Peter J. Etnoyer

Peter J. Etnoyer
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | NOAA · National Center for Coastal Oceans Science

PhD
Marine Biologist, Project Manager for Coral Propagation Technique Development project in MDBC restoration portfolio

About

83
Publications
21,253
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1,274
Citations
Introduction
I am a marine biologist at NOAA's Hollings Marine Lab in Charleston, SC researching deep-water benthic communities, particularly octocorals. My lab specializes in coral taxonomy and propagation, deep-water benthic surveys, and image analysis. We work use robotic vehicles to survey the seafloor in support of management goals. I am an adjunct professor at College of Charleston, where I serve as a mentor graduate students.
Additional affiliations
January 2012 - present
College of Charleston
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Description
  • Graduate student mentor for students studying deep-sea ecology. Thesis Committee chair and participant.
September 2009 - present
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Position
  • Researcher
Description
  • Lead researcher for Deep Coral Ecology Lab (DCEL) at NOAA's Hollings Marine Laboratory.
September 2006 - May 2009
Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi
Position
  • Research Associate
Education
March 2020 - May 2020
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Field of study
  • Machine Learning
September 2006 - June 2009
Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi
Field of study
  • Coastal and Marine System Science
August 1999 - June 2001
Duke University
Field of study
  • Coastal Environmental Management

