Dr. Etnoyer is lead scientist for the Deep Coral Ecology Lab in Charleston. The lab specializes in coral taxonomy and propagation, habitat assessment, and image analysis. The team works around the US to survey and explore deep-sea habitats for protection and management. He is Project Co-Manager for Coral Propagation Techniques Development (CPT) project in the Mesophotic and Deep Benthic Communities portfolio intended to restore the Gulf of Mexico.
Etnoyer got his start as a marine biologist working in shallow coral ecosystems, with non-governmental organizations in the Philippines and Caribbean Sea. Since 2002, he has been working in deep-sea coral ecosystems in Alaska, Washington, California, and the Gulf of Mexico. He has described new species of deep-sea corals, and authored more than 40 scientific papers, including a damage assessment of mesophotic coral ecosystems following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Etnoyer holds academic degrees from Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi (PhD, 2009) and Duke University (MEM 2001, BA 1988). He is also an adjunct professor at College of Charleston, where he serves as a mentor to graduate students at the Grice Marine Laboratory.