Derek Manzello, PhD

Ocean Acidification Scientist


Derek's research explores how climate change and ocean acidification will, and already are, affecting the construction (coral growth, calcification) and breakdown (bioerosion, dissolution) of coral reefs, as well as the associated ramifications this has for ecosystem function (e.g., biodiversity). The Galapagos Islands provide vital insights on the future function and structure of coral reef ecosystems with climate change and ocean acidification because these reefs persist under the highest CO2 conditions ever documented for coral reefs.
Derek currently works for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, where he manages the: 1) Ocean Acidification Program’s Coral Reef Monitoring Network, 2) in situ climate and ocean acidification monitoring of the Coral Reef Conservation Program’s (CRCP) National Coral Reef Monitoring Plan, and 3) CRCP’s Atlantic Ocean Acidification Test-Bed that aims to understand the ecosystem effects of ocean acidification on coral reefs, and develop new tools to measure this change.
Derek grew up in suburban Chicago and moved to Miami in 1998 to attend the University of Miami. He graduated summa cum laude in 2002, with general honors and departmental honors in biology and marine science, as well as an award for outstanding student in the marine sciences. He then went on to attend the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences of the University of Miami, where he earned his Ph.D. in Marine Biology and Fisheries in 2008. Derek's work has been highlighted in The New York Times (twice), Scientific American (twice), National Geographic News, The Los Angeles Times, Discovery Online, on NPR, and others.