Dr. Clifton Nunnally is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Hawaii at Manoa focused on creating new instruments capable of performing in situ experiments in ocean trenches. Dr. Nunnally successfully built and deployed an in situ respirometer that measured invertebrate respiration in the Kermadec Trench earlier this year. During this cruise to the Mariana Trench, he will use the newly constructed Free Vehicle Coring Respirometer (FVCR) to measure oxygen consumption of sediments within the trench. Dr. Nunnally has used a variety of techniques to measure sediment community oxygen consumption (SCOC) during his 15 years of benthic research. He is interested in combining functional measurements of benthic ecosystem services such as SCOC with the underlying faunal structure to better understand the pathways of carbon remineralization.
Dr. Nunnally earned his Masters and PhD at Texas A&M University. He used combined studies of structure and function to expose underlying ecological strategies of macrofauna at cold hydrocarbon seeps in the Gulf of Mexico during his Masters. His PhD dissertation used similar methods to determine the biogeochemical cycling of sediments within the Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone and describe the impacts of hypoxia (low oxygen waters) and hurricanes on benthic macrofauna populations.