Multiculturalism in the Aquatic Sciences

Minorities in the Aquatic Sciences

Matthew R. Gilligan, Ph.D.

Professor, Director, Marine Programs, Department of Biology and Life Sciences, Savannah State University, Savannah, GA
gillganm@savstate.edu

Academic Preparation:

B.A.,1972 Hartwick College,Oneonta, New York,Biology; Ph.D., 1980 University of Arizona,Tucson, Arizona, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Research/Professional Interests:

I am particularly proud of the success of students with whom I have had the opportunity to share my knowledge and experience.My advice to young scientists: be a pest - ask questions and don't be satisfied with all answers; have the heart of a lion; have the patience of Job; be multi-culturally competent; and the only correct route to success is your own.

Professional Experience:

  • Professor, Director, Marine Programs, Department of Biology and Life Sciences, Savannah State University 1998-present.
  • Professor, Coordinator, B.S. degree in Marine Biology, Department of Biology and Life Sciences, Savannah State University 1992-1998.
  • Adjunct Professor, Skidaway Institution of Oceanography, Univ. System of Georgia. 1994-present
  • Adjunct Professor, Department of Marine Science University of Georgia 1996-present
  • Associate Professor, Coordinator, Marine Biology Program, Department of Biology and Life Sciences, Savannah State College 1985-1992
  • Assistant Professor, Coordinator, Marine Biology Program, Department of Biology and Life Sciences, Savannah State College 1982-1985
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Biology and Life Sciences, Savannah State College 1980-1982

Biographical and Research Summary:

I am currently a professor of marine science; director of marine programs; Activity Director of the Title III Marine, Environmental Science, and Biotechnology Research Center, acting coordinator of the new M.S. degree in Marine Sciences and the 2001-2001 Distinguished Professor at Savannah State University.

My interest in water and its inhabitants was a childhood fascination. Though not motivated academically until college (during the Vietnam years), I had an opportunity (as a rising senior) to spend a summer studying marine life and the coastal ocean in North Carolina with a group from the college that I attended in rural New York. The opportunity to rub shoulders with marine scientists and to hear them talk about their research coupled to observations of the dignity of science was seminal in my professional development. It lead me to explore graduate work and 7 years of post-graduate student and employment leading to the Ph.D. degree. My subsequent professional life at SSU, initially to help Dr. Joseph Richardson develop a new B.S. degree program in Marine Biology, has been the mot challenging and rewarding imaginable.

My choice of colleges and universities for both training and employment was more the result of chance than design. They provided unique preparation for a unique career that has given me much satisfaction. I am particularly proud of the success of students with whom I have had the opportunity of share my knowledge and experience. There are many measures of professional success not the least of which is mentoring in its many forms.

My advice to young scientists: be a pest - ask questions and don't be satisfied with all answers; have the heart of a lion; have the patience of Job; be multi-culturally competent; and the only correct route to success is your own.