About Us :: People

dr. steve ross Steve W. Ross, Research Professor
Ph.D., Zoology, NC State University, Raleigh, NC, 1992
M.S., Zoology, UNC-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, 1978
B.S., Zoology, Duke University, Durham, NC, 1974

UNCW, Center for Marine Science | 5600 Marvin K. Moss Ln | Wilmington, NC  28409
Phone: (910) 962-2346 | Email: rosss AT uncw DOT edu


Dr. Ross has spent most of his career involved in marine science of the southeastern US region. He was the Research Coordinator for the NC Coastal Reserve Program for 13 years. He is currently a research faculty at UNC-W and also has led offshore studies for the US Geological Survey. His area of specialization is ichthyology (fishes), particularly in areas of ecology and life history studies (age, growth, feeding, reproduction). He has conducted numerous, diverse projects in estuaries and offshore waters and has served as chief scientist on many cruises, including those using submersibles and ROVs. The current work of Dr. Ross and his team involves assessment of the communities of unique deep water habitats off the southeastern US, in the Gulf of Mexico, and in the Middle Atlantic Bight. In particular, they are looking at energy flow (trophodynamics) and relationships of animals to various habitats, including coral banks, canyon systems, and rocky areas.  Dr. Ross is also involved with European scientists in conducting deep-sea, trans-Atlantic ecosystem studies. One ultimate goal of this research program is to provide information for these poorly known areas that will facilitate management and protection of productive and vulnerable habitats.

Recent publications from Dr. Ross’s Lab

Ross, S.W. and F.C. Rohde. 2004.  The gobioid fishes of North Carolina (Pisces: Gobioidei).  Bull. Mar. Sci. 74: 287-323.

Necaise, A.M.D., S.W. Ross and J.M. Miller. 2005.  Estuarine habitat evaluation measured by growth of   juvenile summer flounder, Paralichthys dentatus, in a North Carolina estuary.  Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 285: 157-168.

H.S. Meister, D.M. Wyanski, J.K. Loefer, S.W. Ross, A.M. Quattrini and K.J. Sulak. 2005.  Further evidence for the invasion and establishment of Pterois volitans (Teleostei: Scorpaenidae) along the Atlantic coast of the United States.  SE Nat. 4: 193-206.

Casazza, T.L., S.W. Ross, A.M. Necaise and K.J. Sulak. 2005.  Reproduction and mating behavior of the Atlantic flyingfish, Cheilopogon melanurus (Exocoetidae), off North Carolina.  Bull. Mar. Sci. 77: 363-375.

Quattrini, A.M. and S.W. Ross. 2006. Fishes associated with North Carolina shelf-edge hardbottoms and initial assessment of a proposed marine protected area.  Bull. Mar. Sci. 79: 137-163.

Williams, B., M.J. Risk, S.W. Ross and K.J. Sulak. 2006.  Deep-water Antipatharians: proxies of environmental change. Geol. 34: 773-776.

Ross, S.W., T.L. Casazza, A.M. Quattrini and K.J. Sulak. 2007.  Anguilliform larvae collected off North Carolina.  Mar. Biol. 150: 681-695.

Caruso, J.H., S.W. Ross, K.J. Sulak and G.R. Sedberry. 2007.  Deep-water chaunacid and lophiid anglerfishes (Pisces: Lophiiformes) off the Southeastern United States.  J. Fish Biol. 70: 1015-1026.

Ross, S.W. and A.M. Quattrini. 2007. The Fish Fauna Associated with Deep Coral Banks off the Southeastern United States. Deep-Sea Research Part I 54: 975-1007.

Brooks, R.A., M.S. Nizinski, S.W. Ross and K.J. Sulak. 2007. Sublethal injury rate in a deepwater ophiuroid, Ophiacantha bidentata, an important component of Western Atlantic Lophelia reef communities. Mar.   Biol. 152: 307-314.

Ross, S.W. and M.S. Nizinski. 2007.  State of Deep Coral Ecosystems in the U.S. Southeast Region: Cape Hatteras to southeastern Florida.  p. 233-270, Ch 6 In: Lumsden, S.E., T.F. Hourigan, A.W. Bruckner and G. Dorr (eds.). The State of Deep Coral Ecosystems of the United States. NOAA Tech. Memo. CRCP-3. Silver Spring, MD. 365 pp.

McCosker, J.E. and S.W. Ross. 2007.  A new deepwater species of the snake eel genus Ophichthus (Anguilliformes: Ophicthidae), from North Carolina.  Copeia 2007: 783-787.

Williams, B., M.J. Risk, S.W. Ross and K.J. Sulak. 2007.  Stable isotope data from deep-water   Antipatharians: 400-year records from the southeastern coast of the United States of America.  Bull. Mar. Sci. 81: 437-447.

Ross, S.W. 2007.  Unique deep-water ecosystems off the southeastern United States.  Oceanography 20: 130-139.

Partyka, M.L., S.W. Ross, A.M. Quattrini, G.R. Sedberry, T.W. Birdsong, and J. Potter. 2007. Southeastern United States deep sea corals (SEADESC) initiative: a collaborative effort to characterize areas of habitat-forming deep-sea corals. NOAA Tech. Memo. OAR OER 1.  Silver Spring, MD. 176 pp.

Gartner, J.V., Jr., K.J. Sulak, S.W. Ross and A-M. Necaise. 2008. Persistent near-bottom aggregations of mesopelagic animals along the North Carolina and Virginia continental slopes.  Mar. Biol. 153: 825-841.

Henry, L-A., M.S. Nizinski and S.W. Ross. 2008. Occurrence and biogeography of hydroids (Cnidaria: Hydrozoa) from deep-water coral habitats off the southeastern United States.  Deep-Sea Res. Part I 55:   788-800.

