SMSOE Seminar Series

The School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering invites you to our monthly seminar series! This series is designed to bring the UNH and local marine communities together to learn, discuss, network and hopefully to develop new ideas and ways to collaborate with partners both on and off campus. Each seminar will include several short talks relating to the seminar's theme, followed by an opportunity for questions and a social. Light refreshments and a cash bar will be available. The seminars are launched with the following goals in mind:

  • Promote awareness and identity for the SMSOE Community both within and outside of UNH.
  • Build connections both on- and off-campus among UNH researchers, students, educators, stakeholders and others around important topics related to marine and coastal resources.
  • Facilitate discussions that will help focus research and other efforts to effectively address challenges and opportunities facing management of marine and coastal resources.

The event is designed to include one hour of presentations and Q&A followed by a one-hour social.

Future Seminars

Bringing Light to the Depths of the Ocean

The deep ocean is under increasing pressure from human economic and industrial development, and yet it remains largely unexplored. This exploration is central to the research in the Cordes lab, but it is carried out in the context of ecological theory and specific hypotheses. Studies include the effects of ocean acidification on deep-sea corals, impacts of oil drilling on the deep sea, the influence of natural hydrocarbon seepage on deep-sea ecosystems, and the ecology of seamounts. Translating this research into a message that can be grasped by the public is critical to making these ecosystems priorities for conservation. This will be a discussion of the science of deep-sea exploration and research, but will also focus on how this work has been communicated to both the general public and the decision makers who are incorporating it into policy.

Presented by:

Dr. Erik Cordes, Associate Professor of Biology, Temple University
Dr. Cordes works in some of the most remote environments on Earth through his exploration of the deep sea. He has worked on the ecology and conservation of the deep sea for over 20 years, spending over a year at sea on over 25 research cruises and making over 35 dives in the manned submersibles Alvin and Johnson Sea-Link.

The research in his lab is focused on understanding the areas of the deep sea that support the highest biomass communities: deep-water coral reefs, natural hydrocarbon seeps, and hydrothermal vents. He studies these ecosystems at all levels of organization, from energy flow in ecosystems and patterns of community assembly, down to gene expression and microbial processes. Dr. Cordes worked on deep-sea corals for his Master's thesis at Moss Landing Marine Labs, worked on cold-seep ecology for his Ph.D. at Penn State University, and studied the microbial communities within hydrothermal vent chimneys during his NSF Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Harvard.

At Temple, his lab has continued to explore the deep Gulf of Mexico while working on the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on deep-sea coral communities and the effects of ocean acidification on the reef-forming deep-sea coral Lophelia pertusa. Ongoing investigations in the Cordes lab extend to the corals of the deep seamounts in the Phoenix Islands Protected Area and the seeps off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica.

This work has been funded by NSF, the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, the NOAA Office of Response and Restoration, the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, and the Schmidt Ocean Institute. His research efforts have been recognized in the Caldwell Distinguished Mentoring Award and the Dean's Distinguished Award for Excellence in Research.

More about Dr. Cordes.

Past Seminar Topics

  • Blue Carbon Initiatives
  • Building Ecological Resilience in Estuaries: A NH/ME Case Study of a Global Challenge
  • Ocean Acoustics: A Sound Perspective on Ocean Dynamics
  • Seafood and Healthy Great Bay: A Granite State Challenge
  • Climate Change and the Ocean: Local and Global Impacts
  • Research at Shoals Marine Laboratory
  • Building Ecological Resilience in Estuaries: A NH/ME Case Study of a Global Challenge
  • Ocean Carbon Cycle
  • Reinvesting in Natural Capital by Softening Shoreline Protection
  • The Pacific Arctic Region - A Window into Shifting Benthic Populations in Response to Ecosystem Change


Friday, November 16, 2018
10:00 am - Presentation
11:00 pm - Networking
Squamscott Room, Holloway Commons
UNH Durham

Parking available at the Campus Crossing Visitors Lot for a nominal fee.

Register to attend

Dr. Eric Cordes inspects coral specimens.

Erik Cordes inspects coral specimens. Photo courtesy DEEP SEARCH 2018 - BOEM