Marine Organisms from Images and Video
Invited Speaker Biographies
The following researchers will be presenting information as experts in their taxonomic group:
Dr. Bill Austin is a marine biologist who was trained at Stanford University but has been living and working in British Columbia for the past 40 years. He is the Executive Director of the Marine Ecology Centre, a non profit aquarium dedicated to fostering education, awareness and stewardship of our marine environment. He also operates a private facility, Khoyatan Marine Laboratory, specializing in marine surveys and marine invertebrate identification. Bill co-taught a course on sponges with Henry Reiswig at the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre. His research on Porifera includes ecology of sponge reefs in British Columbia, distribution of sponge communities in fjords, description of sponges off Baja California, keys to sponges from California to Alaska, and a visual key to non-encrusting sponges of British Columbia. Bill and three collaborators are just completing a paper on the Hadromerida of the cold temperate NE Pacific. A list of sponge species in the cold temperate NE Pacific including in situ photos and SEMs of spicules is on his web site http://www.mareco.org/KML/Projects/NEsponges.asp.
Dr. Greg Cailliet is a Professor at Moss Landing Marine Labs in California, where he teaches Ichthyology, Population Biology, and Marine Ecology, as well as occasional seminars on deep-sea ecology or chondrichthyan fishes. He has been at MLML since he completed his graduate studies at UCSB in 1972. His research interests include the ecology of marine fishes, especially deep-sea fishes, but he has also worked on bay and estuarine fishes. Greg's work has been concentrated on aspects of life history (i.e. feeding habits, age and growth, reproduction, and demography) which have important fisheries managment implications. Greg's deep-sea studies, have mainly utilized surface ships for trawling and trapping activities, but recently he has become involved with in situ camera sled, remotely operated vehicle (ROV), and submersible studies. Some of his recent research has focused on the distribution, abundance, and life history (feeding, age and growth, and reproduction) of deep-sea fishes. Greg has also been very involved with the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS), serving as co-founder of the Research Activity Panel (RAP: a Working Group) and as a founding member of the Sanctuary Advisory Council (SAC) for 9 years. He remains an active member of the RAP and maintains an active interest in the MBNMS. Presently, Greg serves on the Science Committee for the Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network (SIMoN).
Dr. Daphne Fautin is the Curator of Invertebrate Zoology at the KU Natural History Museum, and a Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Kansas. Prior to that she was Curator in the Department of Invertebrate Zoology at the California Academy of Sciences. Daphne's research interests include all aspects of the biology, taxonomy, biogeography, and evolution of sea anemones (Actiniaria) and corallimorpharians (Corallimorpharia) from all seas. She has been involved with the Census of Marine Life since its earliest days.
Dr. Tomio Iwamoto is a native Californian, having been raised and educated in Los Angeles. After graduating from UCLA in 1961 and spending six months in active duty as an Army reservist, he began working as a fishery biologist for the then U.S. Bureau of Commercial Fisheries (now National Marine Fisheries Service) at the Exploratory Fishing & Gear Research Station in Pascagoula, Mississippi, and later to the field station on St Simons Island, Georgia. It was during those years, when he spent three to five months out of the year on cruises exploring the waters of the central western Atlantic, that he developed an interest in grenadier fishes. That interest continued after returning to graduate school at the University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, where his MSc and PhD research were on the taxonomy of that group. He spent a year at Oregon St University as a lecturer before starting employment with the California Academy of Sciences, where he has been a Curator of Ichthyology for 37 years, with the focus of his research still on grenadiers.
Linda Kuhnz is a Senior Research technician at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. She has worked in the Video Lab and on habitat characterization studies in benthic ecosystems using quantitative underwater video and by collecting field samples. Linda has a B.S. in Marine Biology with a minor in Chemistry from San Jose State University and and MSc. in Marine Science from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories. Her background is in benthic ecosystems, focusing on natural and anthropogenic disturbances. Linda enjoys working on marine infaunal organisms from all depths, and has spent more than 10 years learning to identify benthic megafauna and demersal fishes from ROV video footage (30 to 10,600 m depth). Her cruise and research experience has taken her to the Pacific Coast of the US, Hawaii, Caribbean, Arctic (Gakkel Ridge and the North Pole), McMurdo Sound Antarctica, and Challenger Deep.
