Copyright © Marine Sponges from Hawaii. All rights reserved. [Jaaziel E. Garcia-Hernandez]
Dr. Nicole de Voogd is a world renown marine sponge taxonomist who was responsible for identifying the marine sponges that were collected during the study. She is a permanent researcher at the Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden, Netherlands (https://science.naturalis.nl/en/people/scientists/nicole-de-voogd/). We are extremely thankful for the collaboration between Nicole and the research team in Dr. Wright's laboratory.
PhD. Candidate Kehau Hagiwara
Mauritius Valente Bell (Photo: Elliott Jessup)
Dr. Anthony D. Wright is the Principal Investigator Adviser for this on-going research project. He is an Associate Professor at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, at the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. He is a world leader in marine natural product drug discovery and a recognized expert in the area of structure elucidation using NMR. His research group discovered the first compounds from the marine environment to have selective antimalarial activity and were also the first to isolate endophytic fungi from marine algae. His group was at the forefront in developing new methodologies for solving chemical structures of various natural products an area where they are still active. His laboratory is located at the Waiakea Research Center, where he and his students explore the biological activity and natural products chemistry of various niche macro- and micro-organisms found on the Big Island of Hawaii. (http://pharmacy.uhh.hawaii.edu/cop/psc/adwright.php)
Jaaziel E. García-Hernández (B.S. Marine Science, University of Hawaii at Hilo, 2012) is an aspiring sponge taxonomist and ecologist. He is currently pursuing a Masters Degree at the University of Puerto Rico - Mayagüez. His thesis focuses on testing the shallow and mesophotic reef connectivity hypothesis by studying the biodiversity of sponges through molecular and classical taxonomic techniques.
Dr. Anthony D. Wright
Marine Sponges from Hawaii: Big Island
Mauritius V. Bell is the University of Hawaii at Hilo's Unit Diving Coordinator and served as my diving safety officer (DSO). He oversaw all scientific dives related to this research project. He was also a crucial member of the scientific diver team that assisted me in the sampling of the marine sponges. More importantly, he served as my diving mentor- teaching me proper scientific diving techniques that were used during this project, and continue to use for my present research.