Publications

Publications (83)
Article
Full-text available
Deep-sea corals are important components of the benthos in the Gulf of Mexico, because they provide structural complexity to associated species of fish and invertebrates, and they serve as proxies for environmental conditions on millennial time scales. In the Gulf of Mexico, large colonies of the black coral Leiopathes glaberrima have been estimate...
Article
Full-text available
Ocean acidification is a threat to the net growth of tropical and deep-sea coral reefs, due to gradual changes in the balance between reef growth and loss processes. Here we go beyond identification of coral dissolution induced by ocean acidification and identify a mechanism that will lead to a loss of habitat in cold-water coral reef habitats on a...
Article
Full-text available
Massive, long-lived deep-sea red tree corals ( Primnoa pacifica ) form a solid, layered axis comprised of calcite and gorgonin skeleton. They are abundant on the outer continental shelf and upper slope of the Northeast Pacific, providing habitat for fish and invertebrates. Yet, their large size and arborescent morphology makes them susceptible to d...
Article
Full-text available
Mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs) are recognized around the world as diverse and ecologically important habitats. In the northern Gulf of Mexico (GoMx), MCEs are rocky reefs with abundant black corals and octocorals, including the species Swiftia exserta. Surveys following the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill in 2010 revealed significant injury t...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report details activities undertaken between 2016-2019, under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program's Southeast Deep Coral Initiative in the U.S. Southeast region. This project conducted included activities in the U.S. Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and U.S. Southeast during 21 re...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report provides maps with information about the observed and predicted distributions of individual deep-sea coral taxa (primarily genera) and hardbottom habitats in U.S. waters off the Atlantic coasts of states from Virginia to Florida. For each taxon, the maps show the presence or absence of the taxon at sample locations in the presence-absen...
Article
Full-text available
Shore-based submersible operations, from 2006 to 2020, have allowed us to examine megabenthic assemblages along the island margin of Isla de Roatán from depths of about 150 to 750 m, including repeated observations of the same organisms. These dives were used to photo-document a diverse benthic assemblage and observe the health and condition of the...
Technical Report
Full-text available
NOAA continued ongoing work in CINMS between April 27th - May 12th, 2017 by acquiring fish, deep-sea coral and seafloor data using the Shimada’s ME70 and EK60 sonars, the Office of Coast Survey’s REMUS- 600 Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV), and the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Beagle from Marine Applied Research and Exploration (MARE,) suppor...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The study had two main objectives. The first was to compile a database of presence-absence observations for deep sea corals and chemosynthetic communities with associated measures of sampling effort (i.e., the survey area associated with each sample). Second, records in the database were used in spatial predictive models to characterize and map the...
Article
The Li/Mg, Sr/Ca and oxygen isotopic (δ18O) compositions of many marine biogenic carbonates are sensitive to seawater temperature. Corals, as cosmopolitan marine taxa with carbonate skeletons that can be precisely dated, represent ideal hosts for these geochemical proxies. However, efforts to calibrate and refine temperature proxies in cold-water c...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This guide combines light microscope images and scanning electron microscope images with high-resolution in-situ images from robotic vehicles for 23 species of soft corals (Alcyonacea) in the northern Gulf of Mexico mesophotic zone. The identification and systematics of many of the taxa featured in this guide are essential for the valuation and pro...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report documents recent explorations of deep-water habitat (> 40 m) in Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. The field research was conducted aboard NOAA Sanctuaries' vessel R/V Shearwater with the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Beagle. The objectives were to ground-truth new seafloor maps and to evaluate the distribution of mesophotic a...
Technical Report
Full-text available
NOAA’s Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program compiles, curates, and shares a national database of information on deep-sea corals and sponges – the most important habitat-forming organisms in the deep sea. This database provides geographically-specific information on the diversity, distribution, and abundance of both corals and sponges. The...
Technical Report
Full-text available
In 2019, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) undertook its fifteenth year of scientific operations in the US Caribbean aboard NOAA Ship Nancy Foster, funded by Coral Reef Conservation Program. The purpose of the work is to map and survey coral reef habitat in support of marine management objectives. The purpose of this cruise...
Article
Full-text available
Cold-water corals are highly sensitive to changes in water temperature, as it is an important determinant of their distribution. In recent years, several heatwave events have occurred in multiple marine ecosystems, including the northeast Pacific Ocean. However, the effects of elevated ocean temperatures on cold-water corals are largely unknown. De...
Article
Full-text available
Deep-sea corals in Southern California are diverse and abundant but subject to multiple stressors, including bottom-contact fisheries using mobile and fixed gear. There is a need for more information on the distribution of these taxa in relation to the distribution of demersal fishing effort, and the distribution of marine protected areas, in order...
Article
Full-text available
The global decrease in seawater pH known as ocean acidification has important ecological consequences and is an imminent threat for numerous marine organisms. Even though the deep sea is generally considered to be a stable environment, it can be dynamic and vulnerable to anthropogenic disturbances including increasing temperature, deoxygenation, oc...
Data
Buoyant-weight data points for the different treatments Time 1 corresponds to the initial time when the first B-W measurement was made. Time 2 correspons to the final time measurement. It is provided in the table the raw buoyant-weight value as well as the standardize Dry weight value, which is the one taken into consideration for the analysis.
Data
Capture rate data points for the different treatments Each single entry corresponds to an individual fragment from the different tanks and treatment exposures. In this table, raw values for the initial Artemia density and final Artemia used to calculate the delta. Standardize values are provided as numbers of Artemia per polyp per hour
Data
Aragonite saturation during the experimental trial Each data point indicates a discrete value of the aragonite saturation at each interval point. Black dots indicate samples collected in the non-acidified “favorable condition” treatment, while white dots indicate samples collected in the acidified “unfavorable condition” treatment. Aragonite satura...
Data
Values for pHT during the experimental trial Each dot corresponds to the average pHT taken per day. Open circles correspond to the obtained pHT in the acidified conditions and closed circles correspond to the pHT in the non-acidified conditions
Article
Full-text available
Videos collected from ROVs empower people to explore the ocean from any location. Beyond the immediate value of revealing the mysteries of the deep ocean, video footage provides a rich data source that contributes to our fundamental understanding of the physical, biological, and chemical properties of explored ocean areas. NOAA’s Office of Explorat...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report summarizes activities and observations of the science party aboard NOAA ship Nancy Foster and ROV Odysseus in the eastern Gulf of Mexico August of 2018. The expedition conducted 14 dives exploring for deep-sea corals between 400-700 m depth, primarily within proposed Habitat Areas of Particular Concern.
Article
The stable isotope geochemistry of gorgonian octocoral skeletons facilitates detailed time series reconstructions of nutrient biogeochemistry. However, comparisons among reconstructions from different locations require realistic estimates of the uncertainty surrounding each measured geochemical value. Here, we determine quantitative uncertainties r...
