John Wesley Tunnell, Jr.

John Wesley Tunnell, Jr.
Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi · Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies (HRI)

PhD Biology Texas A&M University 1974

About

127
Publications
49,931
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Introduction
Wes Tunnell is a marine biologist/ecologist with over 50 years of experience along the Texas coast and in the Gulf of Mexico. He has particular expertise on the ecology of Mexican coral reefs and marine molluscan ecology, as well as the impacts of oil spills in the marine environment. He has published over 115 articles and book chapters, over 70 technical reports, and seven books. His current interests are in Gulf of Mexico biodiversity and the ecology of the South Texas Banks.
Additional affiliations
September 1974 - present
Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi
Position
  • Endowed Chair of Biodiversity and Conservationi Science
Education
September 1972 - August 1974
Texas A&M University
Field of study
  • Biology

Publications

Publications (127)
Article
Full-text available
Coralgal reefs preserve the signatures of sea-level fluctuations over Earth’s history, in particular since the Last Glacial Maximum 20,000 years ago, and are used in this study to indicate that punctuated sea-level rise events are more common than previously observed during the last deglaciation. Recognizing the nature of past sea-level rises (i.e....
Chapter
Full-text available
An overview of 13 chapters that assess baseline conditions and status of habitats and biota in the Gulf of Mexico before the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. Brief summaries of water and sediment quality, energy flow—including natural oil and gas seeps, coastal and offshore habitats, major groups of biota and their diseases and mortalities, and...
Chapter
Full-text available
Four of the five top species in the Gulf of Mexico by value and poundage of landings are shellfish species. Gulf-wide, there are at least 49 officially recognized shellfish species: 28 are mollusks, 18 are crustaceans, and three are echinoderms. Of these, 16 shellfish species are taken within US waters, 46 from Mexico, and 6 from Cuba. The major fo...
Article
The Ixtoc-I oil spill occurred in 1979 in shallow waters (50m) of the Bay of Campeche, Mexico. Although it is known that a large portion of the released oil from this second largest accidental marine oil spill in history reached the surface, to date there has been no attempt to document the surface footprint and trajectory of the released oil. Our...
Book
When Harold F. Pape moved to Gregory, Texas, in 1927, he quickly became fascinated by the wealth of Native American artifacts along the nearby shoreline of Corpus Christi Bay and what is now called Port Bay, a southern arm of the larger Copano Bay. A lifelong natural history enthusiast and collector, Pape met and married Lucile H. Tunnell, a widow...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Marine fish sampling provides data important for sustainable fisheries management, but comprehensive offshore fish surveys are resource intensive and dependent on sea conditions. Hard-substrate sites off Texas provide rare fish habitat with bathymetric relief on the flat, soft-sediment continental shelf. Few biological data exist for such sites, bu...
Poster
Full-text available
GulfBase.org is a portal on research resources in the Gulf of Mexico developed by the Harte Research Institute in 2002 to provide researchers, policy makers and the public access to Gulf information. Currently it lists over 2400 researchers, 500 institutions, 600 events (upcoming and past), and other information related to the Gulf. The Deepwater H...
Poster
Full-text available
This is a poster abstract describing our new book on Texas Seashells.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Community composition and abundances of fish species were examined from six South Texas banks, including from north to south Baker, Aransas, Dream, Blackfish, Mysterious, and a previously undescribed bank referred to herein as Harte Bank. These shelf-edge banks are relic coralgal reefs that existed off the South Texas coast approximately 21,000 to...
Article
Full-text available
AbstrAct: The outer—shelf South Texas Banks, also known as the snapper banks, are known by fishermen to be excellent fishing grounds. However, few scientific studies have been conducted to describe the ecology of these uncommon but distinctive habitats. This paper describes results of a litera-ture review and an assessment to determine what is know...
Article
Full-text available
Despite diplomatic nonrecognition, vast political differences, a long-standing trade embargo, and strict limitations on travel, US-Cuban scientific collaboration is on the rise. In December 2011, independent US scientists traveled to Havana, Cuba, for a series of scientific discussions with members of the Cuban scientific community. The American As...
Article
Full-text available
We compare objectives and approaches of four regional studies of marine biodiversity: Gulf of Maine Area Census of Marine Life, Baltic Sea History of Marine Animal Populations, Great Barrier Reef Seabed Biodiversity Project, and Gulf of Mexico Biodiversity Project. Each program was designed as an "ecosystem" scale but was created independently and...
Chapter
Full-text available
The Mexican reefs of the southern Gulf of Mexico occur in 2 distinct provinces, the Campeche Bank to the north and west of the Yucatan Peninsula and the Veracruz shelf reefs near the coast in the Tuxpan-Veracruz area of the southwestern Gulf of Mexico. Reefs differ greatly in size, geomorphology, and diversity, reffecting differences in the underly...
Data
Compared assessments of large scale/regional marine biodiversity (Insular Pacific-Hawaiian Large Marine Ecosystem vs. worldwide estimate), represented as number of described species by phylum. (0.08 MB DOC)
Data
Taxonomic and Regional Guides for the Northeast U.S. Continental Shelf, Southeast U.S. Continental Shelf, Gulf of Mexico, California Current and Gulf of Alaska, Eastern Bering Sea, and Aleutian Islands, and Chukchi and Beaufort Seas Large Marine Ecosystems. (0.17 MB DOC)
Data
