|J Murray Roberts
J. Murray Roberts studied biology at the University of York before a PhD at the University of Glasgow on micro-algal symbiosis in sea anemones. He joined the Scottish Association for Marine Science in 1997 where he began working on the biology and ecology of cold-water corals. In 2006 he was awarded a European Marie Curie fellowship to work at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, USA. He has published over 30 papers in the primary literature and written articles for New Scientist and BBC Wildlife magazine among others. He edited the 2005 Springer volume ‘Cold-water Corals and Ecosystems’. In September 2009 he joined the School of Life Sciences at Heriot-Watt University (Edinburgh) as a Reader in Biodiversity and was appointed Professor in August 2011.
Andrew Wheeler studied geology at University of Liverpool followed by a PhD at the University of Cambridge and post-doctoral fellowship at The Queen’s University Belfast. He is currently Senior Lecturer (Department of Geology) and co-ordinator of marine and freshwater research (Environmental Research Institute) at University College Cork, Ireland. Since 1997 his research has focused on the seabed mapping and sedimentology of cold-water coral carbonate mounds. He has published over 35 articles in international journals and is presently coordinator of a European coral carbonate mound seabed drilling program.
André Freiwald studied palaeontology and marine zoology at the University of Kiel before a dissertation on north Atlantic postglacial coralline algae. He then moved to the Fachbereich Geowissenschaften at Bremen University and started his work on cold-water corals as a post-doc in 1994. In 1999 he was awarded with the Heisenberg Grant of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and was appointed for a professor in palaeontology at the University of Tübingen in 2000. From 2002-10 he was chair of palaeontology at the GeoZentrum Nordbayern, Erlangen. In 2010 he moved to the Department of Marine Science at the Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg. He has published over 54 scientific papers in the field of cold-water corals, cool-water carbonates and bioerosion. He edited the 2005 Springer volume 'Cold-water Corals and Ecosystems' and is chief editor of the journal Facies.
Stephen Cairns has worked at and only at the Smithsonian Institution for his 32 year career, during which he has published about 130 articles on living and fossil deep-water corals, including Scleractinia, Stylasteridae, Octocorallia, Antipatharia, and calcified hydractiniids. He is a systematist, having described approximately 350 new deep-water coral species from around the world. He was the first to publish a complete list of the deep-water scleractinian corals and to determine that deep-water corals outnumber their shallow-water counterparts. Cairns is very involved with the Biological Society of Washington, having served as its President, Secretary, and invertebrate editor.