Dr. Peter Auster joined Mystic Aquarium as a senior research scientist in 2011. He is a marine ecologist; focusing on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity in the ocean. Although retired from the University of Connecticut, he retains a faculty appointment in the Department of Marine Sciences and has ongoing projects with enrolled students. For the past 30 years, Dr. Auster has conducted studies aimed at understanding the behavior of marine fishes and how the dynamics in patterns of habitat use influence their distribution and abundance. His most notable applied science work has focused on understanding the ecological effects of fishing and development of a scientific basis for using marine protected areas as a conservation tool. Dr. Auster has led many shore-based projects and has served as a scientist on more than 60 research cruises in the northwest Atlantic, Bering Sea, Gulf of Alaska, Caribbean Sea, Indian Ocean, South China Sea, Gulf of California and equatorial Pacific. His fieldwork, which has utilized SCUBA techniques, research submersibles and remotely-operated vehicles, has resulted in citations in more than 130 scholarly and technical publications. Dr. Auster serves on multiple panels and committees focused on marine resource management as well as conservation and outreach. He is a Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation and a Fellow in the American Institute of Fishery Research Biologists. Dr. Auster was the Mote Eminent Scholar in Fisheries Ecology at Florida State University during the 2010–11 academic year. Commendations include a NOAA Environmental Hero Award, a NOAA National Marine Sanctuaries Outstanding Volunteer Service Award and a University of Connecticut at Avery Point Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Photo Credit: Mystic Aquarium