Dr. William (Monty) Graham became the Director for the Florida Institute of Oceanography on January 4, 2021. Dr. Graham was recruited from the University of Southern Mississippi, where he has served as a tenured Professor of Marine Science and the founding Director of the School of Ocean Science and Engineering. Dr. Graham earned his B.Sc. in Marine Biology from the University of North Carolina Wilmington, his M.Sc. in Marine Sciences, and his Ph.D. in Biology from the University of California Santa Cruz, after which he completed a year of postdoctoral oceanography research at the University of California Santa Barbara.
During his over two decades of academic and professional service to the University of Southern Mississippi and his previous institution, the University of South Alabama, Dr. Graham has been the Department Chair of Marine Science and the Interim Director of the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, in addition to his 16 years as Senior Marine Scientist at Dauphin Island Sea Lab in Alabama, and an Advisory Board member for the National Academy of Science, Engineering, and Medicine’s Gulf Research Program. Most recently, he has served as interim Associate Vice President for Research, Coastal Operations, as Board Chair of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Ocean Exploration Trust and past Advisory Board Member for the National Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine’s Gulf Research Program. He was the USM lead investigator for NOAA’s Ocean Exploration Cooperative Institute, and was the Principal Investigator of the National Science Foundation award to operate the nation’s third Regional Class Research Vessel Gilbert R. Mason.
Dr. Graham has seen first-hand the impact of state and federal investments in ocean sciences and engineering on the maritime ‘blue economy’ and have served as Chair of Governor Phil Bryant’s Ocean Task Force, out of which arose the Roger F. Wicker Center for Ocean Enterprise (under construction), Ocean Engineering and Unmanned Maritime Systems academic programs, blue technology industry cluster, and the core of what became the Commercial Engagement through Ocean Technology Act of 2018.
Throughout his career, Dr. Graham has authored or co-authored over 85 peer reviewed scientific articles, mostly in biological oceanography, focusing on jellyfish behavior and the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the Gulf Coast region.
Experience: 25 years
Specialization: Marine Biology, Ocean Sciences, Leadership