Posted January 23, 2015

Faculty Focus: Marine biologist Erik Cordes

Video Production: Gina M Benigno

In this newest installment of the faculty profile series, Associate Professor of Biology Erik Cordes discusses being a marine biologist, his work in the Gulf of Mexico and research opportunities for students.

Cordes has been investigating deep-water coral communities in the Gulf for 15 years, but his research attracted an international spotlight after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

“My collaborators and I were some of the only [researchers] who had baseline data before the oil spill,” he said, “and so we were called upon quickly to go back [to the Gulf] and see what sort of impact it had on the ocean.”

Cordes, who is producing a documentary on the ocean’s rising acidity levels, enjoys taking his students—both graduate and undergraduate—along on research cruises to expose them to real-world situations.

“I really think part of my job is opening up these experiences to the students at Temple and bringing them out there to show them what is possible; to show them the wide variety of things you study in biology.”