Who we are

SeaMonster is a blog about the oceans. We cover news in ocean sciences and the environment, oceans sports, the amazing plants, animals, and people that inhabit the oceans, ocean policy and conservation, and the funny, cute, crazy, scary and weird. We focus on stories with strong visuals (both images and video) and we love ocean photography. SeaMonster went live on March 26, 2011 and was created and is administered, written, and edited by ocean scientists and journalists.

John Bruno, Professor at UNC Chapel Hill,  jb@theseamonster.net

I am a marine ecologist and Professor in the Department of Biology at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  My research is focused on marine biodiversity, coral reef ecology and conservation and the impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems.  I earned my Ph.D. from Brown University in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and was a postdoctoral fellow at Cornell University in disease ecology.  My lab group primarily works in the Caribbean - including  Belize, the Bahamas, and Cuba – but we also work in coastal North Carolina and Ecuador on applied wetland projects and in the Galapagos Islands.  For fun I bike, surf, kitesurf, and read. Webpage: www.johnfbruno.com, Email: jbruno@unc.edu, Twitter: @johnfbruno

Emmett Duffy, Glucksman Professor of Marine Science, Virginia Institute of Marine Scienceemmett@theseamonster.net

I’m a naturalist at heart and an ecologist by profession. I’m broadly interested in marine biodiversity–interesting ocean creatures, to use plain English–and their importance to human society.  My somewhat schizophrenic scientific portfolio includes the social lives of shrimp (see the book I co-edited on the Social and Sexual biology of Crustaceans); the inconspicuous but beautiful little bugs that live in and provide janitorial services for seagrass beds worldwide; and the potential to harness the power of wild algae to clean up nutrient polluted waters naturally. I also work collaboratively with a wide range of people to estimate the value of marine plants and animals in providing natural “services” to society, such as fisheries production, and how human activities are influencing that value.  I earned my Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and then enjoyed a vagabond phase that included research stints at the University of Guam, the Smithsonian Institution and UC DavisMy spouse is also a marine scientist, and my son is an accomplished blogger (Go Sox!). Must be both nature and nurture in there somewhere.

Helen Scales, independent writer, broadcaster, marine ecologist helen@helenscales.com

In their review of my first book, the Economist called me “The aptly named Helen Scales” and I guess they’re right. I do have a bit of a thing about fish. Across the airways and in print, I’m noted for my distinctive and occasionally offbeat voice that combines a scuba diver’s devotion to exploring the oceans, a scientist’s geeky attention to detail, a conservationist’s angst about the state of the planet, and a storyteller’s obsession with words and ideas. I have a Cambridge PhD and a monofin, I’ve drunk champagne with David Attenborough and talked seahorse sex on the Diane Rehm show. I spent four years chasing after big fish in Borneo and another year cataloguing marine life surrounding 100 Andaman Sea islands. These days I write books and articles about the oceans, I make podcasts and radio for the BBC, travel the world in search of stories, and do my best to spend as much time as I can in the sea as a rookie free diver (PB 20m/60feet cw, 2:45 static) and surfer. I’m also a proud aunt, I sew dresses, grow vegetables, put on high heels and dance Argentine tango, play piano, sing in the shower, and make a mess in a printmaking studio. Do please drop by my website to find out more.

Board of advisors

From the beginning SeaMonster has relied on a team of supporters that help us with everything from web design and coding, content and editing and strategic planning.  Steve Gaines, Dean of the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, at UCSB chairs the SeaMonster board of advisors.  Board members include Kerry Tremain, Creative Director of Sol Editions, Bruce Caron, Executive Director New Media Research Institute, Steve Miller, PhD student Bren School of Environmental Science and Management UCSB (not the other marine bio Steve Miller who works and live in the FL Keys) and Kat Grigg, web designer, environmental entrepreneur and partner at The BlueCarbon Project.