Marsh J. Youngbluth, Ph.D. - Principle Investigator (HBOI)
Charles Jacoby, Ph.D. - Visiting Scientist (University of Florida)
Franz Ulblein, Ph.D. - Visiting Scientist (University of Bergen, Norway)
David Shale, Ph.D. - Visiting Scientist
Andrey Suntsov, Ph.D. - Postdoctoral Fellow (HBOI)
Jessica Frost-Fajans - HBOI Research Assistant
Brian Ortman, Ph.D. Candidate - University of Connecticut Avery Point
Brandy Ninesling - HBOI Research Assistant
Claire Nouvian - Guest Filmmaker and Journalist
Kelly Robinson - Graduate student (University of Florida - Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences)
Marsh J. Youngbluth, Ph.D.

Dr. Marsh Youngbluth received his Master's degree in Zoology in 1966 from the University of Hawaii, and his Ph.D. in Biology in 1972 from Stanford University. He is a Senior Scientist with the Division of Marine Science at Harbor Branch Oceanographic institution. He has served as a visiting scientist at the University of Bergen, Norway, the Japanese Center for Promotion of Science, and National Center for Scientific Research in France. Dr. Youngbluth has also served as NSF Biological Oceanography Program Director, and as Program manager for the NOAA National Undersea Research Program.

Dr. Youngbluth's research in the field of biological oceanography is currently focused on in situ investigations of mesopelagic zooplankton, particularly gelatinous fauna. With respect to siphonophores and medusae, Dr. Youngbluth is interested in their ecological roles as predators in deep-water coastal regimes. Other active projects include studies of large appendicularians as mediators of particle flux and transport in midwater and benthic boundary habitats.

Much of Dr. Youngbluth's work employs the Harbor Branch JOHNSON SEA-LINK research submersibles. A firm believer in employing "the right tools for the job," Dr. Youngbluth continues to utilize innovative technologies in the ongoing exploration of the mid-ocean realm.

Charles Jacoby,

Dr. Chuck Jacoby received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Biology from Illinois State University in 1974 and 1976, respectively. He received his Ph.D. in Biology from Stanford University in 1980. Since then, he has held research positions at the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution, the University of Queensland in Australia, and the University of Auckland in New Zealand. Dr. Jacoby joined the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation in Australia, where he led research teams for a decade and provided expert advice in four multi-million dollar, multidisciplinary, environmental studies. Dr. Jacoby is currently an estuarine and coastal specialist in the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences at the University of Florida.

Dr. Jacoby has investigated estuarine, coastal and deepwater marine systems in the tropics, subtropics and temperate zones of the United States, the Caribbean, Australia and New Zealand. His scientific pursuits have appeared in peer-reviewed publications and book chapters on sediment porewater, water quality, benthic microalgae, seagrasses, saltmarshes, zooplankton, meiofauna, macroinvertebrates and fishes.

Dr. Jacoby has collaborated with Dr. Youngbluth since 1980. They have conducted studies of gelatinous zooplankton, particle flux and demersal zooplankton. Dr. Jacoby plans to continue ecological work on gelatinous zooplankton to quantify their roles in offshore and inshore ecosystems.

Franz Uiblein,

Franz received his academic training at the University of Vienna and was awarded his doctoral degree (1989). He is currently a Principal Scientist at the Institute of Marine Research in Bergen, Norway and Guest Professor and Lecturer at the University of Salzburg, Austria. Franz has had postdoctoral and research fellow appointments at the University of Hamburg, Germany, the Laboratoire Souterrain of CNRS, France, and the Konrad-Lorenz Institute of Comparative Behavioural Research, Vienna, Austria. He served as Curator of Fishes at the Natural History Museum and Research Institute Senckenberg, Frankfurt, Germany. Franz has supervised several graduate (Masters and PhD) students.

His research projects have focused on behavioral, morphological, and community investigations of marine fishes within shallow, slope, and oceanic environments in the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, the central and northern Atlantic, and the tropical Indo-Pacific Ocean. Franz is actively studying deep-water macrofauna of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR-ECO project, and pursues comparative studies of the fish fauna from the Canary Islands, the Bay of Biscay, and the Norwegian and Barents Sea.

David Shale,

David received his PhD from the University of Reading in 1973 for ecological invesigations of prosobranch veliger larvae. He worked at the Instiute of Oceanographic Sciences in the UK for 8 years and participated on many oceanographic cruises aboard the RRS Discovery, working mainly in the North Atlantic ocean. He studied neuston and pelagic molluscs and worked on the development of nets to sample deep-sea zooplankton and nekton.

