Santiago Herrera is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences of Lehigh University. He received a B.S. in Biology and Microbiology and an M.S. in Biological Sciences from the Universidad de los Andes in Bogota, Colombia. He was also a graduate fellow at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History during his master’s work. He earned a Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution joint program. Santiago was also a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto. He is an Early Career Research Fellow of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Gulf Research Program.
Santiago’s research focuses on the ecological and evolutionary processes that produce global biodiversity patterns in the ocean. He uses interdisciplinary approaches combining molecular and environmental data with bioinformatic tools to study deep-sea and cold-water ecosystems’ past, present, and future. He has 15 years of experience investigating the ecology and evolution of deep-sea corals. Santiago has participated in over 25 deep-sea oceanographic expeditions where ROVs were the primary data-collection tool. On this cruise, Santiago and his team will characterize the diversity of mesophotic and deep-sea coral ecosystems and perform experiments on live corals to explore the factors underlying variability in ROS production.