Dr Sandra Brooke is part of the Full Research Faculty at the Florida State University Coastal and Marine Lab.
Her primary research is on coral reefs from shallow waters to the deep sea. Her focus is on understanding their distribution, abundance, and physiology, as well as how they are affected by anthropogenic impacts. In the course of this research, she has developed a technological approach to deep sea research, particularly on the deep-water branching coral, Lophelia pertusa, that enhances our understanding of deep coral reefs and other ecosystems.
After completing her undergraduate and M.Sc degrees in England, Sandra spent a few years working in mosquito control in the Cayman Islands, where she learned to dive and discovered marine ecology. She then obtained an M.A in Marine Biology from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, and a Ph. D (2002) from the Southampton Oceanography Center, UK, where her research examined reproductive ecology of a deep water coral Oculina varicosa.
Sandra has since worked on deep-water coral ecosystems in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska, Norwegian Fjords, South Atlantic Bight and Gulf of Mexico, including the conduct of post-Deepwater Horizon oil spill damage assessment. She has also worked extensively on shallow coral reefs in the Caribbean and south Florida. Her recent research has focused on the biology and ecology of deep corals and characterization of deep reef ecosystems, particularly to identify sensitive hard bottom habitats such as coral reefs that are ecologically valuable.