Dr. Kent Carpenter

kentKent Carpenter is a marine biologist who first started marine research in the Philippines as a US Peace Corps Volunteer in 1975 just after completing his Bachelor of Sciences at the Florida Institute of Technology. He was stationed at the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and initiated coral reef research in BFAR. He developed a staff of BFAR diving biologists. The main purpose of their work was to demonstrate the need for coral reef conservation as a way of promoting sustainability of fisheries. After his graduate studies at the University of Hawaii, he returned to the Philippines in 1985 to complete post-doctoral research at the University of the Philippines of the Visayas in Iloilo. His work with the FAO ultimately led to his discovery of the Philippines as the “Center of the Center” of marine shorefish biodiversity. Currently he is a Professor in Biological Sciences at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia where his primary research interests are marine conservation biology, systematics and evolution of bony fishes, ecology of coral reefs, and marine biogeography and phylogeography of the Indo-West Pacific. He also has managed the Marine Biodiversity Unit of the Global Species Programme of the International Union for Conservation of Nature since 2005. He has maintained his interest in marine conservation biology in the Philippines throughout his career and has been a collaborator on a long-term Smithsonian-NFRDI project and a Principal Investigator on two US National Science Foundation research projects centered on understanding the origins of the extreme concentration of marine biodiversity in the Philippines particularly in the Verde Island Passage.