Office-Bearing DSBS Trustees

President – Michelle Taylor

Website, Twitter: @Dr_MTaylor


Michelle Taylor is the Director of Marine Biology at the University of Essex. After gaining a PhD from Imperial College (2011) she spent 7 years at the University of Oxford undertaking postdoctoral research before moving to Essex in 2018. Michelle specialises in genomics (population connectivity and phylogenomics), deep-sea ecology, taxonomy, and habitat suitability modelling. Most of her research revolves around her favourite study subjects: octocorals. Michelle has authored 38 published papers and several book chapters, she has participated in half a dozen expeditions that have explored the far reaches of our ocean. You can follow Michelle’s science adventures on Twitter and Instagram.

Secretary – Alexis Weinnig

Website, Twitter: @AMWeinnig


Alexis Weinnig is a postdoctoral researcher with the US Geological Survey at the Eastern Ecological Science Center in West Virginia, USA. Alexis received her BS in Oceanography at Florida Institute of Technology, followed by an MS in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology at San Francisco State University and The California Academy of Sciences, and a PhD in Biology at Temple University. She has participated in over a dozen research cruises using submersibles and remotely operated vehicles in the Gulf of Mexico, the western Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of California, and in the central Pacific Ocean. Alexis is broadly interested in the ecology, population structure, and human influence on cold-water coral and other deep-sea ecosystems. In addition to conducting deep-sea science, Alexis is passionate about science communication and creating avenues to make this often ‘hard-to-reach’ field more accessible to everyone.

Communications – Franck Lejzerowicz

Website, Twitter: @FLejzerowicz


Franck (he/him/his) is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oslo experienced with multi-omics bioinformatics, biostatistics and molecular biology for the analysis of large microbiome datasets. He completed a PhD studying the diversity of marine, deep-sea microbial eukaryotes at the University of Geneva, and worked had a postdoc experience venturing into environmental and human gut microbiome projects related to deep-sea mining and nutrition at UC San Diego, where he participated to developing bioinformatic tools and to large consortia such as the Earth Microbiome Project and the Microsetta Initiative, and currently works on marine microplastics issues.

Awards – Julia Sigwart

Website, Twitter: @sigwartae


Julia’s research focusses on the evolution of marine biodiversity. Adaptive features, which are relevant to each particular species, shape how they respond to environmental perturbations, in the modern world and in the fossil record. She uses tomography to visualise animal adaptations in 3D and understand the world from other organisms’ points of view. Understanding evolutionary radiations, survivorship, and the way animals respond to environmental change, require high resolution data from multiple disciplines. The work in her research group crosses genetics, morphology, anatomy, neurobiology, physiology, computational modelling, and experimental approaches, to understand the drivers for species diversity. Some of these are discussed in her recent book, What Species Mean: A User’s Guide to the Units of Biodiversity, published by CRC/Taylor & Francis in early 2018.

Development – Erik Cordes

Website, Twitter: @CordesLab


Dr. Cordes is a Full Professor and Vice Chair in the Department of Biology. He received his M.S. from Moss Landing Marine Labs, his Ph.D. from Penn State University and was a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University. He has worked on the ecology of the deep sea for over 25 years, and spent almost two years at sea on over 30 research cruises and has made 46 dives in manned submersibles. He is a self-described ocean explorer whose research is focused on deep-sea coral reefs, natural hydrocarbon seeps, and hydrothermal vents. He has organized and led expeditions to the east coast of the U.S., the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea, the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, and the Phoenix Islands Protected Area in the central Pacific. Dr. Cordes is among the Pool of Experts for the ongoing U.N. World Ocean Assessment, an Expert Reviewer for the IPCC Report, and the Chair of the Oil & Gas Working Group of the Deep Ocean Stewardship Initiative.

Membership and Data Protection – Erin Easton

Website, UTRGV Faculty profile


Erin is an assistant professor at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.  Her research interests are the distribution and connectivity of soft- and hard-bottom benthic communities of the mesophotic zone and deep sea.  She has used morphological and gene-sequencing methods to determine the minimum species’ range sizes of harpacticoid copepods in the soft sediments along the west coast of the United States. A primary focus of her research is to use genetic tools to explore benthic communities and phylogenetic relationships of harpacticoid copepods and cnidarians. In collaboration with the Millennium Nucleus Ecology and Sustainable Management of Oceanic Islands in Chile, she is exploring benthic communities of the oceanic islands and seamounts of the Salas y Gómez Ridge, including Easter Island, Salas y Gómez, and Las Desventuradas, to characterize these communities and estimate connectivity in this and adjacent regions.  Her recent research involves the use of next-generation sequencing technology to characterize the South Texas Banks.  These data will be used to inform local and national governing agencies for the conservation and management of these habitats.

