BEAUFORT — Marine biology professor Andrew Read has been named director of the Duke University Marine Laboratory, effective July 1.
Duke Provost Sally Kornbluth announced Read’s appointment Wednesday following a national search.
Read succeeds Cindy L. Van Dover, who will continue on the faculty at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment as Harvey W. Smith Professor of Biological Oceanography.
“These are exciting times at the Marine Lab and I am confident Andy possesses the skills, scholarship and vision to guide its continued strategic growth in programs, facilities and enrollment,” Kornbluth said. “He’s an exemplary scientist, teacher, administrator and leader.”
The lab on Pivers Island in Beaufort is a year-round research and teaching campus with academic programs at the undergraduate, masters and Ph.D. levels. The lab is part of the Nicholas School and serves as administrative headquarters for the school’s Division of Marine Science and Conservation.
An expert on marine mammals, sea birds and sea turtles, Read has conducted field research in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Antarctica, and has published more than 150 peer-reviewed studies. Much of his current work focuses on documenting the effects of human activities on marine species, and developing and applying new conservation tools to resolve such conflicts. He has served on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Cetacean Specialist Group and on the International Whaling Commission’s Scientific Committee.
In 2015, Read was nominated by President Obama to serve as chairman of the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission, an independent agency that provides oversight for marine mammal policies and programs being carried out by federal regulatory agencies.
“Andy’s commitment to the Marine Lab and his vision for its future, combined with his leadership experience and global reputation as a scientist, make him a terrific choice,” said Dean Alan Townsend. “We are thrilled that he has agreed to serve as the Duke Marine Lab’s next director.”
Read joined the Duke faculty in 1995. He received his bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and doctoral degree in marine biology from the University of Guelph in Canada, in 1980, 1983 and 1990, respectively.