Andrew Thaler.

Dr. Thaler is a deep-sea ecologist and conservation technologist whose research revolves around how humans use technology to connect with the ocean. He is more narrowly focused on understanding the impacts of deep-sea mining on biodiversity and connectivity at hydrothermal vents, building anticipatory frameworks for emerging ocean technology, and developing low-cost open-source tools to study our changing world.

Contact Information

PO BOX 461
Saint Michaels, MD 21663

Public Key: A8BB 8B5A 9E5D EF80 6682 2725 7E7F ED23 D4E4 EED2

Current Affiliations

CEO, Blackbeard Biologic: Science and Environmental Advisors

Chief Ecologist, OpenROV

Affiliated Faculty, School of Marine Science and Policy, University of Delaware

Adjunct Professor, Center for Environmental Science, University of Maryland Horn Point Lab

Publications: Lead Author

Thaler AD, Saleu W, Carlsson J, Schultz TF, Van Dover, CL (2017) Population structure of Bathymodiolus manusensis, a deep-sea hydrothermal vent-dependent mussel from Manus Basin, Papua New Guinea. PeerJ, 21: e3655.

Thaler AD, Rose NA, Cosentino AM, Wright A (2017) Lions, Whales, and the Web: Transforming Moment Inertia into Conservation Action. Frontiers in Marine Science, 4: 292.

Thaler AD, Freitag A, Bergman E, Fretz D, Saleu W (2015) Robots as vectors for marine invasions: best practices for minimizing transmission of invasive species via observation-class ROVs. Tropical Conservation Science, 8(3): 711-717

Thaler AD and Shiffman D (2015) Fish tales: Combating fake science in popular media. Ocean and Coastal Management, doi:10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2015.04.005.

Thaler AD, Plouviez S, Saleu W, Alei F, Jacobson A, Boyle EA, Schultz TF, Carlsson J, Van Dover CL (2014) Comparative population structure of two deep-sea hydrothermal-vent-associated decapods (Chorocaris sp. 2 and Munidopsis lauensis) from southwestern Pacific back-arc basins. PLoSONE, 9: e101345.

Thaler AD, Zelnio K, Saleu W, Schultz TF, Carlsson J, Cunningham C, Vrijenhoek R, Van Dover CL (2011) The effects of spatial scale on the population dynamics of Ifremeria nautilei, a hydrothermal vent endemic gastropod from the southwest Pacific. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 11(1): 372.

Thaler AD, Vilgalys R, Van Dover CL (2011) Ascomycete phylotypes recovered from a Gulf of Mexico methane seep are identical to an uncultured deep-sea fungal clade from the Pacific. Fungal Ecology.  doi:10.1016/j.funeco.2011.07.002.

Thaler AD, Zelnio KA, Jones R, Carlsson J, Van Dover CL, Schultz T (2010) Characterization of 12 polymorphic microsatellite loci in Ifremeria nautilei, a chemoautotrophic gastropod from deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Conservation Genetics Resources. doi:10.1007/s12686-010-9174-9.

A great white shark attempts to swallow an OpenROV underwater robot. Video by D. Fretz.

Publications: Co-author

Turner PJ, Thaler AD, Freitag A, Collins PC (2019) Deep-sea hydrothermal vent ecosystem principles: Identification of ecosystem processes, services and communication of value. Marine Policy, in press.

McClain C, Balk MA, Benfield MC, Branch TA, Chen C, Cosgrove J, Dove ADM, Helm RR, Hochberg FGE, Gaskins LC, Lee FB, Marshall A, McMurray SE, Schanche C, Stone SN, Thaler AD (2015) Sizing Ocean Giants: Patterns of Intraspecific Size Variation in Marine Megafauna. PeerJ, 2: e715.

Shiffman DS, Gallagher AJ, Wester J, Macdonald C, Thaler AD, Cooke SJ, Hammerschlag N (2015) A letter of clarification from the authors of “trophy fishing for species threatened with extinction”. Marine Policy. 53: 213-214. 

Shiffman DS, Gallagher AJ, Wester J, Macdonald C, Thaler AD, Cooke SJ, Hammerschlag N (2014) Trophy fishing for species threatened with extinction: a way forward building on a history of conservation. Marine Policy. 50: 318-322.

Boyle EA, Thaler AD, Jacobson A, Plouviez P, Van Dover CL (2013) Characterization of 10 polymorphic microsatellite loci in Munidopsis lauensis, a squat-lobster from the southwestern Pacific. Conservation Genetics Resources, 5: 647-649.

Jacobson A, Plouviez S, Thaler AD, Van Dover CL (2013) Characterization of 9 polymorphic microsatellite loci in Lamellibrachia sp. 2, a tubeworm found at deep-sea hydrothermal vents and cold seeps. Conservation Genetics Resources, 5: 1005-1007.