Dr. Robert N. Lea is a retired marine biologist from the Marine Resources Region of the California Department of Fish and Game. Bob is a graduate of the University of Idaho (B.S. – Zoology), University of California, Berkeley (M.A. – Zoology) and University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (Ph.D. – Marine Sciences). He currently holds Research Associate positions with California Academy of Sciences, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, and the Marine Research Division of Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Bob’s research focus has been on the systematics, biogeography, and ecology of eastern Pacific fishes, with a primary interest in Scorpaeniformes and Ophidiiformes. He has experience in the identification of marine organisms using scuba, submersibles, and ROVs. Bob is a past Editor of the journals California Fish and Game and CalCOFI Reports. Currently he volunteers with the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary monitoring network and serves as a Docent at Pt. Sur State Historic Park (Lightstation since 1889).
Lonny Lundsten is a Research Technician in the Video Lab at MBARI. He received a B.S. in Marine & Coastal Ecology at CSU, Monterey Bay and an M.S. at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, where his research focused on describing the biological communities found on several seamounts off the coast of California. Lonny has observed over 190 hours of seamount video and has published several papers and other technical documentation on seamount fauna from this research. Lonny has participated in research expeditions using SCUBA, manned submersibles, ROVs, and AUVs at various locales including the Channel Islands off southern California, the Gulf of California, the Inside Passage of Alaska, the Tonga/Kermadec Arc (S. Pacific), the Juan de Fuca Ridge, and many seamounts and canyon systems off California.
For more info about Lonny see his MBARI staff web page at:
Dr. Christopher Mah is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow and Research Collaborator at the Department of Invertebrate Zoology, National Museum of Natural History where he works on the systematics, relationships, and evolution of asteroids. He received his Masters from San Francisco State University and his PhD from the University of Illinois. He has also worked and was trained in the Department of Invertebrate Zoology at the California Academy of Sciences. Christopher's current research focuses on the molecular phylogenetics of Forcipulatacean and Valvatacean asteroids, the evolution of Antarctic starfishes, brooding in asteroids, and the biodiversity of the deep-sea central and south Pacific. He currently writes the Echinoblog, an echinoderm themed blog: www.echinoblog.blogspot.com and is the editor/primary author of the World Asteroidea Database: www.marinespecies.org/Asteroidea. His profile page can be found at: www.chrismah.com.
Dr. Rich Mooi is Curator of Echinoderms at the California Academy of Sciences and Research Professor at San Francisco State University. He received his B.Sc., M.Sc., and Ph.D. at the University of Toronto. His overarching research interest is the origin of evolutionary novelty, which he analyses in the context of phylogenetic systematics and evolutionary biology of echinoderms. His first scientific love is, and always will be the sand dollars. Because sea urchins such as sand dollars fossilize well, they are increasingly involved in paleontological projects that add measures of real time to his study of evolutionary relationships and change. Lately, Rich's work has broadened to other echinoderm groups besides the urchins, and incorporated elements of the burgeoning field of "evo-devo," the integration of phylogenetics, paleontology, and embryology. This has permitted important advances in our understanding of the relationships among the major extant groups of echinoderms as well as reinterpretations of the most enigmatic and bizarre of the fossil forms that is leading to hypotheses for the origins of the Echinodermata itself. Rich's field work has taken him to Antarctica, Alaska, the Caribbean, fossil localities in the Pacific Northwest, and into submersibles off the Bahamas.
Dr. Dennis Opresko is a morphological taxonomist who has studied antipatharian corals (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Antipatharia) for the past 35 years. He holds a doctorate in Biological Oceanography from the University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL. He has authored or co-authored more than 40 publications on antipatharians and other groups of coelenterates. During the past eight years, he has undertaken a taxonomic revision of the order Antipatharia with the objective of providing a framework for a more stable system of classification at the generic and family level. He has described three new families, 24 new genera, and approximately 35 new species. He has contributed a chapter on antipatharians to the soon to be published Gulf of Mexico: Its Origins, Waters, Biota, Impacts, and Management, and is currently preparing a field guide to the antipatharians of the northern Gulf of Mexico. He has provided technical expertise and advice to students and researchers throughout the world. Current and future research projects include taxonomic studies of antipatharian corals from New Zealand and from the Northwest Pacific. Dr. Opresko is a Research Associate at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, and is also on the research staff of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge TN, where he works in the field of environmental toxicology.