Treasurer – Neus Campanyà-Llovet

Website, Twitter: @NCampanyaLlovet


Neus received  a Master’s degree in Oceanography from the University of Southampton (UK) in 2011 and a PhD with distinction from Memorial University of Newfoundland (Canada) in 2018. Between degrees she spent a full year (2012) working at a survey company (SeaStar Survey) and volunteering at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton. After graduation she spent 1.5 years working with subpolar marine ecosystems and their interactions with the Innuit communities thanks to a Postdoctoral fellowship with the Ocean Frontiers Institute. She is currently working as a junior investigator at the IICM-OKEANOS, University of the Azores leading a functional trait database of Azorean marine organisms.Neus’ interests include marine community ecology, functional diversity, trophic ecology, food-fall in situ experimentation, deep-sea ecology, biodiversity, and disturbance and anthropogenic impacts. In the past she’s worked in different ecosystem types from shallow and deep polar and subpolar environments to submarine canyons and methane hydrates and is now focusing on seamounts from the Azores. By using a trait-based approach she aims to better understand the ecology of these ecosystems and help prioritize management, conservation, and restoration strategies.

Early Career – Pierre Methou

Website, Twitter: @PMethou


Pierre Methou is a postdoctoral researcher currently working as Young Research Fellow at the X-STAR department, JAMSTEC (Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology). His scientific interests focus on the symbiotic interactions between animals and bacteria, in particular shrimp species from chemosynthetic ecosystems, and how these associations affect their evolutionary histories. He is also interested about life history traits of these species, mainly those related to their lifecycles. To meet his favorites animals, he participated in four research cruises around hydrothermal vents in the Mid Atlantic Ridge and the Izu-Ogasawara Arc using deep-submergence vehicles, with two dives on board of the Nautile and Shinkai 6500 submersibles.

Students – Katie Bigham

Website, Twitter: @bighamkt


Katie Bigham is a PhD candidate at Victoria University of Wellington and the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) in Aotearoa New Zealand. Originally from the United States, she received a B.S. in Oceanography from the University of Washington and between degrees worked for two years for the Ocean Observatories Initiative’s Regional Cabled Array. Katie’s interests lie in how processes at the intersection of biology, geology, and chemistry allow life to thrive in harsh and remote marine environments. Previous research she has been involved with includes studies in the Arctic and at hydrothermal vents and methane seeps. Her PhD project aims to understand the impacts of a large-scale turbidity flow – underwater avalanche – on a canyon ecosystem. As the student officer, Katie serves as the liaison between students and the society as a whole, which involves being a point of contact for students, making sure student oriented opportunities are provided, and advocating for student interests.

Diversity – Alycia Smith

Website, Twitter: @alyciajsmith


Alycia (she/her/hers) is a PhD Student at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, working in the Deep-Sea Ecology and Biogeochemistry Research Group. She received her Integrated Masters in Marine Biology from the University of Southampton in 2019, writing her Bachelor’s thesis on the sexual dimorphic traits of a deep-sea Pycnogonid, Colossendeis colossea, and Master’s thesis on the potential physicochemical impacts of storms on non-cohesive benthic environments under future climate scenarios. Currently, she is characterising baseline biogeochemistry and ecosystem functioning of the abyssal seafloor within the NORI-D license area of the Clarion-Clipperton Zone, which is earmarked for polymetallic nodule mining in the near future. She will also be investigating the impacts of test mining activities on the same ecosystem.

Alycia is a BME student advocate at Heriot-Watt, where she has worked since 2020 to address barriers that contribute to the Black Attainment Gap, and improve the student experience for all minority communities at the university. She has also been a member of the Polar Horizons community (an initiative to increase diversity in STEM) at the British Antarctic Survey since 2020, and an anti-racism alliance in her hometown in Devon, England. She is committed to educating herself and others on issues facing marginalised individuals, sharing experiences, and empowering and celebrating PoC within STEM.

Conferences – Pei Yuan Qian


Contact:, Professional:

Prof. Pei-Yuan Qian is David von Hansemann Professor of Science in Division of Life Science, Head and Chair Professor of Department of Ocean Science, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and Director of Hong Kong Branch of Southern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory (Guangzhou). Prof. Qian is a distinguished scholar in marine science and expertise in marine molecular ecology and marine natural product discovery. His current research interests cover broad spectra in marine science, including omics of deep-sea animals, interaction between microbes and marine animals, genome-minding based bioactive compound discovery from marine microbes, and antifouling and anti-microbial technology.

Prof. Qian joined HKUST in 1993 and was conferred the Chair Professor title in 2011. He received many prestigious awards over the years, including the National Nature Science Award (2nd class), the First Class Prize of Science and Technology of Guangdong Province, and the First Class Prize in Science and Technology Progress. Besides his academic contribution, Prof. Qian has been playing an important role on the administrative aspect since 1996, such as serving as founding director of coastal marine laboratory (2001 to 2008), senate member of HKUST and member of university council (2011-2014), and director of the environmental science program (2012 to 2017). He also serves as a chief editor or member of editorial board for several prestige international journals in marine field.

