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For the past fourteen years I’ve had the fantastic pleasure of working in the Department of Earth and Biological Sciences (EBS) at Loma Linda University (LLU). I'm now Professor of Biology and continue to direct the Graduate Biology (MS and PhD) programs here in EBS. For me, this is such a great job, since it provides so many opportunities to carry out field and lab research in the area of marine biology, both here in the U.S. and internationally.

From as far back as I can recall I have always wanted to be involved in wildlife research. I took on a sincere interest in Biology (combined with a deep appreciation and some abilities in art) throughout my high school years, followed by the pursuit of a BSc degree in Biology at Walla Walla College, initially. After the first year at WWC, I then transferred and finished that degree at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Without any real perception of opportunities to pursue wildlife research, I fell back on what seemed to come easy to me and remained at UBC to earn a one year BEd in Secondary Science Education, which I completed in 1991.

After having taught high school Biology, Chemistry and Science in Canada, Fiji and Korea, and after a growing dissatisfaction with teaching at that level, I decided that I would continue my education in order to eventually be able to teach at the tertiary level. Within 13 months of returning from Korea and having checked into the University of Guam, universities in the Philippines, Africa, the U.S and Australia, I was enrolled at Central Queensland University and moving south to Queensland, Australia in September of 1997. By May of 2002, both Sabine and I were graduating from CQU as the first couple to complete graduate studies together.

My most recent focus has been on marine turtles around the country of Honduras, including the Bay Islands (Utila, Roatan, Guanaja), the North coast and the South Coast, along the Gulf of Fonseca. As highly endangered species, both the hawksbill and the green turtle are in need of conservation efforts to enhance and protect their dwindling populations. I, along with a number of graduate students, volunteers, interns, and several national and international partners (DIGEPESCA, SAG, Reef House Dive Resort, BICA Utila, UNAH, FUCS, CURLA, Punta Raton, El Venado, GHI, SIMS, USFWS, NFWS, SWOT, and others), have been working towards conservation research and developing a national managemnt strategy for sea turtles in the country. Long-term goals include beginning educational efforts about the local marine turtle population, investigating various physiological features of the captured marine turtles, tracking migration movements with satellite tags, and monitoring nesting beaches.

Another main research interest is the ecophysiology of tropical marine invertebrates. I am especially interested in how marine invertebrates respond and adapt to the stresses of tropical intertidal zones as they face rapid fluctuations in temperature, salinity, oxygen availability, and the dynamics of exposure.

Although I have an interest in many marine invertebrates, the organisms that intrigue me most are hermit crabs. I am amazed at the extremely wide range of habitats in which hermit crabs can be found--literally from pole to pole--and their resilience amidst extreme environmental conditions. The fact that most hermit crabs must acquire increasingly larger shell resources for protection, growth, and reproductive success makes for very interesting studies on their intra- and interspecific interactions.

I also have a strong interest in the biodiversity and ecology of marine invertebrate cryptofauna of the tropics, in general, and especially of the Indo-Pacific, a region well deserving of more investigation than has taken place in the past.

In July of 2002 I was offered the position I currently hold here at Loma Linda and have fantastic opportunities for doing research in Fiji (the Yaqara Bay Biodiversity Inventory Project), Central America and here in California. It’s also much fun to work with graduate students in our Marine Research Group and teach courses such as Marine Biology, Environmental Physiology, Biodiversity and Conservation, Coastal Environments and Marine Invertebrates at the graduate level.

Hope you enjoy exploring my website. I will be updating it often, so please come back and visit again soon.

Cheers,
Steve

 
     
     
       
   

Education

2002 PhD, marine biology, Central Queensland University, Australia
1990 BEd, secondary, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
1989 BSc, biology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada