Professor of Marine Science
Virginia Institute of Marine Science
College of William and Mary
Robert Diaz is a professor of marine science at the College of William and Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science. He has over 35 years of experience working on environmental issues in a variety of marine and freshwater habitats—from the intertidal to the deep sea. His specialty is in documenting the effects of both natural and human disturbance to ecosystems. In addition, he is an internationally recognized expert on the effect of hypoxia (dead zones) on ecosystem services and functions. Diaz has advised the Commonwealth of Virginia on the use of oil dispersants and has served on several science-advisory committees. From 2006 to 2008, he served as chair of the Minerals Management Service Outer Continental Shelf Scientific Committee. He also conducted several studies on the effects of deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as oil contaminated sediments in the Chesapeake Bay region. Diaz received a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia and a Doctor Honoris Causa from Gothenburg University, Sweden, for his contributions to marine and estuarine ecology.