Dr. Erik Cordes is an Associate Professor and the Vice Chair of Biology at Temple University. He has worked on the ecology of deep-sea corals and hydrocarbon seeps for over 20 years. He studies these ecosystems at all levels of organization, from energy flow in ecosystems and patterns of community assembly, down to gene expression and microbial processes. Dr. Cordes worked on deep-sea corals for his Master’s thesis at Moss Landing Marine Labs, worked on cold-seep ecology for his Ph.D. at Penn State University, and studied the microbial communities within hydrothermal vent chimneys during his NSF Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Harvard. At Temple, his lab has continued to explore the deep Gulf of Mexico while working on the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on deep-sea coral communities and the effects of ocean acidification on the reef-forming deep-sea coral Lophelia pertusa. Ongoing investigations in the Cordes lab include the seeps off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, the deep-sea corals of the Phoenix Islands, and the various deepwater habitats of the Atlantic coast of the US.