Dr. Dave Pawson is a Senior Scientist at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. He received a B.Sc., M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Zoology from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, and came to the Smithsonian Institution in 1964 as the Curator of the echinoderms (sea stars, sea urchins and their allies) collection. He conducts research on echinoderms from many parts of the world, especially the deep sea and the vicinity of isolated oceanic islands. His research has taken him to Ascension and Galapagos Islands, the Caribbean, the southern ocean and Antarctica, and he has made more than 100 dives in manned submersibles. He has published more than 200 articles and book chapters on echinoderms, hemichordates, and other marine groups. Other research interests include the US Fish Commission Steamer Albatross (1883-1921) and her scientific crew, and the life and times of his eminent predecessor, Smithsonian echinoderm scientist Austin H. Clark (1880-1954). Dave has served as a Department Chair, Associate Director for Science, and Acting Director of the National Museum of Natural History. He has been the President of the Biological Society of Washington and of the American Society for Biological Nomenclature. He is a recipient of the Polar Medal, and has been a Smithsonian Regents’ Fellow. An active interest in teaching, and in bringing science to the general public, has led to the presentation of about 200 public lectures over the years. He is on the adjunct faculty of American University, The Johns Hopkins University, and Harvard University.
Dr. Henry Reiswig is an Adjunct Professor in Biology at the University of Victoria and a Research Associate with the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria, British Columbia. Prior to that his graduate work was done at Yale and he was a Professor a the Redpath Museum, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec. Henry's research interests include the biology, taxonomy, ecology and ultrastructure of Hexactinellida, and the biology and taxonomy of fresh-water sponges of North America. Specifically, he has worked on: the development of methods to assess sponge feeding, water pumping and behavior; the discovery of, and interpretation of syncytial pattern of tissue organization of Hexactinellida; an assessment of the role of Hexactinellida in reef construction on the continental shelf of British Columbia; and the discovery and interpretation of prokaryotic organisms (bacteria) with membrane-bound nuclear bodies.
Dr. Greg Rouse is a Professor of Marine Biology at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Prior to joining Scripps in 2006, he worked at the University of Sydney and University of Adelaide as well as the South Australian Museum and the Smithsonian Institution. Greg's research interests lie in the evolution and biodiversity of marine animals, particularly annelid worms. He also serves as Curator of the Benthic Invertebrate Collection at Scripps.
Dr. Janet Voight is Associate Curator of Zoology - Invertebrates at The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. A native of the Mid-West with a PhD from the University of Arizona, Janet naturally has considerable at-sea experience, having served as Chief Scientist on two NSF-funded cruises with the HOV ALVIN to the depths of the east Pacific Ocean and as a participant in 23 other deep-sea research cruises using Remote Vehicles or trawls. Her long-term taxonomic expertise lies in cephalopods and especially octopus, with emphasis on morphology and anatomy to attempt to understand relationships among the diverse groups. However, opportunities to observe the animals alive at depth have improved her understanding of the animals and their habitat. Wood-boring bivalves of the Xylophagainae are her second area of taxonomic expertise (they are a lot easier to catch, if not nearly as smart). Janet is a member of the Committee on Evolutionary Biology at the University of Chicago, serves on four editorial boards and has authored numerous scientific and what were meant to be popular articles.
Dr. Mary Wicksten is a Professor of Biology at Texas A&M University. She received her B.A. and M.A. in Biology from Humboldt State College, Arcata, California; and her Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Southern California. She has been diving steadily since she received her certification in 1967. A specialist on crabs and shrimp, she has described 30 new species. She has published over 125 papers in scientific journals and an article in Scientific American. Her interests in adaptive coloration in crustaceans and other marine invertebrates have taken her from Australia, Palau and Yap in the west to the Bahamas in the east. Mary is a National Fellow of the Explorers Club and a member of numerous scientific societies and the Underwater Photographic Society. Lately she has participated in deep-sea studies in the Gulf of Mexico and monitoring projects at the Flower Gardens Banks National Marine Sanctuary.
Dr. Gary Williams is a Curator and current Chairman of the Department of Invertebrate Zoology and Geology at the California Academy of Sciences. His current field research program concentrates on coral reefs of the tropical western Pacific, particularly Melanesia, the Philippines, and Micronesia. Past research destinations have included the Galàpagos Islands, Patagonia, Southern Africa, the Russian Far East, Antarctica, and the subarctic. Scuba diving is an essential element of his field research since the highest diversity of octocorals is found between 5 and 35 meters in depth. Gary's interests lie in evolutionary biology - patterns of structural evolution, systematics, biodiversity and biogeography, as well as the history of science. Specific projects include: morphology and phylogeny of calcaxonian and pennatucean octocorals; new taxa of octocorals from the Pacific Ocean, tropical eastern Atlantic, and the Antarctic; and monographs of regional octocorallian faunas. In addition, Gary works on the expansion and development of the Octocoral Research Center website.
For further information, please contact Nancy Jacobsen at MBARI.
Last updated: Mar. 19, 2009