Top of Page Skip to main content

Tracey Sutton, Ph.D.

Tracey Sutton
Associate Professor
Dept. of Marine and Environmental Sciences
(954) 262-3692


  • B.S. - University of South Florida
  • M.S. - University of South Florida
  • Ph.D. - University of South Florida

Research interests:

My research focuses on the quantitative ecology and structure of marine ecosystems. I am interested in the biotic (e.g., trophic interactions, resource partitioning) and abiotic (environmental) processes that shape marine community structure, and how these phenomena vary over space and time. I apply a combination of organismal and theoretical biology to further our ecosystem-based understanding of marine communities, with emphasis on deep-sea ecosystems and oceanic-coastal ecosystem connectivity.

Major projects in my lab include:

  • Structure, ecology and biodiversity of two large oceanic ecosystems: the North Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico (primary collaborators – NOAA and IMR, Norway)
  • Global biogeographic classification of the deep-pelagic ocean (GOBI/INDEEP initiative; primary collaborators - Duke University and NIWA, New Zealand)
  • Vertical ecology of the pelagic ocean: a new synthesis (Fisheries Society of the British Isles)
  • Trophic ecology of oceanic and coastal ecosystems (NSF, Sloan Foundation)
  • Coastal-oceanic and pelagic-benthic connectivity and coupling in the Gulf of Mexico (NOAA)
  • Taxonomy and systematics of meso- and bathypelagic fishes (various collaborators)
  • Multimode exploration of deep-sea habitats (various)
  • High-resolution mapping of zooplankton/phytoplankton interactions (various)

I am currently working on a number of projects supported by The National Science Foundation, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, The Sloan Foundation/Census of Marine Life, and The Lenfest Foundation/Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative.

Current Students

Vanda Carmo (Ph.D. candidate; University of the Azores). Co-advising with Dr. Gui Menezes

Will be accepting students at Nova Oceanographic in Fall 2014.

Sutton, T.T. (in press) Vertical ecology of the pelagic ocean: classical patterns and new perspectives. Journal of Fish Biology.

Sutton, T.T., T. Letessier, B. Bardarson and A. Brierley (in press) Midwater fishes collected in the vicinity of the Sub-Polar Front, mid-North Atlantic Ocean, during ECOMAR sampling. Deep-Sea Research II. Topical Studies in Oceanography.

Cook, A.B., T.T. Sutton, J.K. Galbraith and M. Vecchione (in press) Deep-pelagic (0-3000 m) fish assemblage structure over the  Mid-Atlantic Ridge in the area of the Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone.  Deep-Sea Research II. Topical Studies in Oceanography.

Gagnon, Y.L., T.T. Sutton and S. Johnsen (in press) Visual acuity in pelagic fishes and molluscs. Vision Research

Sweetman, C.J., T.T. Sutton, M. Vecchione and R.J. Latour (2013) Distribution of the biomass-dominant fish, Bathylagus euryops (Argentiniformes: Microstomatidae) along the northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Deep-Sea Research I 78: 16-23.

Choy, A., P. Davison, J.C. Drazen, A. Flynn, E. Gier, J. Hoffman, J. McClain, T.O. Miller, B.N. Popp, S. Ross and T.T. Sutton (2012) Global trophic position comparison of two dominant mesopelagic fish families (Myctophidae, Stomiidae) using amino acid nitrogen isotopic analysis. PLoS ONE.

Putland, J. and T.T. Sutton (2011) Survey of larval Euphausia superb lipid content along the Western Antarctic Peninsula during late autumn 2006. Polar Science 5: 383-389.

Heino, M, F.M. Porteiro, T.T. Sutton, T. Falkenhaug, O.R. Godø, and U. Piatkowski (2011) Catchability of pelagic trawls for sampling deep-living nekton in the mid-North Atlantic. ICES Journal of Marine Science 68(2): 377-389.

Bucklin, A., Ortman, B.D., Jennings, R.M., Nigro, L.M., Sweetman, C.J., Copley, N.J., Sutton, T.T., and Wiebe, P.H. (2010) A “Rosetta Stone” for metazoan zooplankton: DNA barcode analysis of species diversity of the Sargasso Sea (Northwest Atlantic Ocean). Deep-Sea Research II. Topical Studies in Oceanography.57: 2234-2247.

Hoffman, J.C. and T.T. Sutton (2010) Lipid-correction for stable isotope analyses of deep-sea fishes. Deep-Sea Research I 57: 956-964.

Klimpel, S., M.W. Busch, T.T. Sutton, and H.W. Palm (2010) Meso- and bathypelagic fish parasites at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR): low host specificity and restricted parasite diversity. Deep-Sea Research I 57: 596-603.

Putland, J., L. Edmiston, and T.T. Sutton (2010) Microzooplankton grazing and productivity in the central and southern sector of the Indian River Lagoon, Florida. Florida Scientist 73(4): 236-246.

