Naturalist/Expedition Diver

James Coyer

It was Malle and Cousteau’s The Silent World, viewed in a dusty meeting hall on a wintry day in central Wisconsin that forged Jim’s dream and commitment to become a marine biologist.  Never mind that he was only 8 at the time and that it would be another 13 years before I finally felt the spray of an ocean on my face.

Jim received his BS from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (biology) and PhD from the University of Southern California (marine biology), where  spent nearly all of my graduate years at USC’s marine lab on Santa Catalina Island describing the invertebrates associated with giant kelp and how they are utilized as a food resource by kelp bed fishes.  Jim also worked with the Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber for many years and assisted/directed treatment of diving accidents. After graduating from USC, he taught several courses at Marymount College, and then focused on a research career (90+ papers) using molecular tools at SUNY-Stony Brook (NY), the Hopkins Marine Station (CA), and the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. Most recently, Jim was an administrator/teacher/mentor at the Shoals Marine Laboratory in Maine, where he also taught the Underwater Research course for 37 years. Jim’s research interests have varied, but focused over the past 20 years on phylogeny, phylogeography, and hybridization in the seaweed Fucus and seagrass Zostera. Jim’s diving experience spans 45 years, using scuba, umbilical, and saturation techniques (allowing him to live underwater for a cumulative 27 days) to address research questions throughout the North Pacific, North Atlantic, and Caribbean. 

My upcoming expeditions

A Circumnavigation of Iceland

  • Jul 24 2021
  • Aug 2 2021