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Meet the Photographers

Picture of Tony Picciolo

Dr. Picciolo (Tony) has worked for NOAA since Day One in 1970. Currently he is the Marine Biology Group Leader at the National Oceanographic Data center. Current primary emphasis is in coral reef data management. In past years he developed and managed NODC's biological program. He also served as Chief of the NODC Oceanographic Data Applications branch, Chief of the NODC Search and Acquisition Branch, Chief of the Oceanographic Special Projects Branch and lengthy stints as Acting Division Director for two NODC Divisions. He developed and managed the NODC/NESDIS Liaison Officer Program for more decades than he will admit. Another point of pride is that he developed the international inventory of oceanographic samples and observations, previously known by the acronym, ROSCOP. He was the NODC Principal Investigator for data management of the International Decade of Ocean Exploration (IDOE ) and other major oceanographic programs. He served on several international and national committees and working groups concerned with oceanographic data management and was also the Executive Secretary of the Scientific Committee for the Exploration of the Atlantic Shelf (SEAS). Currently he is a member of two working groups of the U.S. Coral Reef Task force.

Tony earned his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in zoology at the University of Maryland. His first introduction to marine biology was as a graduate student, where with his professor, Dr. Howard E. Winn, he spent two summers at the Bermuda Biological Station working on the behavior, autecology, and bioacoustics of coral reef fishes. He also studied ichthyology under Drs. Leonard P. Schultz and Earnest Lachner at the Division of Fishes, U.S. Museum of Natural History. He spent two other summers working for the Division of Fishes (Indopacific fishes) and the Systematics Laboratory of the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries (which under NOAA became the National Marine Fisheries Service.) During these years he also worked on reproductive biology and behavior of southeast Asian fishes, bioacoustics and behavior of Chesapeake Bay fishes, behavior and ecology of freshwater stream fishes, and the developmental anatomy of tropical marine fishes.

Over the years he has spent a lot of time in personal exploration and specimen collection in the Peruvian and Colombian Amazon regions, the Angel Falls area of the Gran Sabana of Venezuela, the Sierra Maestra Mountains of Cuba, the volcanic slopes of Guadeloupe and St. Vincent, and Trinidad and Tobago. As a scuba diver, he has dived and photographed reefs in the Florida Keys, Guadeloupe, the Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos, the Dominican Republic, Cozumel, Dominica, St. Lucia, the Bay Islands of Honduras, and Belize.

Tony has also held teaching positions at the University of Maryland, Prince George's Community College and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Graduate School. He taught courses in general biology, general zoology, vertebrate anatomy and physiology, human ecology, vertebrate embryology, and advanced biological oceanography.

Tony's interest in biology emerged early in his life, probably as a natural extension of an early passionate interest, which continues to this day, in 19th century central and south African history . Given any opportunity, he will bore you to death with mind-numbing minutia on the exploits of Victorian-era African explorers, the rise and fall of the Zulu nation, and why Western civilization is crumbling as a result of three world catastrophes: The Loss of the Brooklyn Dodgers and the deaths of Elvis and Francis Albert Sinatra.

Tony lives with his fellow Scuba diver and photographer wife, Sherry, and 10 year old son, Brad, (and a miserable boxer named Tracker) in the Tantallon area of Fort Washington, MD. Sherry is a foreign language teacher at the Hensen Valley Montessori School. Tony has two older sons, Mike, a Ph.D. candidate in EE, working at NRL, and Nino, a computer scientist in San Ramon, CA.

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