Tracey Sutton, Nova Southeastern University

Dr. Sutton is an Associate Professor at the Department of Marine and Environmental Sciences, Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography, Nova Southeastern University. NSU is the largest private not-for-profit university in the state of Florida. Dr. Sutton’s lab is located in the Guy Harvey Oceanographic Center in Dania Beach ( Dr. Sutton is Director and Principal Investigator of the DEEPEND Research Consortium (, a 70-member, 22-institution organization focused on the dynamics of, and human impacts on, the deep sea. Dr. Sutton is an Advsiory Committee member of the Deep Ocean Stewardship Initiative (, an invited Expert Panelist on the United Nations First and Second Ocean Assessments, and a society-elected member of the Board of Governors of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists.

Major research topics in Dr. Sutton’s lab include: the ecological structure of large deep-sea ecosystems (Gulf of Mexico, Sargasso Sea, US Atlantic Seaboard, North Atlantic, Southern Ocean); global deep-pelagic biogeography, management and conservation; food web structure and trophic interactions in deep-sea ecosystems; benthic-pelagic coupling in deep-sea ecosystems (reefs, canyons, slopes, seamounts); physical oceanographic drivers of oceanic systems; and taxonomy and systematics of deep-sea fishes.

His role in DEEP SEARCH will be to examine the ecological connectivity between deep-pelagic ecosystems, particularly as related to: 1)  the impingement of the deep-scattering layer (a dense layer of pelagic organisms) on the continental shelf edge; 2) the use of water column food resources by deep-benthic communities; and 3) pelagic habitat use by early life stages of the benthic and demersal fauna.