Assistant Professor of Biology and Health Science
PhD, Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason University
MS, Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason University
BS, Biology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Professional Background, Scholarship Highlights
- Visiting Professor and INBRE Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Biology and Health Science, New England College (2016–present)
- Adjunct Professor, Department of Biology and Health Science, New England College (2015–present)
- Affiliate Professor; Department of Environmental Science and Policy; George Mason University; Fairfax, Virginia (2014–present)
- Postdoctoral Scholar; Benthic Marine Ecology, Corals Program; Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, Fish & Wildlife Research Institute; Saint Petersburg, Florida (2014–2015)
- Postdoctoral Scholar; Conservation Genetics; Conservation Genetics Laboratory; U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Division of Fisheries and Ecological Services; Anchorage, Alaska (2010–2014)
- Adjunct Professor; Department of Natural Science and Mathematics; Northern Virginia Community College (2007–2009)
- Graduate Research Scientist; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Ocean Service; Office of the National Marine Sanctuaries, Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (March 2005–2007)
- Graduate Research Scientist; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Ocean Service; Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (2004–2009)
- Founder and CEO; Gestalt Switch Expeditions (2004–present)
- Graduate Intern; Department of Paleobiology; National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution; Washington, D.C. (2003–2004)
- Manager and Field Guide; Palau Sea Ventures; Koror, Republic of Palau (2000–2002)
- Field Biologist; Palau International Coral Reef Research Center; Koror, Republic of Palau (2001–2002)
- Scuba Instructor; Blue Dolphin Charters/Ocean Odyssey; Eleele, Kauai, Hawaii (1999–2000)
- Field Biologist; Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Aquatic Resources; Kauai, Hawaii (2000)
Scientific Cruises and Field Work
- Melibe leonine Collection Event. Obtained samples of M. leonina to elucidate the connection between 24-hour patterns of gene expression and the subsequent circadian rhythms of behavior and physiology, San Juan Islands (2017)
- Sea Cucumber Population Surveys. Estimated abundance, distribution, and characterized the preferred habitat of the Florida Sea Cucumber (Holothuria floridana) in the Florida Keys backcountry environment (2015)
- Coral Reef Evaluation and Monitoring Project (CREMP). Monitored the condition of coral reef and hardbottom habitats throughout the Florida Keys, southeast Florida, and the Dry Tortugas (2014)
- R/V Norseman II. Estimation of abundance and demographic rates of Pacific walrus, North Bering and East Chukchi Seas (2013)
- R/V Pegaso. Invasive species monitoring, Tyrrhenian Sea (2012)
- RRS James Cook. Changing Oceans Expedition, Northeast Atlantic Ocean (2012)
- NOAA Ship Nancy Foster. Coral disease and condition monitoring, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005)
- M/V Fling, M/V Spree. Coral disease monitoring, Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (2008, 2007, 2006, 2005)
Select Peer-Reviewed Publications (published)
- Cook, G.M., C.J. Lewis, D. Prince, M. Eckles, S. Sethi, P. Lemons, J.B. Olsen, J.K. Wenburg, M. Miller, and T.L. King. 2017. A little SNP of this, a little SNP of that: Discovery of thousands of single nucleotide variants to enable the creation of a 124-SNP chip array for the identification of individual Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens). Conservation Genetics Resources. (in review)
- Sethi, S.A., G.M Cook, P. Lemons, and J.K. Wenburg. 2014. Guidelines for selecting MSAT and SNP panels that lead to high-quality data for genetic mark recapture studies. Canadian Journal of Zoology. Vol. 92, No. 6, pp. 515-526.
- Cook, G.M, J.P. Rothenberger, M. Sikaroodi, P.M. Gillevet, E.C. Peters, and R.B. Jonas. 2013. A comparison of culture-dependent and culture-independent techniques used to characterize bacterial communities on healthy and white plague-diseased corals of the Montastraea annularis species complex. Coral Reefs, Vol. 32, Issue 2, pp. 375-388.
Select Peer-Reviewed Publications (in preparation)
- Cook, G.M., A.E. Gruen, J. Morris, S. Pankey, A. Senatore, P.S. Katz, W.H. Watson III, and J.M. Newcomb. 2017. Circadian clock proteins in the nudibranch mollusk Melibe leonine.
- Cook, G.M., M. Sikaroodi, E. Peters, R. B. Jonas, and P. Gillevet. 2017. A comparative analysis of bacterial communities associated with apparently healthy and white plague-diseased corals inhabiting the Wider Caribbean Region. Molecular Ecology.
- Cook, G.M., C.J. Lewis, D. Prince, M. Eckles, S. Sethi, P. Lemons, J.B. Olsen, J.K. Wenburg, M. Miller, and T.L. King. 2016. SNP discovery from the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) genome. Conservation Genetics Resources.
- Cook, G.M., T.E.A. Cotton, A. Gutierrez, M. Sikaroodi, P.M. Gillevet, and J.M. Roberts. 2017. The microbiome of Lophelia pertusa. ISME Journal.
- Cook, G.M., C. Morrison, H. Thompson, A. Gutierrez, T.E.A. Cotton, and J.M. Roberts. 2017. Lophelia, microbes, and the genetics of populations. Marine Biology.
- Daniels, E. and G.M. Cook. 2012. Coral Triangle Seascapes. Asian Geographic LTD., Singapore. 131 pp. ISBN 10: 9810718551; ISBN 13: 9789810718558.
Select Reports and Technical Memoranda
- Cook, G.M. 2013. Conservation Framework for Pacific Walrus – Element 2.3_Conservation Genetics. J. Garlich-Miller (ed). 13 pp.
