About the Authors
Drs. Mark & Diane Littler are marine scientists who have developed a unique husband and wife collaborative relationship. Diane is a Research Associate at the Smithsonian Institution and an Adjunct Research Scientist at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, Florida Atlantic University. Mark is a Senior Scientist at the Smithsonian Institution. Diane & Mark each have over 30 yrs of research experience on coral reefs, with more than 190 papers and books published in a wide range of disciplines. Their research has taken the Littlers around the world in search of unexplored marine habitats, often targeting areas of exceptional diversity or places in danger of biodegradation. These include: Southern California, Pacific and Atlantic coasts of Panama, Sea of Cortez, Galapagos Islands, Mediterranean, Morocco, Western Sahara, Seychelles Archipelago, Australian Great Barrier Reef, Hawaiian Islands, Palau, Guam, Tahiti, Cook Islands, American Samoa, Great Astrolabe Reef, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, French Guiana and throughout the many island nations of the Caribbean.
The Littlers' current research focuses on relative dominance theory, functional morphology, and complex top-down vs. bottom-up interactions in coral-reef systems. Other active research includes: monographic, floristic, and phylogenetic systematics; seaweed experimental taxonomy; biodiversity, ecology, and conservation of tropical marine ecosystems. Their series of user friendly field guides is now focused on the unique and rich flora of Panama; both Caribbean Panama (San Blas Islands, Isla Escudo de Veraguas and Bocas del Toro) and Pacific Panama (Archipelago de las Perlas, Gulf of Panama, Gulf of Chiriquí and Coiba National Park).