In 1979 he left full-time research to make wildlife films for television. He has worked mainly for the BBC Natural History Unit and has contributed to over 40 wildlife documentaries including Land of the Tiger, Alien Empire and most recently "Live from the Abyss" and "The Blue Planet" for which he and other members of the team were awarded a BAFTA. His photographs have been used to illustrate books and magazines.

Andrey Suntsov,

Andrey is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution. He received his Master's degree in Marine Science (1997) from William and Mary College in Virginia and his Ph.D. in Ichthyology (2003) from the PP Shirshov Institute of Oceanography in Moscow, Russia. Dr. Andrey Suntsov is a professional ichthyologist who concentrates on the early life history of marine fishes and the taxonomy of oceanic micronekton. He has participated in several research cruises in the North Atlantic, Central Pacific, Barents Sea, southern Greenland waters and in the South-China Sea. Andrey has also participated in multi-disciplinary investigations at the hydrothermal vent field "Rainbow" near the Azores with the Russian deep-sea manned submersible "Mir". This experience sparked his interests in mesopelagic biology, especially in-situ research on deep-sea fishes using advanced ocean technologies and submersibles. Andrey's ongoing project involves comparative studies of vestibular system and otoliths of deep-sea fishes to determine age and growth patterns. He is also conducting taxonomic studies of midwater fishes and ichthyoplankton collected recently during the Micronekton Experiment off Hawaii.


Jessica received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Science from the University of Florida (UF) in 2001 and completed a Master of Science Degree in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences from UF in 2003. The title of her thesis was "The Ecology of Lake Griffin, a Hypereutrophic Cyanobacteria-Dominated Lake in Central Florida, USA". Jessica earned the Best Student Paper award at the North American Lake Management Society Symposium (2003). Her interests are marine biology, aquaculture, freshwater phycology, and biomedical technology. During this cruise she will work with Marsh Youngbluth to measure excretion rates of gelatinous zooplankton and to assist with ongoing studies of predation by physonect siphonophores.

Brian Ortman, Ph.D. Candidate

Brian Ortman is a PhD student at the University of Connecticut Avery Point under the direction of Ann Bucklin. He is interested in the molecular zoogeography and biodiversity of gelatinous zooplankton. As part of his dissertation he is currently working on the phylogeography of Nanomia cara as well as the population genetics of other boreally distributed taxa.


Brandy Ninesling is a Research Assistant in the Division of Marine Education at the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution. She graduated from the University of Florida with a BS. degree in Wildlife Ecology and a minor in Zoology (1998). Her previous academic, field, and laboratory experiences include teaching cell biology to undergraduates, culturing corals and marine ornamental fish, and studying marine mammals. Brandy will be assisting in all phases of the research on the predatory habits of siphonophores, particularly the Nanomia cara colonies.


Claire Nouvian is a freelance writer and film director. She began her career as a wildlife journalist before moving into television and publishing. Claire has spent the past seven years making science and wildlife documentaries, travelling all over the world whilst working on series such as Untamed Asia, The Intruders and Wild Nights. A long-term fascination with the sea and her intensive practice of scuba diving led her to specialize in underwater films with a valued commitment to the award-winning documentary Night Underwater. She has collaborated on the film Microcean, the underwater continuation of the international success Microcosmos by producer Jacques Perrin. Following a decisive collaboration with MBARI (Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute) over three years ago, she has focused on unveiling mysteries in the deep sea to the French public. She just finished making a documentary on the recycling of whale carcasses at the sea floor for the European educational channel ARTE and is involved in other projects, which include the construction of a small photographic sphere with French high school students.

Kelly Robinson, M.S.

Kelly Robinson is currently working towards her M.S. (Marine Ecology) at the University of Florida's Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences under the supervision of Drs. Thomas Frazer, Charles Jacoby, and Marsh Youngbluth. She received her Bachelor's degree in Biology (2004) from Sweet Briar College (Virginia). For her masters' research, she is studying respiration by appendicularians and the effects appendicularians have on phytoplankton community cell size fractions. Kelly's interests include marine biology, coastal ecology, and biological oceanography. During this cruise she will assist with respiration experiments of gelatinous zooplankton and with the ongoing studies of predation by the physonect sipbonophore Nanomia cara.

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