Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

David Branson

Biological Science Technician

I've been interested in marine biology since watching Jacques Cousteau specials as a kid on Sunday nights. I became a SCUBA diver in 1989. After my undergrad work I got diverted into IT work until 2009 when I decided to return to school and focus on Marine Ecology. I received a M.S. in Aquatic Ecology and Conservation and the went to a Ph.D. program at Auburn University where I participated on two research cruises to Antarctica. I fell in love with Antarctica and when an opportunity to work on the research ships presented itself, I took it. I sailed on the R/V Palmer and R/V Gould as a technician for a couple of years. I came to the Smithsonian Marine Station to continue working to support science. I captain the research and small vessels and work with SMS and visiting researchers in the field. I also travel to other stations providing support and SCUBA expertise.

  • Auburn University (2012-2015)
  • M.S. Central Michigan University (2013)
  • B.S. Northern Michigan University (1997)
Research Interests

Marine Ecology, Marine Resource Management, Population Dynamics, Community Composition, Benthic Invertebrates, Anthropogenic Impacts on Ecosystems