Todd Gardner, Author at

Author Archives: Todd Gardner

Todd Gardner

About Todd Gardner

Todd Gardner is a professor of marine biology at Suffolk County Community College in Riverhead, NY. His life and his career have both been shaped by his passion for marine life and he has written numerous scientific and popular articles about his research and experiences collecting, keeping, and culturing marine organisms. Todd’s professional background includes work on a National Geographic documentary, commercial aquaculture at C-quest Hatchery in Puerto Rico, and an 11-year term at the Long Island Aquarium where he spent much of his time developing techniques for rearing marine fish larvae. To date he has raised more than 50 species. In 2013 Todd received the prestigious Aquarist of the Year Award from the Marine Aquarium Society of North America (MASNA). In his spare time, Todd dives, photographs marine life, runs marathons, and plays in a blues band.
Latest Posts

Long Island Collecting Log: Cold-water strays

 Typically, my last dive of the season in New York takes place by late October, but, since poor weather kept me out of the water for the last two weeks of the month, I thought I would push the limits of my cold tolerance with a November dive this year.  With water temperature down to 59°F, I knew I wouldn’t last long in the 7mm wetsuit I use all summer, and I didn’t expect to see any tropical fish, but after a break in the rough autumn weather and with visibility improving, I just couldn’t resist.… More:

Long Island Collecting Log: Let’s hear it for the natives

It’s late October. As autumn progresses, it gets increasingly difficult to put on my gear and get in the water. Between the head-numbing cold and the departure of the tropicals, the idea of diving in New York becomes less appealing with each passing day.  Sometimes I need to stop and remind myself that the tropical strays aren’t the only interesting things to look at in our waters.… More:

Long Island Collecting Log: Another deep-water anthiine specimen!

Baldwinella Two years ago I posted here about a deep-water anthiine caught in 3 feet of water in Shinnecock Bay, by my friend, Bob Jankie. From photos of the specimen, Smithsonian ichthyologist and deep-water serranid expert, Carole Baldwin tentatively identified it as either Hemanthias vivanus (red barbier) or Choranthius tenuis (threadnose bass). Six months later when the specimen perished in our holding tank, I sent it to her for more detailed examination and DNA sequencing.… More:

Long Island Collecting Log: Groupers galore!

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In the next issue of Reefs Magazine, I’ll be discussing the second most represented fish family in the coastal waters of New England: The Serranidae. Interestingly, most of the species found here are generally considered to be tropical strays that are doomed when winter sets in.… More:

Long Island Collecting Log: Butterflies in Lake Montauk

 This time of year, each dive in New York becomes a little less pleasant. Every time I go out, I tell myself: “This will probably be my last dive of the year.” Each throbbing headache from the cold water is a little more intense, and the period of post-dive shivering lasts a little longer. But as long as the value of the fish sightings outweighs the discomfort, I keep going.… More:

Long Island Collecting Log: The perks of persistence

By October, spotfin butterflyfish are putting on some serious size.

By October, spotfin butterflyfish are putting on some serious size.

 As the water temperature continues to drop in the waters of New York, north winds and fall nor’easters do their part to diminish water clarity by stirring up sediment and breaking up our meager seasonal thermocline. Many of the tropical fishes that haven’t found their way out of here are starting to exhibit signs of stress.… More:

Long Island Collecting Log: Some days, it isn’t about the collecting

Sargassum weed off Long Island, NY

Sargassum weed off Long Island, NY

 Contrary to commonly-held beliefs, a day in the life of a marine biologist bears little, if any, resemblance to a National Geographic documentary. I remind my marine science students of this at the beginning of each semester. Even if you have the privilege of being paid to do real research on something really awesome, the reality is that most of your time will be spent reading papers, analyzing data, and writing grant proposals.… More:

Long Island Collecting Log: Things are heating up

A pair of reef butterflyfish. Photo by Ashleigh Gardner

A pair of reef butterflyfish. Photo by Ashleigh Gardner

It’s late August and, as always, things are heating up in the waters of Long Island. I haven’t had a chance to log many of my excursions for the past month – partly because I’ve been traveling, but mostly because I’ve spent so much time underwater that I haven’t had a lot of time or energy to write.… More: is the world's leading destination for sustainable coral reef farming and the aquarium hobby. We offer a free open forum and reef related news and data to better educate aquarists and further our goals of sustainable reef management.