ernesthwilliams

Joined: Mar 08, 2019 Last Active: Jun 29, 2020

I am a retired Professor of Marine Biology with particular interest in isopods parasitic in fishes, aquatic parasitology, aquatic animal health, marine major environmental disturbances including coral reef bleaching. I have more than 500 publications including 4 books, have made almost 7500 dives, have been on 85 scientific and commercial cruises, and have visited many localities around the world for research.

Coral Reef Bleaching
I was the first to show Coral Reef Bleaching was a worldwide event that would destroy the coral reefs, was caused by elevated seawater temperatures, and was what would be expected in Global Warming. I also coined the term “Coral Reef Bleaching” (not just Coral Bleaching). As he predicted, the coral reefs have been destroyed.

Sea Turtle Fibropapilloma Disease
I was the first to show this gross and disfiguring disease (fibropapillo-matosis) was a worldwide epizootic. He also showed it occurred much earlier than had been suggested and first in the Pacific, not the Atlantic.

Diadema antillarium Mass Mortality (DAMM)
I discovered a recurrence of DAMM after the original outbreak, and was first to show it started in the Pacific Ocean, may have been intensified by elevated seawater temperatures and host overcrowding, and was caused by a virus. He coined the term “Diadema antillarium Mass Mortality (DAMM)”..

Slime-blotch Disease Mass Mortalities
I was in the Dominican Republic when the event began there. I followed the event in Puerto Rico, received reports from across the Caribbean, isolated the pathogen, and coined the name for the disease.

Sea Turtle Leech Erosion Disease (SLED)
This condition had been known in captive sea turtles. I found it in wild Caribbean sea turtles, described and named the disease.

Marine Major Environmental Disturbances (MMEDs)
I named and Characterized MMEDs as a new field of study.

Archaeology
Bert described an early fluting attempt associated with a Paleo-Indian blade in Alabama. He cleared up the confusion between paleontological coprolites and archaeological coprolites with the new archaeological term “PreCoprolites”. I found the first evidence of human prehistoric culture of fungi (mushrooms) in Puerto Rico and the first ever evidence of prehistoric fossil for fossil trade in Maryland.

Parasites of Pacific lionfish in the West Indies
My student and I published the first general examinations of parasites in the non-indigenous Red Lionfish in the West Indies (Bahamas, Cayman Islands, and Puerto Rico).

Life strategies of crustacean parasites
I described Serial Parasitism, 5 new major life cycles, a new method of intermediate host development, and corrected/added dozens of changes in crustacean life strategies including 58 new common names and 50 new terms. I predicted the drastically different future of all parasites following major global changes.

Stranding networks
I helped found the first marine mammal, sea turtle, and sea bird stranding network in Puerto Rico. We reared the first ever, orphaned baby Caribbean Manatee “Moses” in captivity and successfully released and followed it as an adult [39]. Three stranding networks now exist in Puerto Rico and my former graduate students run them all.

Additional selected accomplishments
I resolved the some of the mystery of the complex symptoms of Ciguatera Fish Poisoning]; discovered, described, and named 2 entirely new life cycles of animals; proved Great Barracudas do attack people without provocation; suggested Tongueworms were parasites of dinosaurs; discovered, described, and named “Tilapia Wasting Disease” a new fungal condition; reported mass mortalities in 3 species of sea urchins; followed mass mortalities of herrings in the Caribbean; reported and explained periodic die-offs of Brown Pelicans in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands; found first occurrence of 2 common aquarium diseases in wild coral-reef fishes; described a population explosion of jellyfish; solved the 220 Year old mystery of what remoras eat and reported the first remora associations on manatees and dugongs; solved a Dolphin and isopod 226 year old mystery; described first cleaner removal of isopods from fishes in aquaria and in the field; found experimental evidence of fish predisposition to an isopod parasite; described first female isopod with a penis; described first brood-pouch release observed in a parasitic isopod; published first treatments for isopods in fishes and successful treatments for protozoans and monogeneans in marine cage culture; found 4 strange crustacean-fish associations indicating hints of how parasitic relationships originate; suggested coral reef cays will disappear as a result of Coral Reef Bleaching; found a new mimic of Blue Chromis; found a parasite causing “Black-Face” conditions in a fish; reported establishment of armored catfishes in Puerto Rico; proved Spotted Cleaner Shrimp cannot easily change hosts in the field; made first report of beak-swinging locomotion in a bird; reported first nudibranch associate on a fish and one of very few adult mollusk associates on fishes; reported Pacific giant clams being cultured in the Atlantic; found fish collecting techniques and exposure to ostracitoxin can cause loss of internal parasites; found the first barnacle attached to a parasite in the mouth of a fish; found pathogenic bacteria occurred in wild fishes before cage culture, but not in the same fishes after cage culture; and suggested capitalizing the approved common names of species. I have described 63 new species and 8 new genera of marine and freshwater animals. I graduated 11 PhD and 21 MS graduate students. Eleven of his MS students have received advanced degrees (8 PhDs, 1 DVM, 1 JD, and 1 MD).

ernesthwilliams is not following anyone.