Before becoming Interim Executive Director of FAU Harbor Branch, Dr. Jim Sullivan held senior positions in both academia (University of Rhode Island – Graduate School of Oceanography, FAU Harbor Branch) and industry (WET Labs & SeaBird Scientific). During his career, he has received funding through most major federal science agencies including NSF, NOAA, NOPP, ONR, NASA and NIH, receiving grants from these agencies totaling over $11 million.
Sullivan has over 50 peer-reviewed publications and has held editorial positions for several international science journals, including serving as a current editor for Optics Express. Sullivan’s research interests range from the biological and physical mechanisms controlling the spatial-temporal dynamics of plankton populations in the coastal oceans, Harmful Algal Bloom dynamics, bioluminescence in the ocean, and the development and use of optical and autonomous sampling instrumentation and analytical techniques needed to study these complex processes.
Equipment he has developed or co-developed includes a moored autonomous vertical profiler, a bioluminescence bathyphotometer, an in situ hyperspectral spectrophotometer and an in situ holographic microscope for 3-D characterization of undisturbed particles in the ocean. Sullivan earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in biological oceanography with specializations in phytoplankton physiology and ecology, as well as bio-optics and biophysics from University of Rhode Island - Graduate School of Oceanography.