Collins PC, Copley J, Boschen R, Forde J, Se-Jong J, Kennedy B, Lindsay D, Marsh L, Nye V, Patterson A, Watanabe H, Yamamoto H, Carlsson J, Thaler AD (2013) VentBase: Developing a consensus among stakeholders in the deep-sea regarding environmental impact assessment for deep-sea mining–A workshop report. Marine Policy, 42: 334-336.

Jacobson A, Plouviez S, Thaler AD, Van Dover CL (2012) Characterization of 13 polymorphic microsatellite loci in Rimicaris hybisae, a shrimp from deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Conservation Genetics Resources. DOI 10.1007/s12686-012-9825-0.

Schultz TF, Hsing P-Y, Eng A, Zelnio KA, Thaler AD, Carlsson J, Van Dover CL (2010) Characterization of 18 polymorphic microsatellite loci from Bathymodiolus manusensis (Bivalvia, Mytilidae) from deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Conservation Genetics Resources. doi: 10.1007/s12686-010-9272-8

Zelnio KA, Thaler AD, Jones RE, Saleu W, Schultz TF, Van Dover CL, Carlsson J (2010) Characterization of nine polymorphic microsatellite loci in Chorocaris sp. (Crustacea: Caridea: Alvinocarididae) from deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Conservation Genetics Resources. doi:10.1007/s12686-010-9243-0.

Forward RB, Thaler AD, Singer R (2007) Entrainment of the activity rhythm of the mole crab Emerita talpoida. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 341(1): 10–15.

Publications: Technical Reports, Gray Literature, Book Chapters, Other

Cabrera I, Amon D, Thaler AD, Peterka L, MacPherson R, Kerr J (2016) National Marine Sanctuary Designation for the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument: Completing an Environmental Legacy. Pew Global Ocean Legacy.

Thaler AD (2016) Blogging for beginners. Science. 351(6279): 1270.

Van Dover CL, Arnaud-Haond S, Clark MR, Smith S, Thaler AD, Van den Hove S (2016) Application of Biological Studies to Deep-Sea Governance and Management of Deep-Sea Resources. Clark MR, Consalvey M, Rowden AA (Eds.), Biological Sampling in the Deep Sea. Wiley-Blackwell.

Thaler AD (2015) Marine Mining. In Wohl E (Ed.), Environmental Science. Oxford Bibliographies. DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780199363445-0047.

Thaler AD (2014) Book Review: Prager, Ellen. Sex, Drugs, and Sea Slime: The Ocean’s Oddest Creatures and Why They Matter. Biological Conservation. 169: 344.

Thaler AD, Zelnio KA, Freitag A, MacPherson R, Shiffman D, Bik H, Goldstein M, McClain C (2012) Digital Environmentalism: Tools and strategies for the evolving online ecosystem. In D. Gallagher (Ed.), Environmental Leadership: A Reference Handbook. SAGE Reference.

Thaler AD (2011) Legacy of Rebirth: Lessons from Monterey Bay. Trends in Ecology and Evolution. DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2011.02.002

Select popular science writings

Thaler AD (2017) After Years Working in Dominica, Scientists Are Helping Their ‘Other Family’ Rebuild. Earther.

Thaler AD (2016) To Track Down Bloodsucking Lampreys, This Robot Swims Like a Fish. Motherboard.

Thaler AD (2016) Backed by Lasers, Robotic Rovers Defend the Desert Tortoise. Motherboard.

Thaler AD (2016) The Politics of Fake Documentaries. Slate.

Thaler AD (2016) Living with deep-sea mining. Undark Magazine.

Thaler AD (2016) Mud, Shuck, and Spat: The future of Chesapeake Bay’s oysters depends on interstate cooperation. Hakai Magazine.

Thaler AD (2016) Managing a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign. Chronicle Vitae.

Thaler AD (2016) Setting Up Your Crowdfunding Campaign. Chronicle Vitae.

Thaler AD (2016) Can Crowdfunding Fill the Science Funding Gap? Chronicle Vitae.

Thaler AD (2015) How Man and Machine Unlocked the Ocean’s Depths. Motherboard.

Thaler AD (2015) How a Small Island Nation Is Saving the Humble Sea Dick. Motherboard.

Thaler AD (2014) Drones Would Revolutionize Oceanic Conservation, If They Weren’t Illegal. Motherboard.

Thaler AD (2014) The History of Exploding Whales Is the History of the Internet Itself. Motherboard.

Thaler AD (2014) Drones, Robotic Rovers and Citizen Scientists Join Forces to Sample a Lake’s Biodiversity. Scientific American.

Thaler AD (2013) Why I Drowned L.A. and the World. Zocalo Public Square.