The University of Texas at Austin Selects Director for Marine Science Institute

August 18, 2022 • by Christine Sinatra

Ed Buskey, formerly the interim director of the UT Austin Marine Science Institute, has been selected to serve as director.

Director Buskey outside near jetty and pier in coastal setting

Ed Buskey has been selected to serve as director of the University of Texas Marine Science Institute, which this year is celebrating more than 75 years on the Texas Gulf Coast. Buskey has been interim director of the institute since June of 2021, and he served previously as chair of the Department of Marine Science and associate chair of the Marine Science Institute.

For years, Buskey has also led a major research consortium studying the relationship between the Deep Horizon oil spill and microscopic life in the ocean. He is an expert in zooplankton and in estuarine ecology and has overseen operations at MSI during a critical period of rebuilding from Hurricane Harvey. Buskey also has chaired the Department of Marine Science since early 2021 and led at a time when MSI has ramped up its public outreach activities at the Mission Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve.

"As both a scientific leader and someone with deep knowledge of our Port Aransas community and the opportunities it faces in this moment, Ed Buskey is well positioned to continue to lead the Marine Science Institute," said David Vanden Bout, dean of UT Austin's College of Natural Sciences. "The members of the public who visit MSI, the scientists who come here to contribute new insights into how best to protect our coastal ecosystems and the students who are learning to become tomorrow's scientific leaders all will benefit from the unique assets Ed brings to this role."

Buskey received a bachelor's degree from Brown University, a master's degree from the University of British Columbia and a Ph.D. from the University of Rhode Island. Since 1990, he has served as a member of the faculty of the University of Texas at Austin, where he currently is a professor and holds the Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Regents Chair in Marine Science. Buskey originally joined the institute as a research scientist in 1986. He has won awards for his teaching and research, including the National Impact Award given by the National Estuarine Research Reserve Association.

"As we celebrate 75 years of the Marine Science Institute, it is clear to me that this place plays a vital role both in our coastal community and also for the countless people who benefit from the research, education and service that happens here," Buskey said. "Continuing this legacy of impact in Texas and in science is a charge that I take seriously. I look forward to continuing to partner with this community to bring about new successes ahead."