Dr. Erin Burge has been involved with the Jamaica coral reef ecology program since 2007. He has been a certified SCUBA diver since 1988 and completed over 170 scientific dives in and around Discovery Bay. His research interests include environmental immunology, molecular physiology, and molecular biology of marine invertebrates and fishes. At Coastal Carolina University, Dr. Burge has participated in projects ranging from using underwater videos to study grouper populations, molecular tools to detect parasites, and evaluating ecological changes on Caribbean coral reefs. For more information visit his faculty page (http://kingfish.coastal.edu/marine/faculty/erinb.html).
Dr. Koepfler's research expertise includes microbial ecology, energy flow and nutrient cycling, bacteria – algal interactions, landscape influence upon microbial processes, and sea turtle biology. He also has interests in controls on heterotrophic bacteria, bacteria – algae interactions (including HAB species), coastal landscape and climate influences upon microbial function (benthic and pelagic), and sea turtle nest microclimate. Dr. Koepfler leads the Jamaica courses every other year (odd years), and also teaches MSCI 4xx Sea Turtle Biology in Costa Rica (even years). For more information visit his faculty page.
Steve Luff has been diving since 1977 and became a scuba instructor in 1993 as well as being a graduate of the Marine Science program at Coastal Carolina University. He serves as scientific dive safety officer and scuba program instructor for CCU. Steve has been the dive safety officer and dive master for the Ecology of Coral Reef coursesin Jamaica since 1996 when he did his own field research for his senior thesis. His attention to safe diving practices and 12 years of experience diving the North-central coast of Jamaica have given him experience and a unique knowledge of the local diving conditions, environments, and marine life that can be valuable assets to the students conducting field research and data collection during MSCI 477 Ecology of Coral Reefs.
Erin Cziraki has been diving since 2000 and became a PADI Instructor in 2006. She has been an active scientific diver with CCU since 2008 and occasionally serves as Divemaster for certification trips to the Florida springs. Erin acted as dive safety officer for the Ecology of Coral Reef course in 2009 and 2010. Erin is a graduate of Coastal's Marine Science program and started CCU's Coastal Marine and Wetland Master's program in January of 2008 with a focus in geophysics. Her thesis concerns sediment transport in the nearshore Myrtle Beach area.