Erin E Easton

Erin E Easton
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Port Isabel, Texas, United States · School of Earth, Environmental, and Marine Science

PhD

About

39
Publications
7,877
Reads
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213
Citations
Introduction
I am a benthic ecologist focusing on diversity, biogeography, and connectivity studies of deep-sea and mesophotic communities. I use both taxonomic and molecular tools to characterize these communities. A main research goal is to determine the potential drivers of the observed diversity and connectivity patterns. I am currently focusing on mesophotic communities of the southeast Pacific and South Texas Banks.
Additional affiliations
September 2020 - present
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
June 2017 - August 2020
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
Position
  • Researcher
June 2014 - June 2017
Universidad Católica del Norte (Chile)
Position
  • PhD Student
Education
May 2009 - August 2014
Florida State University
Field of study
  • Oceanography
August 2004 - May 2009
Florida State University
Field of study
  • Oceanography
August 1998 - May 2002
Indiana University Bloomington
Field of study
  • Biology

Publications

Publications (39)
Data
This dataset includes: (1) This Read Me File (20220419_Easton_and_Hicks_OctocoralPrimers_ReadMe.docx). (2) An .xlsx file (2022April_Easton_and Hicks_OctocoralPrimers.xlsx) with three sheets: Primer List, Recommended primer pairs, and References. (3) A Geneious xml file with the 161 primers (OctocoralPrimers_Easton_and_Hicks_2022.geneious). (4) A co...
Preprint
Full-text available
Hybrid conferences are in-person events that are also accessible online. This type of meeting format was rare pre-COVID-19 but started to become more common recently given the asynchronous global progression of the pandemic and the uneven access and distribution of vaccines that led to a large proportion of participants being unable to attend inter...
Article
We report new records of the fisheries-harvested subtropical greater amberjack Seriola dumerili for the south-east Pacific Ocean. Previously, only one species of Seriola (the yellowtail amberjack Seriola lalandi) was scientifically recorded for Rapa Nui (also known as Easter Island) despite local fishers’ asserting that three Seriola morphotypes ar...
Chapter
The unique combination of natural and cultural resources has made the Salas y Gómez and Nazca Ridges a top priority for protection on the high seas. With support from global datasets and GIS analysis, researchers have identified this area off the west coast of South America as a key location to conserve and protect marine biodiversity without impac...
Article
Full-text available
One of the main priorities of marine scientific research is to provide practical information and guidance for biodiversity conservation and management. In this context, the identification of key and fragile habitat-forming species is particularly important. Despite their ecological importance, whip corals in the order Antipatharia remain poorly stu...
Article
Full-text available
We consider the opportunities and challenges associated with organizing a conference online, using a case study of a medium-sized (approx. 400 participants) international conference held virtually in August 2020. In addition, we present quantifiable evidence of the participants' experience using the results from an online post-conference questionna...
Article
Full-text available
We report the complete mitochondrial genomes of two antipatharian species, Stichopathes sp. SCBUCN-8849 and Stichopathes sp. SCBUCN-8850, collected between 120 and 180m depth off Rapa Nui ($ �27.1�, �109.4�). The size of the two mitogenomes are 20,389bp (29.0% A, 15.2% C, 19.9% G, and 35.9% T) and 20,463 bp (29.0% A, 15.3% C, 19.9% G, and 35.8% T),...
Article
Full-text available
The Salas y Gómez and Nazca ridges are underwater mountain chains that stretch across 2,900 km in the southeastern Pacific and are recognized for their high biodiversity value and unique ecological characteristics. Explorations of deep-water ecosystems have been limited in this region, and elsewhere globally. To characterize community composition o...
Article
Full-text available
Seamounts and oceanic islands of the Chilean Exclusive Economic Zone at the intersection of the Nazca and Salas y Gómez ridges lie within one of the least explored areas in the world. The sparse information available, mainly for seamounts outside Chilean jurisdiction and shallow-water fauna of the Desventuradas Islands, suggests that the area is a...
Article
Full-text available
Seamounts and oceanic islands of the Chilean Exclusive Economic Zone at the intersection of the Nazca and Salas y Gómez ridges lie within one of the least explored areas in the world. The sparse information available, mainly for seamounts outside Chilean jurisdiction and shallow-water fauna of the Desventuradas Islands, suggests that the area is a...
Article
Full-text available
The Salas y Gómez and Nazca ridges are two seamount chains of volcanic origin, which include over 110 seamounts that collectively stretch across over 2,900 km in the southeastern Pacific. Ecosystems in this region are isolated by the Atacama Trench, the Humboldt Current System, and an extreme oxygen minimum zone. This isolation has produced a uniqu...
Article
Full-text available
Mesophotic ecosystems (50–400 m depth) of the southeastern Pacific have rarely been studied because of the logistical challenges in sampling across this remote zone. This study assessed how oxygen concentrations and other environmental predictors explain variation in echinoderm assemblages at these mesophotic systems, where this group is among the...
Article
Eight species of Architectonicidae have been reported for lower Miocene deposits in continental Chile. One of these species is Architectonica karsteni, which had an inferred geographic range, for this epoch, extending from Costa Rica to central Chile (~8° N to 34° S), and even in the Caribbean. There is no evidence of the current presence of the fa...
Article
Full-text available
