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Peter Etnoyer

NOAA, Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research

Address: 219 Fort Johnson Road, Charleston, SC 29412
Phone: 843.460.9659


Ph.D., 2009, Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi

Research Interests

  • Deep-sea benthic ecology
  • Distribution and diversity of deep-sea corals, particularly octocorals
  • Health and condition of deep-sea corals relative to anthropogenic stressors
  • Habitat suitability modeling and marine protected area network design
  • Importance of deep-sea corals as nursery substrate for deep-sea catsharks

Current and planned research projects

  • habitat suitability modeling of deep octocorals in the Gulf of Alaska, Southern California, and Gulf of Mexico
  • commensal and agonistic interactions of benthic invertebrates and deep-sea octocorals in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea
  • importance of octocorals as nursery substrate for deep-sea catsharks
  • effects of ocean acidification on deep-sea corals


  • Etnoyer, PG, LN Wickes, M Silva, JD Dubrick, E Salgado, IR MacDonald. accepted. Decline in condition of gorgonian octocorals at mesophotic reefs in the northwest Gulf of Mexico: before and after Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Coral Reefs 'in press.'
  • Silva M, Etnoyer PJ, MacDonald IR (2015) Coral injuries observed at mesophotic reefs after the Deepwater Horizon oil discharge. Deep Sea Research Part II 'in press.' 
  • Hourigan, T.F., P.J. Etnoyer, R.P. McGuinn, C. Whitmire, D.S. Dorfman, M. Dornback, S. Cross, D. Sallis (2015) And Introduction to NAA's National Database for Deep-Sea Corals and Sponges. NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS SCCOS 191. 27 pp. Silver Spring, MD. 
  • Quattrini AM, Etnoyer PJ, Daughty C, English L, Falco R, Remon N, Rittinghouse M, Cordes EE (2013) A phylogenetic approach to octocoral community structure in the deep Gulf of Mexico. Deep-Sea Res.II,
  • Etnoyer, PJ, Sanchez JA, Wirshing HH. 2010. Rapid Assessment of Octocoral Diversity and Habitat on Saba Bank, Netherlands Antilles. PLoS ONE 5(5): e10668.  doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0010668.
  • Etnoyer, P, Wood J, Shirley TC. 2010. How large is the seamount biome?Oceanography 23(1): 206-209.
  • Etnoyer, P. 2008. A new species of Isidella bamboo coral (Octocorallia: Alcyonacea: Isididae) from Northeast Pacific seamounts. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 121(4): 541-553.
  • Etnoyer, PJ, Warrenchuk J. 2007. A catshark nursery in a deep gorgonian field in the Mississippi Canyon, Gulf of Mexico. Bulletin of Marine Science 81(3): 553-559.