Andrew Bruckner, PhD

Former Chief Scientist of the Living Oceans Foundation


Andy was the Chief Scientist with the Living Oceans Foundation, where he implemented the field research component of the Global Reef Expedition. He organized and led field expeditions for the foundation to map, characterize and assess remote coral reefs in the Caribbean, Pacific, Indian Ocean, and the Red Sea. He received his B.S. in Biology from the University of Oregon, M.S. in marine biology from Northeastern University (Massachusetts) in 1988, and his Ph.D. from the University of Puerto Rico in 1999.

Andy is a native New Englander, growing up in Connecticut. Since high school, he has lived in Massachusetts, Oregon, Florida. During the 1980s he spent extended periods in Jamaica, and then lived there from 1990-1993, serving as Director of the Hofstra University Marine Lab. From 1994-1998, he lived on the south coast of Puerto Rico, spending as much time as possible underwater off La Parguera, Rincon and the uninhabited offshore islands of Desecheo and Mona. Andy has been living in Maryland since 1998 with his wife, Robin, 10 year old daughter, Haili, and 8 year old son, Dylan.

Prior to joining the Foundation, he divided his time between coral reef research, management and conservation, and policy development. He first established research sites in Jamaica in the 1980s, and in Bonaire, Curacao and Puerto Rico in the 1990s, and has continued to revisit these sites to better understand their trajectories. Over the last 25 years, he has also studied reefs in other Caribbean, Red Sea and IndoPacific locations.

Andy joined the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program in 1998 as a coral reef ecologist, helping develop and implement the first U.S. government led coral reef conservation program.
During his ten years with NOAA, he developed and served as the co-lead of NOAA’s Coral Disease and Health Consortium, conducted coral reef research, monitoring and restoration activities, and worked closely with resource managers and government agencies in the U.S. and internationally in developing conservation, management, and restoration actions for coral reefs. His efforts resulted in new U.S. legislation, sustainable management guidelines for the harvest of coral reef species, adoption of international (CITES) regulations and listings (seahorses, humphead wrasse, and corals), and listing of the first corals (elkhorn coral and staghorn coral) on the U.S. Endangered Species Act. He received a Presidential Early Career Award, Administrators Award, and three bronze medals from NOAA for his work on coral reefs.