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Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Leonardo Macelloni

Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Leonardo Macelloni

Associate Research Professor Hydrographic Science Research Center

Please describe the type of research that you do and background as far as degree path.

I am a marine geophysicist with over 15 years of experience in seafloor mapping, oil and gas exploration marine mineral resource evaluation and assessment. I received my MSc in Geology in 2001 and PhD in Applied Geophysics in 2005 both from La Sapienza University of Rome (Italy). I have worked both in Academia and Industry worldwide.

List the most recent (past, present or near future) projects that you are engaging in and provide info about that project’s funding.

My research deals with all the aspects of deep ocean exploration and imaging of the seabed and the sub-seabed. Projects span from the search of the first WWII in the Gulf of Mexico the freighter Norlindo (funded by NOAA OE), to deploy seabed landers to assess the damage of the oil spill in fragile deep sea benthic communities (funded by NRDA), to develop new sensors to investigate the presence of seabed critical mineral (supported by NOAA OECI and BOEM). Because I work mostly in very deep sea (>500m) my research is often carried out using sophisticated Autonomous Underwater Vehicles, hence in the recent years I have been interacting a lot with robotic and ocean engineers.

List the students that you are currently working with as well as their projects they are involved in.

In my lab, I have both graduated and undergraduate students carry their research or practical experience. Agno Rubim de Assis, my PhD student in Hydrography from Brazil is conducting his research on the use of multiple autonomous vehicles from the same supporting vessel. Bethany Pertain a master’s degree student in Marine Science has just finished her dissertation in benthic habitat mapping, she studied a new mesophotic coral reef recently found in 150 miles offshore Gulfport. Bethany will soon join the NOAA NCCOS Marine Spatial Ecology Division, Biogeography Branch. Ema Parker and Shawn Passeri are master of science in hydrography students and help me in multibeam data processing.

Any other information that you would like to share which may be of interest to other potential faculty, students, or funding entities.

I enjoy to cook, especially Italian food, but being in Mississippi for over 17 years, smoking BBQ is becoming my specialty.

Learn more about the Hydrographic Science Research Center