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Sam Purkis, PhD


Marine biology advisor

Sam is a Full Professor with tenure and Head of the Marine Geosciences Department at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami. He received his B.Sc. (Hons.) degree in oceanography and marine biology from Southampton University, Southampton, U.K., the M.Sc. degree in geology, and the Ph.D. degree from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands, in 1998, 2001, and 2004, respectively.

Dr. Purkis is renowned for work on the reef-scale monitoring of coral habitats using remote sensing technologies. His expertise stretches from air- and space-borne optical instruments to vessel-mounted acoustic tools and topo-bathymetric LiDAR. His work concentrates on using technology to resolve seabed architecture of modern and ancient reefscapes, with attention to the detection of change through time. This research is relevant to modelling the degradation of marine ecosystems and the development of management plans to promote sustainability. His work stretches from field monitoring to software development and mathematical simulation. Dr. Purkis has conducted work in the U.S.A., Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, U.A.E., Indonesia, Malaysia, Madagascar, the Mariana Islands, Chagos, French Polynesia, Galapagos, and throughout the Caribbean.

Sam has authored more than 100 scientific publications, including three books, and lectures at the undergraduate and graduate levels. He has been involved in local capacity building initiatives to develop expertise in the environmental agencies of Madagascar, Abu Dhabi, and Qatar. Besides his academic position, Sam is also Co-Founder and Chair of the Chagos Conservation Trust – US, a charitable 501(c)(3) registered organisation established to ensure the protection of the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean ( Well versed in state-of-the-art technological solutions for seabed mapping, his expertise is relevant to a broad spectrum of marine applications.

“Beyond being a first-class conservation entity, Blue Ventures is staffed and directed by true leaders in the the marine sciences who have delivered a wealth of fundamental research on a par to many academic institutions. BV is therefore poised to offer an outstanding education experience to undergraduates and graduates alike, who can rise to the challenge of good science. I unreservedly support the BV endeavour and indeed, continue to work collaboratively with this superb organisation.”

Find out more about Sam’s publications and research at his homepage.

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