Biotic diversity of the six U.S. geographically-based sections in the text, and a worldwide estimate. (0.15 MB DOC)
Data
Taxonomic detail of species of the Northeast U.S. Continental Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem in registers (first three columns) and provisional additions identified from a survey of three databases. (0.11 MB DOC)
Data
Taxonomic detail of species of the Northeast U.S. Continental Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem from databases. (0.08 MB DOC)
Data
Alaska regional estimates of marine species, represented as number of described species by phylum (Bruce Wing, NOAA Auke Bay Lab, Juneau). (0.10 MB DOC)
Data
List of Contributors to the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies Gulf of Mexico Biodiversity Project [Felder DL, Camp DK (eds) (2009) Gulf of Mexico Origin, Waters, and Biota. Volume 1, Biodiversity. College Station, Texas: Texas A&M University Press. 1384 p.] (0.12 MB DOC)
Data
California Current Large Marine Ecosystem Contributing Taxonomic Experts (0.03 MB DOC)
Data
Significant databases containing biodiversity information for inclusion in the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS - http://www.iobis.org/) (from described surveys in five of the six regions described in this overview). (0.12 MB DOC)
Data
Assessment of marine biodiversity, represented as number of described species by phylum, in the Southeast U.S. Continental Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem. (0.08 MB DOC)
Data
Abbreviations from An Overview of Marine Biodiversity in United States Waters. (0.03 MB DOC)
Article
Full-text available
Marine biodiversity of the United States (U.S.) is extensively documented, but data assembled by the United States National Committee for the Census of Marine Life demonstrate that even the most complete taxonomic inventories are based on records scattered in space and time. The best-known taxa are those of commercial importance. Body size is direc...
Book
An essential reference book for every collector and researcher of American seashells, Encyclopedia of Texas Seashells is a complete sourcebook and up-to-date identification guide, covering an unprecedented nine hundred species of seashells and mollusks that reside in the marine habitats of the Gulf of Mexico. Special features: Illustrated guide to...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Recientemente concluyó el inventario de todas las especies marinas del Golfo de México. El estudio fue patrocinado por el Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies de la Universidad Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. El proyecto duró cuatro años en los que participaron 140 taxónomos de 80 instituciones en 15 países. El resultado fue una publicació...
Chapter
Full-text available
Assessment of natural resources is fundamental to managing their sustainable use and conservation, especially against a backdrop of ongoing global environmental change. Large-scale, species-level inventories are particularly important for understanding and managing biodiversity, but they are also extraordinarily difficult to prepare, considering th...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Veracruz Reef System consists of 25 platform reefs that are split into two subgroups, northern and southern, by the influence of the Río Jamapa. Scleractinian coral cover on all reefs has declined dramatically since the 1960s. Using historical data and regression analysis, we predicted ~15% cover for the northern subgroup and no coral cover in...
Data
Full-text available
The following list is a supplement to the book Coral Reefs of the Southern Gulf of Mexico (Tunnell, Jr., J.W., E.A. Chavez, and K. Withers. 2007. Texas A&M University Press, College Station. 256 pp.). There are two lists, one for marine species (1983 species) and the other for terrestrial (295 species). These lists are a compilation of species foun...
Chapter
Full-text available
For decades, the ecology and zonation of coral reefs have dominated ecological studies in tropical regions of the world. Along with the geologic history of an area, physical environmental parameters govern ecological and geographical distribution of reef organisms. Benthic habitats and communities are usually similar and typical in various geograph...
Book
Full-text available
Coral reefs declined worldwide during the 1980s and 1990s, making them perhaps the most endangered marine ecosystem on Earth. This realization spurred John W. Tunnell Jr. and others to write a comprehensive book that would raise awareness of coral reefs and their plight. Tunnell and coeditors Ernesto A. Chavez and Kim Withers present an integrated...
Chapter
Full-text available
There are 25 islands associated with the 38 emergent reef platforms in the southern Gulf of Mexico (Table 11.1; see Figs. 2.2-2.9 for maps). The most conspicuous biota are island vegetation and birds, both seasonal migrants and nesting seabirds. Less conspicuous are the terrestrial or land crabs, insects, lizards, and nesting sea turtles. Most isla...
Chapter
Full-text available
Coral reef ecosystems in the southern Gulf of Mexico provide services (e.g., fi shery support, storm protection) and revenue (e.g., fi shing, tourism, oil exploration) in a variety of ways to adjacent coastal communities. Loss of these coral reef resources would have tremendous social impacts related to loss of work, income, and potentially, an imp...
Chapter
Full-text available
Coral reefs are known to harbor the highest biological diversity (biodiversity) of any habitat within the sea. Over 2,000 marine species and almost 300 terrestrial species have been reported from the southern Gulf of Mexico coral reefs and their islands, respectively (Table 6.1 and 6.2). Since a list of this size is beyond the scope of this book, w...
Article
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Article
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Texas Gulf of Mexico populations of the marine mytilid Perna perna (Linnaeus, 1758) were sampled monthly on Fish Pass Jetty (FP) (27 degrees 41' N) from September 1993 to February 1995 and Mansfield Pass Jetty (MP) (26 degrees 34' N) from March 1994 to June 1995 within 1 yr of initial colonization. Population density and mussel size distributions a...