• Associate Professor
  • Vice Chair
  • Ecology and Integrative Biology
  • Ph.D. Penn State University 2004
  • Department of Biology
  • Temple University

Dr. Cordes works in some of the most remote environments on Earth through his exploration of the deep sea. He has worked on the ecology and conservation of the deep sea for over 20 years, spending over a year at sea on over 25 research cruises and making over 35 dives in the manned submersibles Alvin and Johnson Sea-Link.

The research in his lab is focused on understanding the areas of the deep sea that support the highest biomass communities: deep-water coral reefs, natural hydrocarbon seeps, and hydrothermal vents. He studies these ecosystems at all levels of organization, from energy flow in ecosystems and patterns of community assembly, down to gene expression and microbial processes. Dr. Cordes worked on deep-sea corals for his Master's thesis at Moss Landing Marine Labs, worked on cold-seep ecology for his Ph.D. at Penn State University, and studied the microbial communities within hydrothermal vent chimneys during his NSF Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Harvard.

At Temple, his lab has continued to explore the deep Gulf of Mexico while working on the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on deep-sea coral communities and the effects of ocean acidification on the reef-forming deep-sea coral Lophelia pertusa. Ongoing investigations in the Cordes lab extend to the corals of the deep seamounts in the Phoenix Islands Protected Area and the seeps off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica.

This work has been funded by NSF, the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, the NOAA Office of Response and Restoration, the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, and the Schmidt Ocean Institute. His research efforts have been recognized in the Caldwell Distinguished Mentoring Award and the Dean's Distinguished Award for Excellence in Research.