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2010 Deep Sea Coral Cruise - east coast
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2010 Expedition Team

Marion BealMarion Beal
Marine Biologist and Manager of the Marine Genomics Core Facility, Hollings Marine Laboratory, NOAA

Marion received a BS in Biology from Appalachian State University in 1999. She was a Marine Biologist with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources for 8 years. During her time with the SCDNR, she studied the population genetics of marine organisms and participated in several research cruises. For the past two years, Marion has worked for NOAA as the manager of the Marine Genomics Core Facility at the Hollings Marine Laboratory in Charleston, SC.

John ButlerJohn Butler
Research Fishery Biologist, Southwest Fisheries Science Center

John received his Ph. d. in Marine Biology in 1987 from Scripps Institution of Oceanography.  His research interests have spanned marine fishes and invertebrates.   Recent studies have focused on endangered abalones and rockfishes.  He is a member of the White Abalone Recovery Team, Black Abalone Status Review team and Abalone Advisory Group for the State of California.  He is a co-developer of the Collaborative Optical-Acoustic Survey Technique (COAST) for rockfish on hard bottom. 

Robin CobbRobin Cobb

Robin received her BS in biology and marine science, as well as her degree in geology at the University of Alabama in 2009. Her undergraduate research project, with the McNair Scholars Program, focused on the variations of trace elements and oxygen isotopes within populations of Rangia cuneata clams in Mobile Bay, Alabama. Robin is currently a first year MS student in Marine Science at the University of Alabama focusing on the deep-water growth of the deep-sea coral family Stylasteridae. This research applies oxygen isotope analysis to determine the growth rate of these previously unstudied corals and may be further used to determine variation in deep-sea environments.

Cynthia CookseyCynthia Cooksey
Marine Biologist with the NOAA's National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science in Charleston, South Carolina

Cynthia's research with NOAA has focused on integrated environmental studies aimed at evaluating condition of living resources and ecosystem stressors throughout coastal-ocean and estuarine waters of the U.S. She has conducted surveys of living resources (benthic fauna and fish) and other multiple indicators of ecological condition - including basic habitat characteristics such as depth, salinity, temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, sediment grain size and organic content; nutrient and chlorophyll levels in the water column; chemical contaminants in sediments and biota along both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. Cindy is originally from Maryland where she received a BA in biology from St. Mary's College of Maryland. She then moved to southern Virginia where she earned an MA in Marine Science from The College of William and Mary, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, studying the reproductive biology of Spanish mackerel.

Andy DavidAndrew David
Chief Scientist for this Cruise and a Research Fishery Biologist with the National Marine Fisheries Service in Panama City, FL.

Andy has worked for NMFS since 1990 and focused upon reef fish and corals in MPAs in the Gulf of Mexico and U.S. South Atlantic for most of the last 10 years. He is the lead PI for NOAA's SE Deep-Sea Coral Research and Technology Program. The primary goals of this program are to extend the knowledge of deep-sea corals off the SE United States and provide information to resource managers allowing them to extend enhanced protection for these unique but fragile ecosystems. Andy earned a Bachelor's of Science degree in Chemistry and Biology from Stetson University and a Master's of Science degree in Marine Science from the University of South Florida.

Andy DavidPeter Etnoyer
Marine Biologist, NOAA Coastal Center for Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research (CCEHBR) in Charleston, SC and a Schmidt Research Vessel Institute (SRVI) Research Fellow at Harte Research Institute (HRI) in Corpus Christi, TX

Peter earned a PhD in Coastal and Marine System Science from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi in 2009, and a Master’s in Coastal Environmental management from Duke University in 2001. He studies the taxonomy, biology and ecology deep-sea corals, particularly the octocorals.

Laura KrackerLaura Kracker
Geographer with NOAA working at the Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research in Charleston, SC.

Laura completed her Ph.D. in Geography and GIS at the University of Buffalo where she conducted research using underwater acoustics to map diel patterns of fish distribution in the Great Lakes. Her research incorporates a geographic or spatial perspective which provides an excellent framework for studying aquatic landscapes or seascapes. This approach integrates biological and physical characteristics of a place and helps us better understand ecological processes and habitat utilization. Laura utilizes underwater acoustic technology to collect biological information from the water column, mulitbeam mapping to characterize benthic habitats, and GIS technologies and visualization tools to map and synthesize this information spatially. She has been working on NOAA research vessels for several years to fine tune the use of these technologies to quantify biological resources and habitat use in marine protected areas.

Scott MauScott Mau
Research Fishery Biologist with the National Marine Fisheries Service in La Jolla, CA

Scott has worked for NMFS since 2004 with the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) group at NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center. He earned his BS in Marine Biology at San Diego State University.  He is a biologist conducting research on deep-water rockfishes (Sebastes spp.) and the endangered White abalone in the Southern California Bight as well as a Technician and Pilot for the ROV.

David MurfinDavid Murfin
Engineer, remotely operated vehicle group at NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center in La Jolla, CA

David earned his MS in Aerospace Engineering and Applied Physics at the University of California San Diego in 2004.  At NOAA, David provides a broad range of electro-mechanical engineering support in effort to integrate new and existing technologies into fisheries research and data collection.   

George SedberryGeorge Sedberry
Superintendent, Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary

Since obtaining a Ph.D. in Marine Science from the College of William and Mary, George has conducted research on hard bottom reefs off the southeastern U.S., including Gray's Reef, on Marine Protected Areas 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 has served on the Marine Protected Areas Advisory Panel and the Snapper/Grouper Assessment Panel of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, on the U.S. National Committee for the Census of Marine Life, and several additional scientific, advisory and education committees. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the College of Charleston, the University of South Carolina, the University of New England and the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography. He has authored over 80 scientific publications on marine fishes and ecosystems.

Kevin StierhoffKevin Stierhoff
Marine Ecologist, NOAA's Southwest Fisheries Science Center
in La Jolla, CA.

Kevin earned his Ph.D. in Marine Biology-Biochemistry from the University of Delaware Graduate College of Marine Studies in 2005. At NOAA, Kevin uses data collected using the ROV to examine the habitat ecology of deep-water rockfishes (Sebastes spp.) and to monitor populations of the endangered white abalone. Beyond that, Kevin is interested in the physiological ecology of marine organisms in general, database design and the management of large ecological data sets, and the improvement technology for conducting underwater surveys.

Natalie Kolleda TarpeinNatalie Kolleda Tarpein

Natalie Kolleda Tarpein earned a BS in ecology from the University of Georgia in 2007, where she implemented a citizen science project aimed on collecting data on infectious disease in monarch butterflies; she spent a semester abroad in New Zealand and Australia, which is where she became interested specifically in marine conservation. After graduating, Natalie was employed as a biologist with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to collect recreational fisheries data in the Florida Keys. She will begin graduate school at the College of Charleston in the fall of 2010 and her research interests are marine ecology, fisheries management, and the effects of sea level rise on coastal ecosystems.

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