely operated vehicle pilot/technician and is looking forward to being a part of research teams that are unlocking the ocean's secrets!
Postdoctoral Fellow, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Cristiana Castello-Branco is a spongiologist (sponge specialist), interested in the biodiversity of deep-sea sponges and in answering questions regarding their evolutionary relationships and distribution. She holds an undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences and a Masters and a Ph.D. in Zoology (the latter in 2018 at Museu Nacional, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro – MN/UFRJ, Brazil). Currently, she is a postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, working on systematics, diversity and distribution of deep-sea sponges of the Western Atlantic Ocean.
Madeline Evanson is a recent graduate of Temple University working in the Cordes Lab. She has also previously worked as a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer instructor in Indonesia and the Caribbean. She is looking forward to her first at-sea expedition and the opportunity to work with NOAA as well.
Hector Luis Guzman
Senior Surveyor, Oceaneering
Hector Luis Guzman is a native of Puerto Rico. He graduated from the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez Campus with a degree in surveying and topography. He is currently a senior surveyor for Oceaneering and an Army a veteran as well. He is extremely excited to be part of this expedition which will allow him to explore more in depth his beautiful island and the opportunity to work with NOAA as well. He is also looking forward to meeting the team and the overall experience.
José Javier Orozco Juarbe
Graduate Student, Department of Marine Sciences at the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez
José Javier Orozco Juarbe is a second year Master’s student in the Department of Marine Sciences at the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez. His bachelor’s degree was in general biology, but he concentrated his course selection in animal behavior and zoology. José is currently working with Nikolaos Schizas with a primary interest/focus on zooplankton and DNA analysis/metabarcoding. However, benthic and deep-sea organisms have been a fascination of his, mainly because 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is one of his favorite books.
NOAA Ocean Exploration Representative/Web Coordinator, NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information
Anna Lienesch is a data manager with NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) through the University of Maryland’s Cooperative Institute for Satellite Earth System Studies. She earned a Bachelor of Science in marine science with a minor in anthropology from Eckerd College in 2016 and has been with NCEI and NOAA Ocean Exploration’s Data Management Team since early 2018. Anna serves as the team lead for NOAA Ocean Exploration’s competitive grant program’s end-to-end data management activities and is the NCEI liaison to various NOAA divisions and line offices. In her spare time she enjoys baking, gardening, and playing Mario Kart.
Technical Field Support, Oceaneering
Jack Mallein has been with Oceaneering working with remotely operated vehicles for the last eight years and currently does worldwide technical field support. He’s been working with GEX for a couple of years prepping for mobilizations and doing maintenance, but is finally getting a chance to work with GEX offshore. He is looking forward to a good expedition and many more after.
Graduate Student, Lehigh University
Luke McCartin is a third-year doctoral student in Santiago Herrera’s lab at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. His broader research interests include marine ecology, conservation, and fisheries biology. His doctoral research involves environmental DNA (eDNA) sequencing, or sequencing the trace DNA that is left behind by marine organisms in seawater. As a member of the science team on this expedition, he is very excited to collect more samples for eDNA analyses at deep-sea habitats off of Puerto Rico.
Nikolaos (Niko) Schizas
Professor, University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez
Nikolaos (Niko) Schizas received his doctoral degree at the University of South Carolina in 1999 under the supervision of Bruce Coull, studying the genetic population structure of benthic copepods. After a three-year postdoctoral position at the University of Chicago and the Field Museum of Natural History, he joined the Department of Marine Sciences of the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez (UPRM). He has been at UPRM since 2003 and is currently a professor of Marine Invertebrate Biology. He is specializing in the molecular evolution of benthic organisms with a focus on corals and crustaceans. Current projects include population genomics of corals, microbial dunamics in SCTDL-infected corals, and evolution of benthic copepods. He is committed to providing a vibrant, welcoming research environment for undergraduate and graduate students. He would much rather be in the sea with a mask and snorkel than in the lab.
Ocean Systems Engineer and Graduate Student, University of Rhode Island
Russell Shomberg is an Ocean Systems Engineer and Graduate Student at the University of Rhode Island. He currently works as a research assistant under Brennan Phillips, focussing on developing low-cost alternatives to traditional ocean research tools.