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|Peter Auster, Ph.D.|
Senior Research Scientist
Peter Auster joined Mystic Aquarium in November 2011 as a Senior Research Scientist. He is a marine ecologist and his work is focused broadly on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity in the ocean. Although now retired from the University of Connecticut, he retains a faculty appointment as a Research Professor in the Department of Marine Sciences and has ongoing projects there. For the past 30 years, Peter has conducted studies to understand how behavior of marine fishes and dynamics in patterns of habitat use influence their distribution and abundance across underwater landscapes – essentially conducting fundamental ecology in the sea. From an applied science perspective, his work has focused on understanding the ecological effects of fishing, one of the most pervasive of direct human impacts in the sea, and on developing a scientific basis for using marine protected areas as a conservation tool. This work has spanned the globe where he has served as a scientist or chief-scientist on over 40 major research cruises and led many shore-based projects. His fieldwork is primarily based on using the same types of techniques underwater that wildlife biologists use on land. That is, making direct underwater observations to study how individual animals respond to variations in nature. Scuba, research submersibles, and remotely operated vehicles have been central for conducting much for this work, resulting in over 130 scholarly and technical publications. Among numerous forms of professional recognition, Peter is a Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation, was elected a Fellow in the American Institute of Fishery Research Biologists, and was the Mote Eminent Scholar in Fisheries Ecology at Florida State University during the 2010 -11 academic year. Peter serves on multiple panels and committees that are focused on marine resource management and conservation.
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