8000 NORTH OCEAN DRIVE, DANIA BEACH, FL 33004; (954) 262-3692; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2001-03     Postdoc - Ocean Life Institute, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
2001     Ph.D. - Biological Oceanography, Univ. of South Florida Coll. of Mar. Science
1994     M.S. - Biological Oceanography, Univ. of South Florida Coll. of Mar. Science
1988     B.S. - Zoology, University of South Florida, Tampa



2013-pres  Associate Professor, Halmos College of Natural Science and Oceanography, Nova Southeastern University
2008-2013 Assistant Professor, Virginia Institute of Marine Science
 2008-pres Affiliate Scientist, Montery Bay Aquarium Research Institute
2006-pres Adjunct Faculty, Ocean Research and Conservation Association
2005-pres Affiliate Assistant Professor, Florida Atlantic University
2003-2008 Principal Investigator, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute
2001-2003 Postdoctoral Scholar, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute


81 research cruises, 34 as Chief Scientist, in the Gulf of Mexico, Sargasso Sea, NW Atlantic (Bear Seamount), mid-North Atlantic (Mid-Atlantic Ridge), SE Atlantic (Canary Islands to South Africa), Pacific (Monterey Bay), and Southern Ocean (Ross, Scotia and Weddell Seas). Have conducted sampling with large and small fish trawls, zooplankton samplers, HOVs (Johnson Sea-Link submersible), ROVs, and have collaborated closely with hydroacoustic projects.

I currently lead the Deep Pelagic Nekton Dynamics of the Gulf of Mexico Consortium and the NOAA Gulf of Mexico Offshore Nekton Sampling and Analysis Program.     


Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography/Nova Southeastern University

• Ichthyology (OCMB 0999: Sutton): Focuses on the evolution, systematics, and biology of bony, cartilaginous and jawless fishes, both living and extinct. The anatomy of fishes is detailed, followed by a multi-lecture series treating the major lineages of fishes. Lab exercises involve anatomical study and taxonomy of extant fishes. Following systematic lectures key ecological aspects of fishes are examined, including trophic ecology, growth and reproduction, and community structure. These ecological elements are then traced back to the evolution of major lineages. Students will gain experience in field sampling techniques around the Guy Harvey Oceanographic Center in order to acquire fresh material for laboratory exercises.

Tropical Marine Fish Ecology (OCMB 6120: Sutton). A lecture/field/laboratory course that emphasizes the ecology and identification of Caribbean inshore and coral reef fishes. Lectires concentrate on general ecology (e.g., planktonic existence, reproductive strategies, feeding methods, distributional drivers) and species-specific ecology (e.g., diel and seasonal rhythms, feeding, reproduction), as well as taxonomy of approximately 200 species. Field and laboratory periods emphasize collection and curation techniques as well as the use of dichotomous identification keys.

• Know Your Oceans: Rivers to the Abyss. A synoptic look at aquatic ecosystems, from the distribution of water on Earth to the biology of marine ecosystems. This class will examine ecosystem structure from rivers to estuaries to continental shelves to the deep ocean.distribution of water on Earth to the biology of marine ecosystems. This class will examine ecosystem structure from rivers to estuaries to continental shelves to the deep ocean.

Nova Southeastern University Outreach Programs supported in Sutton Lab

 • Oceanic Ecology Lab Internship Program (2016-pres): Undergraduate and graduate students learn oceanographic techniques while helping with DEEPEND consortium research. Currently there are two NSU HCNSO graduate students (D. Swack and N. Jackson) working in lab. Program alumnus: Eva Paulus (Barry University; Summer 2016).
• University School Science Research Mentorship Program (2015): Multi-week high school internship where exception students receive hands-on training and participate in lab research.
• St. Thomas University Science Internship Program (2014): Semester-long program where STU undergrads receive course credit for participating in laboratory research at the HCNSO Guy Harvey Oceanographic Center.