Non-Office Bearing DSBS Committee Members

 Sheena Talma

Twitter: @sheena_talma

Sheena Talma is a marine biologist from Seychelles with a keen interest in learning more about how we use the ocean and the implications of overfishing marine pollution and climate change in that relationship. Sheena holds a post-graduate degree in fisheries and ichthyology. She is currently a marine consultant sharing her expertise with Nekton (a deep sea NGO based in the UK) as their science program manager and Save Our Seas Foundation as their Kids D’Arros Camp Coordinator. Prior to this Sheena has worked for the Seychelles government working towards environmental sustainability. She is passionate about sharing our ocean in a new and inspiring way, achieving equitable and inclusive practises in science and conducting deep sea research in her Seychelles back-yard.

Sofia Graça Aranha Carvalho Ramos 


Sofia is a PhD candidate at the University of Algarve and a researcher at CCMAR in Algarve, Portugal. Throughout her academic and professional career, she has always pursued her development in the marine area, working with especial focus in the ecology, biology and conservation of elasmobranchs. Currently, as a doctoral student, Sofia is continuing the work developed during her masters, studying the impacts of shrimp trawls in the vitality rates of deep-sea elasmobranchs species, whilst assessing key points of their ecology and biology in the southern coast of Portugal. Her work involves boarding commercial shrimp trawls and participating in scientific surveys onboard research vessels. Sofia is the project leader of the DELASMOP project that intends, among other goals, to understand the causes of mortality of deep-sea elasmobranchs and propose new fishing procedures. She is the co-PI of the EMREP project that have the main goal of developing, integrating and testing electronic monitoring and reporting solutions for the Portuguese commercial fishing industry.

DSBS Social Media Team

Janet Ferguson-Roberts

Twitter: @janetmfr


Janet M. Ferguson-Roberts recently graduated with her Master’s in Marine Biology from Memorial University and holds a Bachelor (Honours) in Animal Biology from the University of Alberta, Canada. In addition to her biology background, she holds a Bachelor of Design degree in Industrial Design from the University of Alberta and has taken courses in visual communication design. Her interests lie in marine visual ecology, especially that of mesopelagic invertebrates and fishes. As an undergraduate, she conducted and led three small projects on bioluminescence, including a mock research grant proposal on female elephant seal foraging in relation to bioluminescence, as well she produced a 3D model of the canal system of a species of deep-sea sponge for computational fluid dynamics. Her master’s research focused on the characterization of colour and buoyancy of lecithotrophic propagules of echinoderms. She has also served as highly qualified personnel aboard the CCGS Amundsen on a research cruise to the Labrador Sea, where she sampled benthic invertebrates down to 2500 m using a box core, rock dredge, Issacs Kidd midwater trawl net, Hydrobios MultiNet, and drop camera. Most recently, she has assisted in an analysis of benthic biodiversity in Saanich Inlet, BC, Canada using ROV video footage with Fisheries and Oceans Canada. As the Social Media Team member managing the @DSBSoc Twitter account, Janet fosters relationships between the society and student, academic, and professional deep-sea biologists by providing a diversity-inclusive venue to come together through the sharing of member achievements, news, opportunities, and updates on happenings within the Deep-Sea Biology Society.

Ariane Buckenmeyer


Ariane’s bio upcoming!

Past DSBS Trustees


Andrea Quattrini (Communications, 2021-2022)

Bhavani Narayanaswamy (Non-office bearing, 2017-2023)


Adrian Glover (President, 2018-2021)

Erin Easton (Secretary, 2018-2021)

Chris Yesson (Treasurer, 2018-2021)

Julia Sigwart (Development, 2018-2021)

Paris Stefanoudis (Communications, 2018-2021)

Santiago Herrera (Membership, 2018-2021)

Andrea Quattrini (Early Career, 2018-2021)

Ily Iglesias (Students, 2019-2021)

Zoleka Filander (Students, 2018-2019)

Raissa Hogan (Diversity, 2019-2021)

Daniela Zeppelli (Conferences, 2020-2021)

Craig McClain (Past President; 2018-2020)

Moriaki Yasuhara (Conferences, 2018-2020)

Steve Haddock (Non-office bearing, 2018-2021)

Malcom Clark (Non-office bearing, 2018-2021)

Leigh Marsh (Non-office bearing, 2018-2021)


Diva Amon (Secretary, 2016-2018)

Holly Bik (Communications, 2015-2018)

Rachel Boschen (Non-office bearing, 2012-2018)

Erin Easton (Non-office bearing, 2015-2018)

Adrian Glover (President 2017-2018)

Steven Haddock (Conferences, 2015-2018)

Santiago Herrera (Membership and Data Protection, 2015-2018)

Rachel Jeffreys (Awards, 2015-2018)

Craig McClain (President 2015-2017; Past President; 2017-2018)

Bhavani Narayanaswamy (Secretary, 2015-2016)

Paul Snelgrove (Non-office bearing, 2015-2018)

Paris Stefanoudis (Students, 2015-2018)

Moriaki Yasuhara (Non-office bearing, 2015-2018)

Chris Yesson (Treasurer, 2015-2018)


Rachel Boschen (Students, 2012-2015)

Holly Bik (Communications, 2012-2015)

Rachel Jeffreys (Awards, 2012-2015)

Craig McClain (President 2012-2015)

Bhavani Narayanaswamy (Secretary, 2012-2015)

Chris Yesson (Treasurer, 2012-2015)