Dr. Erik E. Cordes
Erik received his Ph.D. from Penn State University and was a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University. He currently is an assistant professor in the Biology Department at Temple University. Classes that he teaches include: Introductory Biology, Marine Ecology; Seminars in Community Ecology, Deep-Sea Biology, Experimental Design in Ecology. He studies the potential for organisms to alter their environment in deep-sea ecosystems. His research is focused on the ecology of deep-water corals and vestimentiferan tubeworms. Dr. Cordes’s lab combines ecological and molecular techniques to investigate a wide variety of questions centered on these organisms and their habitats. The work on cold-water corals, funded by a 4-year grant from BOEMRE and NOAA OER, includes investigations of the habitat preferences of Lophelia pertusa and the genetic connectivity of deep-water gorgonian populations in the Gulf of Mexico. His work on Acute response of benthic hardbottom communities to oil exposure in the deep Gulf of Mexico and Mississippi Canyon 252 Incident NRDA Tier 1 for Deepwater Communities are currently funded by the NSF Rapid program (P.I.) and NOAA Natural Resources Damage Assessment (co-P.I.). Ongoing studies of cold seeps include the biogeographic and bathymetric patterns in tubeworm- and mussel-associated communities and the influence of tubeworm tube-hosted microbial communities on seep biogeochemistry, particularly the sulfur cycle. Dr. Cordes is also involved in the assessment of the impact of the Deepwater Horizon incident on the cold-water coral and natural seep communities of the Gulf of Mexico. Dr. Cordes has participated in 19 multi-day research cruises consisting of 58 weeks at sea including 33 submersible dives and 105 days of ROV time. He has also participated in numerous day trips on board the R/V Point Sur and R/V Point Lobos during his work at Moss Landing Marine Labs.