Messing, C.G., J.K. Reed, S.D. Brooke and S.W. Ross. 2008.  Deep-Water Coral Reefs of the United States. p. 763-787. In: Riegl, B. & R.E. Dodge (eds.). Coral Reefs of the USA. Springer. 802 pp.

Cassaza, T.L. and S.W. Ross. 2008. Fishes associated with pelagic Sargassum and non-structured, open-water habitats in the Gulf Stream off North Carolina, USA. Fish. Bull. 106: 348-363.

Ross, S.W. and A.M. Quattrini. 2009. Deep-sea reef fish assemblage patterns on the Blake Plateau (Western North Atlantic Ocean). Mar. Ecol. 30: 74-92.

Nielsen, J.G., S.W. Ross and D.M. Cohen.  2009. Atlantic occurrence of the genus Bellottia (Teleostei, Bythitidae) with two new species from the Western North Atlantic.  Zootaxa 2018: 45-57.

Quattrini, A.M., M.L. Partyka and S.W. Ross. 2009.  Aspects of the reproductive biology ofskate Fenestraja plutonia (Garman) off North Carolina. SE Naturalist 8(1): 55-70.

Davies, A.J., G.C.A. Duineveld, T.C.E. van Weering, F. Mienis, A.M. Quattrini, H.E. Seim, J.M. Bane and S.W. Ross.  2010.  Short-term environmental variability in cold-water coral habitat at Viosca Knoll, Gulf of Mexico.  Deep-Sea Res. I 57: 199-212.

Taylor, C.J., J.M. Miller, L.J. Pietrafesa, D.A. Dickey and S.W. Ross. 2010.  Winter winds and river discharge determine juvenile southern flounder (Paralichthys lethostigma) recruitment and distribution in North Carolina estuaries.  J. Sea Fish Res. 64:15-25.

Munroe, T.A. and S.W. Ross. 2010. Distribution and life history of two diminutive flatfishes, Citharichthys gymnorhinus and C. cornutus (Pleuronectiformes: Paralichthyidae), in the western North Atlantic.  Fish. Bull. 108: 323-345.

Ross, S.W., A.M. Quattrini, A.Y. Roa-Varón and J.P. McClain. 2010.  Species composition and distributions of mesopelagic fishes over the slope of the north-central Gulf of Mexico. Deep-Sea Res. II 57 (21-23): 1926-1956.

Prouty, N.G., E.B. Roark, C. Holmes, N. Buster and S.W. Ross. 2011. Growth rate and age distribution of deep-sea black corals in the Gulf of Mexico.  Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 423: 101-115.

Morrison, C.L.,  S.W. Ross, M.S. Nizinski, S. Brooke, J. Järnegren, R.G. Waller, R.L. Johnson and T.L. King. 2011. Genetic discontinuity among regional populations of Lophelia pertusa in the North Atlantic Ocean. Conserv. Genetics 12: 713-729.

Sinclair, D.J., B. Williams, G. Allard, B. Ghaleb, S. Fallon, S.W. Ross and M. Risk. 2011. Reproducibility of trace element profiles in a specimen of the deep-water bamboo coral Keratoisis spp. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 75: 5101-5121.

Mienis, F., G.C.A. Duineveld, A.J. Davies, S.W. Ross, H. Seim, J. Bane and T.C.E. van Weering. 2012. The influence of near-bed hydrodynamic conditions on cold-water corals in the Viosca Knoll area, Gulf of Mexico.  Deep-Sea Res. I 60: 32-45.

Ross, S.W., M.C.T. Carlson and A.M. Quattrini.  2012.  The utility of museum records for documenting distributions of deep-sea corals off the southeastern United States.  Mar. Biol. Res. 8(2): 101-114.

Ross, S.W., A.W.J. Demopoulos, C.A. Kellogg, C.L. Morrison, M.S. Nizinski, C.L. Ames, T.L. Casazza, D. Gualtieri, K. Kovacs, J.P. McClain, A.M. Quattrini, A.Y. Roa-Varón and A.D. Thaler. 2012.  Deepwater Program: Studies of Gulf of Mexico Lower Continental Slope Communities Related to Chemosynthetic and Hard Substrate Habitats.  U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2012-1032, 301 p.

Quattrini, A.M., S.W. Ross, M.C.T. Carlson, and M.S. Nizinski. 2012. Megafaunal-habitat associations at a deep-sea coral mound off North Carolina, USA.  Mar. Biol. 159: 1079-1094.

Choy, C.A., P.C. Davison, J.C. Drazen, A. Flynn, E.J. Gier, J.C. Hoffman, J.P. McClain-Counts, T.W. Miller, B.N. Popp, S.W. Ross and T.T. Sutton. 2012. Global trophic position comparison of two dominant    mesopelagic fish families (Myctophidae, Stomiidae) using amino acid nitrogen isotopic analyses.  PlosOne 7 (11): e50133.

Brooke, S., S.W. Ross, J.M. Bane, H.E. Seim and C.M. Young.  2013. Temperature tolerance of the deep-sea coral Lophelia pertusa from the southeastern United States.  Deep-Sea Res. II 92: 240-248.

Pietsch, T.W., S.W. Ross, J.H. Caruso, M.G. Saunders and C.R. Fisher. 2013. In-Situ observations of the deep-sea goosefish Sladenia shaefersi Caruso and Bullis (Lophiiformes: Lophiidae), with evidence of  extreme sexual dimorphism.  Copeia 2013 (4): 660-665.


UNC Wilmington | 601 S. College Road, Wilmington NC 28403 | 910.962.3000 | About this Site | Copyright Notice | Feedback | Page maintained by:  M.D. Smith [ smithmd AT uncw DOT edu ]