Sutton, T.T., F.M. Porteiro, C.I.H. Anderson, J. Horne, I. Byrkjedal, M. Heino, T. Falkenhaug, O.R. Godø, and O.A. Bergstad (2010) Deep-pelagic fish interactions with seamounts and mid-ocean ridges. In: K. Sato (ed.) Proceedings of an International Symposium - Into the Unknown, Researching Mysterious Deep-Sea Animals. Feb. 23-24, 2007, Okinawa, Japan. Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, Japan.

Sutton, T.T., P.H. Wiebe, L.P. Madin, and A. Bucklin (2010) Diversity and community structure of pelagic fishes to 5000 m depth in the Sargasso Sea. Deep-Sea Research II.  Topical Studies in Oceanography 57:2220-2233.

Wiebe, P.H., A. Bucklin, L.P. Madin, M.V. Angel, T.T. Sutton, F. Pagés, R.R. Hopcroft, and D. Lindsay (2010) Deep-sea sampling on CMarZ cruises in the Atlantic Ocean – an introduction. Deep-Sea Research II.  Topical Studies in Oceanography 57: 2157-2166.

Vecchione, M., O.A. Bergstad, I. Byrkjedal, T. Falkenhaug, A.V. Gebruk, O. Godø, A. Gislasson, M. Heino, Å Høines, G. Menezes, U. Piatkowski, I.G. Priede, H. Skov, H. Søiland, T.T. Sutton, and T. de Lange Wenneck (2010) Biodiversity Patterns and Processes on the mid-Atlantic Ridge. In: A. McIntyre (ed.) Life in the World’s Oceans: Diversity, Distribution, and Abundance.  Wiley Blackwell, Oxford, pp. 103–121.

Johnson, G.D., J.R. Paxton, T.T. Sutton, T.P. Sato, T. Sado, M. Nishida, and M. Miya (2009) Deep-sea mystery solved: Astonishing larval transformations and extreme sexual dimorphism unite three fish families. Biology Letters. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2008.0722.

Bartow, K.A. and T.T. Sutton (2008) Ecology of the midwater fish family Melamphaidae over the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. ICES CM 2008/C:17: 1-10. Online:

Busch, M., S. Klempel, T.T. Sutton, and U. Piatkowski (2008) Parasites of the deep-sea smelt Bathylagus euryops (Microstomatidae, Argentinidae) from the Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone (CGFZ). Marine Biology Research. 4(4): 313-317.

Hartel, K.E., C.P. Kenaley, J.K. Galbraith and T.T. Sutton (2008) Additional records of deep-sea fishes off greater New England. Northeast Naturalist.15(3): 317-334.

Heino, M., D.S. Boukal, T. Falkenhaug, U. Piatkowski, and T.T. Sutton (2008) Length structure of deep-pelagic fish sheds new light on their life histories. ICES CM 2008/C:14: 1-6.

Heino, M., D.S. Boukal, T. Falkenhaug, U. Piatkowski, F.M. Porteiro and T.T. Sutton (2008) Size structure, age-size dynamics and life history variation. ICES CM 2008/F13: 1-7.

Lester, K.M., C. Heil, M.B. Neely, D. Spence, S. Murasko, S. Milroy, T. Hopkins, T.T. Sutton, S. Burghart, R. Bohrer, A. Remsen, G. Vargo, and J. Walsh (2008) Zooplankton and Karenia brevis in the Gulf of Mexico. Continental Shelf Research 29(1): 99-111.

Suntsov, A.V., E.A. Widder and T.T. Sutton, (2008) Chapter 3: Bioluminescence. pp.51-90. In: R.N. Finn (ed.) Fish Larval Physiology. University of Bergen Press, Bergen, Norway.

Sutton, T.T., F.M. Porteiro, M. Heino, I. Byrkjedal, G. Langhelle, C.I.H. Anderson, J. Horne, H. Søiland, T. Falkenhaug, O.R. Godø, and O.A. Bergstad (2008) Vertical structure, biomass and topographic association of deep-pelagic fishes in relation to a mid-ocean ridge system. Deep-Sea Research II.  Topical Studies in Oceanography 55 (2008): 161-184.

Sutton, T.T. and T. Sigurðsson (2008) Vertical and horizontal distribution of mesopelagic fishes along a transect across the northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge. ICES CM 2008/C:16: 1-12.

Porteiro, F.M. and T.T. Sutton (2007). Midwater Fish Assemblages and Seamounts. In: T.J. Pitcher, T. Morato, P.J.B. Hart, M.R. Clark, N. Haggan and R.S. Santos (eds) Seamounts: Ecology, Conservation and Management. Fish and Aquatic Resources Series, Blackwell, Oxford, UK. pp. 101-116.

Return to top of page