Dr. Travis Courtney is a marine scientist working at the intersection between marine biogeochemistry and ecology to study coastal and nearshore marine ecosystems. His primary research interests involve studying the ecological and environmental drivers of coral and coral reef calcification to better understand how coral reefs and the ecosystem services they provide to humanity may be impacted by environmental change.
Travis grew up exploring the coast of North Carolina, where he gained an appreciation for the impacts that coastal pollution and development can have on local ecosystems. These experiences led him to study Geological and Environmental Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he started researching how ocean warming and acidification impact the growth and skeletal geochemistry of a tropical sea urchin from the Florida Keys.
Following graduation, Travis quantified 20th century changes in coral growth rates from coral cores collected across the Belize Barrier Reef as a laboratory technician at Northeastern University. He then conducted his PhD research on the rates and drivers of coral and coral reef growth under environmental change at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and continued there as a postdoctoral researcher to make user friendly computational tools to enable more rapid assessments of coral reef calcification as part of ongoing monitoring efforts.
Before joining the faculty at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, Travis conducted marine research and field studies in Belize, Bermuda, California, Galápagos Islands, Japan, North Carolina, Taiwan, and St. John. He is excited to train the next generation of scientists through coursework and mentoring while working with researchers and community members to focus on quantifying and mitigating the impacts of local and global environmental change on the coastal and nearshore ecosystems of Puerto Rico.