Robert K. Whitton


Robert has been working in, around and under the oceans for over 15 years, as a SCUBA instructor, underwater cinematographer, deep mixed gas rebreather diver (up to 120 meters) and application developer/collections manager/data manager for underwater specimens, observations and media items. He is currently one of a handful of deep diving researchers, exploring deep coral reefs in all tropical waters, well beyond normal recreational diving depth limits. He has traveled extensively on expeditions all over the world, and has worked professionally for production companies producing for National Geographic, Germany’s ZDF, as well as US Federal and state marine science programs.

Robert has specialized in the identification, recording and data storage of Indo-Pacific fishes, and has helped pioneer the use of high-definition video to make highly accurate biodiversity checklist for distinct faunal regions, that become the basis for future observation comparison. Additionally, he has pioneered the use of software driven field data collection system to allow field researchers to store expedition data in a manner that eliminates dual entry and allows for near real-time sharing of data with the larger scientific community.

Robert is the lead application engineer on the National Science Foundation’s Global Names Usage Bank (GNUB) application to record Taxonomic Name Usages, and the lead developer of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) ZooBank project to record all Zoological protonyms with original citation and usage data.