Article
Benthic surveys of mesophotic reefs in the Gulf of Mexico post Deepwater Horizon (DWH) showed that Swiftia exserta octocorals exhibited significantly more injury than in years before the spill. To determine the vulnerability of S. exserta to oil and dispersants, 96 h toxicity assays of surrogate DWH oil water-accommodated fractions (WAF), Corexit®...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The 2016 ‘Patterns in Deep-Sea Corals’ expedition set out aboard the NOAA Ship Shearwater in August to study the distribution, ecology, and health of deep-water (30-300 m) gorgonian corals in response to the 2015 El Niño event.
Technical Report
Full-text available
This NOAA report outlines the objectives and activities of the Southeast Deep Coral Initiative (SEDCI). The initiative is a coordinated, cross-line office effort that includes partners from NOAA Fisheries, Ocean and Atmospheric Research, and National Ocean Service; and aims to collect scientific information needed to manage deep-sea coral ecosystem...
Article
Full-text available
In 2016, E/V Nautilus and the ROV Hercules collected 549 geological, biological, and water samples (2,022 subsamples) to characterize several US West Coast national marine sanctuaries, the Cascadia margin, and offshore southern California. Most samples are archived at partner repositories: geological samples to the Marine Geological Samples Lab at...
Article
Full-text available
During July 2016, E/V Nautilus and the Corps of Exploration conducted a major research and exploration program within and surrounding the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary (CINMS) offshore southern California. The sanctuary was designated in 1980 to protect the natural and cultural resources around the five northern Channel Islands: Anacapa...
Article
In 2016, E/V Nautilus and the ROV Hercules collected 549 geological, biologi- cal, and water samples (2,022 subsamples) to characterize several US West Coast national marine sanctuaries, the Cascadia margin, and offshore southern California. Most samples are archived at partnering repositories: geological sam- ples to the Marine Geological Samples...
Technical Report
Full-text available
To test the utility of CMECS for visual observation of the deep sea, this project applied CMECS to real-time observations and still image post-processing activities. The real-time observation tests engaged field teams from the E/V Nautilus and the Okeanos Explorer which were already surveying areas in the Northeast Pacific. Field trials were conduc...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Deep-sea coral and sponge ecosystems are widespread throughout most of Alaska’s marine waters. In some places, such as the central and western Aleutian Islands, deep-sea coral and sponge resources can be extremely diverse and may rank among the most abundant deep-sea coral and sponge communities in the world. Many different species of fishes and in...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter covering the Gulf of Mexico region is an update of the NOAA 2007 Technical Publication volume, The State of Deep Coral Ecosystems of the United States. Research on deep-water corals of the Gulf of Mexico (> 50 m) has intensified substantially over the last decade. Since 2007, at least 52 research cruises with primary objectives focused...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This important document outlines research priorities for the NOAA Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program (DSCRTP) Southeast Region Research Initiative, which will include deep-sea coral work in the Gulf of Mexico, the South Atlantic Bight and U.S. Caribbean in 2016-2019. The report provides details on the activities and results of DSCRTP sp...
Technical Report
Full-text available
A large area of the seafloor off northern California lies within the US National Marine Sanctuary System, but very little of the habitat has been explored and even less is characterized using visual survey techniques, especially deep-water habitats. Benthic surveys using a Phantom HD2 remotely operated vehicle (ROV) were conducted during September...
Conference Paper
One outcome of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill was the realization that no well-established toxicity thresholds exist for benthic taxa in deep water (>50 m). Surveys of mesophotic reefs along the Pinnacle Trend in 2011 showed that Swiftia sp. octocoral colonies at these sites exhibited significantly more injury than previous years. Swiftia exserta...
Poster
Full-text available
Deep-sea corals in Southern California are diverse and abundant, but subject to multiple stressors, including ocean acidification and commercial fishing. NOAA and others have surveyed these habitats since 2003 using remotely operated vehicles equipped with high- resolution cameras. Surveys 2003-2011 were conducted as part of the groundfish surveys...
Article
Full-text available
Hard-bottom ‘mesophotic’ reefs along the ‘40-fathom’ (73 m) shelf edge in the northern Gulf of Mexico were investigated for potential effects of the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill from the Macondo well in April 2010. Alabama Alps Reef, Roughtongue Reef, and Yellowtail Reef were near the well, situated 60–88 m below floating oil discharged during...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Corals and sponges are important components of biogenic habitats in the deep sea and are increasingly the target of conservation efforts. NOAA Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program has developed a geographic database for deep-sea corals and sponges as a resource for both scientists and resource managers. The database currently integrates m...
Technical Report
Full-text available
NOAA’s Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program (DSCRTP) is compiling a national database of the locations of deep-sea corals and sponges, beginning in U.S. waters. The DSCRTP will make this information accessible to resource managers, the scientific community, and the public over the World Wide Web. The database fulfills NOAA’s requirements...
Article
Full-text available
Pathologies in over 400 octocoral and antipatharian colonies were quantified in the aftermath of the DWH oil discharge. Observations were made in September 2011 at water depths of 65 to 75 meters in the Pinnacle Reef trend area offshore from Mississippi and Alabama, Gulf of Mexico, using a digital macro camera deployed from an ROV to examine the co...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Less than 50% of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary seafloor has been mapped using multibeam echosounders to produce habitat characterizations at a map resolution suitable for resource management. This is important because deep-sea coral and sponge communities are known to occur within the Sanctuary. Mapping activities and benthic survey...
Article
Full-text available
The Mesoamerican Reef (MAR) extends from the Yucatán Peninsula to the Gulf of Honduras, a distance of nearly 250 km along a rimmed carbonate shelf in the western Caribbean Sea. The MAR is considered the second longest fringing barrier reef in the world, after the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. It was explored to a depth of 300 m with R/V Seamark...
Article
Full-text available
While the vast majority of data Nautilus collects are digital-high-definition video, still photos, sensor, measurements, and navigation—physical samples are invaluable to scientists. Biological samples are critical in determining the species of an organism and may lead to the discovery of a new organism or new knowledge that extends a species’ rang...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Research on deep-sea corals has expanded rapidly over the last two decades, as scientists began to realize their value as long-lived structural components of high biodiversity habitats and archives of environmental information. The NOAA Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program’s National Database for Deep-Sea Corals and Sponges is a comprehen...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Benthic surveys were conducted in the Gulf of Farallones National Marine Sanctuary aboard R/V Fulmar, October 3-11, 2012 using the large observation-class remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Beagle. The purpose of the surveys was to groundtruth mapping data collected in 2011, and to characterize the seafloor biota, particularly corals and sponges, in o...
Article
Full-text available
Range overlap patterns were observed in a dataset of 10,446 expert-derived marine species distribution maps, including 8,295 coastal fishes, 1,212 invertebrates (crustaceans and molluscs), 820 reef-building corals, 50 seagrasses, and 69 mangroves. Distributions of tropical Indo-Pacific shore fishes revealed a concentration of species richness in th...