Luke McCartin works in Dr. Tim Shank’s lab at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. His current work focuses on the Northeast Atlantic and the remote Central Pacific, particularly the Phoenix Islands Protected Area. He is interested in understanding the distribution patterns and host-specificity of coral-associated fauna, and deep-sea fish ecology. His research aims to understand how these animals are distributed among different seamounts and submarine canyons, and how their community structure changes with depth and bottom habitat.

A recent graduate from the University of Vermont with a B.S. in Biology, his past research focused on how insect mutualisms affect their host plants. Luke finds parallels with his past work and the interactions of corals and their associates. On board R/V Falkor, he looks forward to cataloguing and preserving coral associate specimens for DNA barcoding to examine their phylogenetic diversity. He is very excited to participate in his first research cruise.