Expedition Team

Erik Zettler - Principal Investigator


Erik is a microbial ecologist who joined SEA in 1994 to combine teaching with science. He is currently particularly interested in the “Plastisphere”, the microbial community that develops on the surface of plastic marine debris.

Erik has been a member of the Woods Hole scientific community for many years, having worked as a research associate in the biology department at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution before joining SEA.  He has participated in more than 50 research cruises on SEA and UNOLS vessels and has done terrestrial field work in Antarctica, Bermuda, Canada, Costa Rica, Spain, and USA.  Whenever possible, he teaches in the field including on board the SEA vessels.


Ph.D., Biology, Autonomous University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain.

M.Sc., Biology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Canada.

B.S., Biology, Allegheny College, Meadville, PA.