Peter Etnoyer

Peter Etnoyer

Marine Biologist , National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

MEM '01

Peter Etnoyer is a deep-sea biologist specializing in the taxonomy and ecology of deep-sea corals. He is the lead scientist for NOAA's Deep-Sea Coral Ecology Laboratory at the Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research in Charleston, SC. Peter also serves an adjunct professor for two master's degree programs at College of Charleston in Charleston, SC. Peter received his BA from Duke in 1988, his MEM from Duke in 2001, his PhD from Texas A&M University in 2009. He lives on James Island in Charleston with his wife Maria and his girls Clara Lynn and Ana Rose. Peter's scientific research in shallow and deep-sea coral habitats has contributed to the creation several new marine protected areas, the description of new species, and exploration of new deep-sea habitats. Peter has authored, co-authored and published more than 25 scientific publications since 2003. His current work involves a mesophotic reef assessment as part of NOAA's Natural Resource Damage Assessment for Deepwater Horizon. He is also working to characterize fishing intensity in deep-water coral habitats in Southern California Bight, and to develop of an online national database for deep-sea corals for NOAA Deep-Sea Coral Research and Technology Program.

Peter has received two awards for his research, the NOAA's David Johnson Award for Outstanding Innovative Use of Earth Observation Satellite Data in 2007 for his research tracking blue whales in relation to temperature fronts, and a Research Fellowship from Schmidt Ocean Institute in 2009 for research on the distribution and environment of deep-sea coral habitats in Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. He will send his first graduate student at College of Charleston to the dais for her Master's in Science in April 2014. He looks forward to graduating three more students from College of Charleston in the near future.

"Duke's Nicholas School gave me the education, the tools, and the network I needed to transition to a new, more a 'sustainable' career in marine science. The oceans are something I care about passionately, now they are part of my every day."