James Thomas

James Thomas
Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center

My research area is conducting field research in marine biodiversity and biogeography of tropical and subtropical marine systems, with a primary focus on coral reefs. My specialty is documenting evolutionary diversity in coral reef and near-shore tropical marine ecosystems. In addition to my current position here at the NSUOC I have held previous posts as Curator of Crustacea at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Research Director for the National Coral Reef Institute, and Director of the Reef Foundation.  In the field, my research efforts involve the taxonomy, systematics, and ecology of amphipod crustaceans, especially commensal species that inhabit interior cavities of sponges, ascidians, and bivalve mollusks. Recent studies involved expeditions and student-involved research focusing on in-situ collection of potential hosts in Moorea, French Polynesia, Belize Barrier Reef, and deepwater habitats. These studies have yielded a wealth of new commensal species and host records now in various stages of publication and discovery.