Virginia Institute of Marine Science / The College of William & Mary

•Ecology of Fishes (MSCI 672: Sutton) 3 credit lecture: The course is interdisciplinary, including such topics as: physical oceanography; biophysical coupling; phyto- and zooplankton dynamics; cladistics; vertebrate evolution; fish taxonomy, systematics, and phylogenetics; theoretical and applied (fisheries) ecology, with emphasis on marine animals; biodiversity; community (uni- and multivariate) analysis; experimental design; and technical writing (synthetic essay final).
•Deep-Sea Biology (MSCI 663: Vecchione). Lecturer: “Deep-Sea Fishes,” focusing on diversity, adaptations, and biogeography.
•Mechanistic Approach to Plankton Ecology (MSCI 698-02: Tang). Discussion Leader: “Structure and Function of Pelagic Food Webs.”

Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution / Florida Atlantic University

  • Biology of Marine Fishes (BSC 4930/6936: Sutton): 3 credit lecture, 1 credit lab.  An overview of the classification, functional morphology, physiology, behavior, ecology, and evolutionary systematics of marine fishes.  Field trips complement lecture and labs. Enrollment includes undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Marine Biodiversity (Fish lectures and lab): ‘Introduction to vertebrates and fishes’
  • FAU Lifelong Learning Program: ‘Know your Oceans: Rivers to the Abyss

Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution Outreach Programs

  • Lincoln Park Academy (FL) – Marine Functional Morphology and Diversity (lecture/lab)   
  • St. Mark’s Academy (FL) – Plankton, Deep-Sea Life, Seining Identification Lab
Other Outreach Programs
  • DEEPEND Education/Outreach Program – DEEPEND Director and Principal Investigator
                  - "Gulf of Mexico Exploration" Teacher workshops
                  - Teacher-At-Sea Program
                  - Creep into the DEEPEND, Skype sessions/class lectures – grades K-7
  • Santa Rosa County (FL) Public Schools - Oceanography   
  • Tarpon Springs (FL) Public Library Natural History Series – Fishes of the Gulf of Mexico
  • Woods Hole Science and Technology Education Partnership – Science Fair Support Project 
  • Commonwealth Governor’s School – Expert Mentor for senior culminating project


2017 Invited Speaker - NOAA Office of Exploration and Research "Surface to Seafloor" Workshop, Honolulu, HI
2016 Associate Member (Nominated Election), Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
2015 Board of Governors Appointment – Amer. Soc. of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists
Invited Speaker, Vetlesen Distinguished Lecture Series – University of Rhode Island
Invited Speaker, Texas A&M University Graduate Seminar Series
2015-pres Director and Principal Investigator DEEPEND Research Consortium (Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative)
2014 Expert Panelist Appointment United Nations First Ocean Assessment
2014-pres Review Editor appointment Frontiers in Marine Science
2013-pres Steering Committee appointment Deep Ocean Stewardship Initiative (DOSI)
2013 Invited Keynote Speaker 2013 Fisheries Society of the British Isles Deep-Sea Fish Symposium, Glasgow, Scotland
2013-2015 Co-Principal Investigator (Invited) Deep-Pelagic Conservation Working Group; Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative (with Malcolm Clark, NIWA)
2010-pres  Principal Investigator (Invited) Offshore Fish and Nekton Sampling and Analysis Program; NOAA Office of Response and Restoration




Professional Service Activities
• Elected Member, Board of Governors, American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists
• Expert Panelist, United Nations First Ocean Assessment
• Director, NOAA NRDA Offshore Nekton Sampling and Analysis Program
• Review Editor, Frontiers in Marine Science
• Co-Principal Investigator, Pelagic Nekton Working Group, international CoML field project MAR-ECO
• Gulf of Maine Area (GoMA) Census of Marine Life Slope and Seamount Expert Group Synthesis meeting Dec 2008, Centre for Marine Biodiversity, St. Andrews, New Foundland
• Invited review panelist: NSF Biological Oceanography Program