- Loder, J., J. Kreuger, and G.M. Cook. 2010. Reef Check Australia Moreton Bay Oil Spill Monitoring Report: SEQ Catchments Ltd.
- Woodley, C., J. Higgins, and G.M. Cook. 2009. Interim report to the National Park Service for a coral disease outbreak investigation in Dry Tortugas National Park (DTNP).
Previous and Ongoing Collaborations
- Heriot-Watt University
- University of Sheffield
- University of California, Davis
- U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
- U.S. Geological Survey
- Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission
- University of Florida
- University of Miami
Reviewer for Professional Journals
- Conservation Genetics
- Coral Reefs
- Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management
Reviewer for Funding Agencies
- Hawaii Coral Reef Initiative Grants Program
- North Pacific Research Board
Memberships in Professional Societies
- American Academy of Underwater Scientists
- American Society for Microbiology
- Florida Branch of the American Society for Microbiology
- Coral Disease and Health Consortium
- Divers Alert Network
- The International Society for Reef Studies
- Professional Association of Diving Instructors
- Cook, G.M. 2016. Application of Biomedical Research Techniques for the Conservation of Wild Living Resources. “Snacking on Science Seminar.” New England College.
- Lemons, P.R., S.A. Sethi, J.B. Olsen, J. Everett, C.J. Lewis, J. Garlich-Miller, L. Quakenbush, G.M. Cook, J.G. MacCracken, S. Zagrebelnyy, E. Zdor, and J.K. Wenburg. 2015. A genetics based capture-mark-recapture approach for estimation of abundance and demographic rates of pacific walruses. 21st Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals: Bridging the Past Toward the Future, San Francisco, California.
- Cook, G.M., T. King, P. Lemons, S. Sethi, J. Olsen, and J. Wenburg. 2014. A little SNP of this, a little SNP of that: development of a SNP chip array to enable rapid identification of individual Pacific walrus. 2014 Alaska Marine Science Symposium, Anchorage, Alaska.
- Cook, G.M., A. Cotton, A. Gutierrez, and C. Morrison. 2013. Lophelia, microbes, and the genetics of populations. “Changing Oceans Expedition” post-cruise meeting. Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland.
- Cook, G.M., M. Sikaroodi, P.M. Gillevet, E.C. Peters, and R.B. Jonas. 2011. A comparison of bacterial communities associated with healthy and diseased corals: Applying an innovative technique to the conservation of coral reefs. 2nd International Marine Conservation Congress. Victoria, British Colombia, Canada.
- Cook, G.M., M. Sikaroodi, P.M. Gillevet, J.P. Rothenberger, E.C. Peters, and R.B. Jonas. 2008. Bacterial communities on healthy and diseased corals: Associations with rapid tissue loss (white plague). 11th International Coral Reef Symposium. Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
- Cook, G.M., P.M. Gillevet, M. Sikaroodi, E.C. Peters, and R.B. Jonas. 2007. Comparisons of bacterial communities associated with corals exhibiting signs consistent with “white X.” 32nd annual Eastern Fish Health Workshop. Gettysburg, Virginia.
- Cook, G. 2007. A comparison of bacterial communities associated with corals exhibiting signs consistent with the disease white plague type II. The Explorers Club Washington Group, Inc., Spring Meeting. Washington, D.C.
- A. Johnson Endeavor Fund Faculty Development Award, New England College (2016)
- Graduate Student Outstanding Teaching Award, Department of Molecular and Microbiology, George Mason University (2009)
- Outstanding Contributor to General Education Award, Department of Molecular and Microbiology, George Mason University (2008)
- Outstanding Young Explorer Award, The Explorers Club Washington Group, Inc. (2007)
- Best Student Paper, 32nd Annual Eastern Fish Health Workshop; Gettysburg, Virginia (2007)
- Best Student Presentation; Washington, D.C. Branch for the American Society for Microbiology (2005)
- C.V. Starr Scholarship, Bermuda Institute of Ocean Science (2004)
Service to Country, Community
- U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
- 3-4 Soccer Coach—Bradford, Newbury, Sutton Youth Soccer
- U-10 Soccer Coach—Fisherfield Futbol Club
- Camp Shriver Special Olympics
- U.S. Forest Service “Kids Fishing Day”
- Women Orthopaedist Global Outreach
- Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (Federal volunteer service program)
- Rebuilding Together; Washington, D.C.
- Palau Community College
Media and Photography Outreach
- Documentarian—Women Orthopaedist Global Outreach
- Contributing Writer and Photographer—Asian Geographic Magazine and SCUBA Diver Australasia
- I love the ocean. I could easily spend every day of my life on or beneath the waterline. From snorkeling and SCUBA diving to surfing and kayaking, I find peace and tranquility whenever I connect with the natural rhythms of the sea.
- My primary love and interest is my family. To paraphrase John Prine, “you are my everything.”
- I have been SCUBA diving since I was 11 years old and have worked as a dive instructor and professional guide for nearly 20 years. My passion for being underwater has woven itself into nearly every fabric of my life. From recreational pursuits to scientific exploration, I have had the good fortune to dive in all but one of Earth’s oceans.
- I once spent a month at sea on the Arctic Ocean bow-hunting Pacific walrus alongside Siberian Yupik Eskimos.
- I love brewing beer. This hobby helps me to remember that science can, and should, be fueled by imagination. Plus, you can imbibe your results!
- I rowed varsity crew in college and continue to hop on the erg. If you’ve never rowed a 5,000-meter piece at dawn in a boat with eight other humans—all striving for synchronization—you should. It’s a religious experience.