A new species of Chromis (Teleostei: Pomacentridae) is described from three specimens collected at 90 m depth in a mesophotic coral ecosystem at Rapa Nui, Chile. Chromis mamatapara, new species, can be distinguished from its congeners by the following combination of characters: dorsal-fin rays XIV,13–14; pectoral-fin rays 18–19, third from top of f...
Article
Full-text available
We report the first complete Stolonifera mitochondrial genome. Carijoa riisei (Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1860) isolate CLP2_A03 was collected by scuba at 32 m on the USTS Texas Clipper (27° 53.7827′N, 93° 36.2702′W). The complete mitogenome has the ancestral octocoral gene order for its 14 protein-coding genes, two rRNA genes, and one tRNA gene. It...
Article
Reef fishes are an important component of marine biodiversity, and changes in the composition of the assemblage structure may indicate ecological, climatic, or anthropogenic disturbances. To examine spatial differences in the reef fish assemblage structure around Easter Island, eight sites were sampled during autumn and summer 2016–2017 with baited...
Article
Full-text available
The Easter Island ecoregion (EIE) is one of the most remote marine areas of the world and encompasses a vast and fragile ecosystem including oceanic islands and seamounts. In January 2014 and March 2016, a remotely operated vehicle was used to explore a subsurface peak off Easter Island (27.23°S, 109.48°W) and a seamount (26.92°S, 110.26°W), respec...
Chapter
Full-text available
In Chile, light-dependent benthic taxa have been observed to ~280 m with the presence of zooxanthellate cnidarians forming mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs) to depths of at least 120 m at Rapa Nui (Easter Island) and Salas y Gómez. Evidence from dredge samples suggests MCEs in the southeast Pacific once extended along the Salas y Gómez Ridge as fa...
Article
Full-text available
A 85-m deep mushroom coral field was discovered off Easter Island consisting entirely of Cycloseris vaughani. Most corals showed self-fragmentation, which is not common for this species. This aggregation is also remarkable because of its depth, high latitude, and remote eastward location.
Article
Full-text available
We report the first complete mitochondrial genome of Callogorgia. Callogorgia cf. gracilis isolate DFH32_518B was collected by a remotely operated vehicle at 98 m on McGrail Bank (27.9840725°N, 92.604242°W). The complete mitogenome is 18,937 bp (27.8% A, 18.3% C, 19.8% G, and 34.1% T) and has the ancestral octocoral gene order for its 14 protein-co...
Article
Hermatypic corals flourished on reefs in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) in the late Pleistocene and early Holocene. Today, many of these relict reefs are mesophotic banks that have unique coral assemblages and provide critical habitat; however, the South Texas Banks (STB) lack quantitative surveys. Therefore, we used a remotely operated vehicle to conduc...
Poster
Full-text available
Mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs) • Characterized by presence of zooxanthellate corals, typically ~30-150 m in tropical and subtropical waters • Understudied compared to shallow-and deep-water counterparts • Support diverse, abundant communities • Support habitat-forming taxa (e.g., corals, algae, sponges) • Susceptible to light-limiting environme...
Article
Full-text available
This record is the first report of black corals (Antipatharia) in shallow waters of the continental coast of Chile, and extends their geographical range in shallow waters of the upper continental shelf of South America by ~3000 km from Ecuador (~1°S) to Coquimbo, Chile (~29°S). Specimens were observed between 70 and 107 m on three underwater video...
Article
Myripristis chryseres Jordan & Evermann, 1903, is recorded for the first time in the Easter Island Ecoregion. Two specimens were observed swimming along a rock cliff and entering a cavern at ∼163 m depth near the peak of Pukao seamount, located ∼85 km (46 nm) west of Easter Island. This report expands the geographic range of M. chryseres eastward b...
Article
The Easter Island ecoregion includes Rapa Nui (Easter Island; RN), with a human population of ∼5600, and the uninhabited Salas y Gómez (SyG). Although the culture and terrestrial ecology of RN have been well studied, we know little about the marine environment of these islands, particularly the interplay among herbivores, algae, and corals, and how...
Poster
Full-text available
The presence of Architectonicidae off the coasts of Chile has been recorded from the Miocene, but currently only one living species is reported for Chilean waters, and that species is present at Easter Island, located ~3700 km from continental Chile. One of the species present during the Miocene was Architectonica karsteni, whose geographic range e...
Article
Deep-sea metazoan meiofaunal specimens are usually extracted from muddy samples by centrifugation in a fluid in which meiofauna tend to float and sediment particles tend to sink. Although the procedure is in common use, its efficiency has seldom been examined. The study reported here showed that well-trained operators extracted metazoan meiofauna w...
Article
The Easter Island Ecoregion is in the center of the South Pacific gyre and experiences ultra-oligotrophic conditions that could make it highly susceptible to global change and anthropogenic activities, so it is imperative that these regions are characterized and studied so that conservation and sustainable management strategies can be developed. Fr...
Article
The range sizes of sediment-dwelling deep-sea species are largely unknown. Such knowledge is important because a deep sea composed in large part of species with 100-km-scale ranges would be very different from one composed predominantly of species with 1,000-km-scale ranges. For example, the total species richness would be much greater in the first...

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Projects

Projects (7)
Project
Characterize the diversity of GOM mesophotic reefs, determine connectivity patterns among these reefs, and elucidate the mechanisms governing the observed patterns.
Project
1. Design mitochondrial DNA barcode primers to compare Octocoral genes for population connectivity 2. Produce octocoral cladograms that better represent genetic morphotypes of specific Octocoral species in the NW Gulf of Mexico