My research interests are twofold: the taxonomy and distribution of phytoplankton and the utilization of volunteers to monitor marine and estuarine phytoplankton. On the taxonomic side of my research we have described a number of new species isolated from the United States and throughout the world. We are also in the process of developing new microscopic methods utilizing scanning electron microscopy and confocal microscopy. The second part of my research is centered on the NOAA Phytoplankton Monitoring Network which is made up of volunteers ranging from middle school student to retired citizen groups.
- Ph.D., 1994, Plant Biology, Southern Illinois University
- M.Sc., 1990, Biological Oceanography, Florida Institute of Technology
- B.Sc., 1988, Biological Oceanography, Florida Institute of Technology
- 1998-present: Research Oceanographer/Project Leader, NOAA/NOS, Marine Biotoxin Program
- 1997-2001: Research Fellow, Smithsonian Institution Caribbean Coral Reef Ecosystem Program
- 1996-1998: Curator, Provasoli-Guillard National Center for Culture of Marine Phytoplankton
- 1996-1998: Research Scientist, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Science
- 1994-1998: Post-Doctoral Research Scientist, Southern Illinois University
- 2009: Panel Member for "Citizen Scientist" at Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence
- 2008: United States Department of Commerce Bronze Medal Award for Research, awarded for leadership in implementing the Phytoplankton Monitoring Network to enhance observations and awareness of HABs
- 2007: United States Department of Commerce Bronze Medal Award for Research, awarded for multi-federal response to Hurricane Katrina
- 2005: Invited to participate in the Internaional Symposium on Cyanobacterial Harmful Algal Blooms
- 2000-2007: Editorial Advisory Board, Journal of Harmful Algae
- 2004-present: Scientific Board of Directors, The Living Black Sea
- 2003: Local Organizing Committee Chairperson, National Plan for Marine Biotoxins and HABs.
- Sekula-Wood, E., A. Schnetzr, C.R. Benitez-nelson, C. Anderson, W.M. Berelson, M.A. Brzezinski, J.M. Burns, D.A. Carson, I. Cetinic, J.L. Ferry, E. Fitzpatrick, B.H. Jones, P.E. Miller, S.L. Morton, R.A. Schaffner, D.A. Siegel, R. Thunell. 2009. Rapid downward transport of the neurotoxin domoic acid in coastal waters. Nature-Geoscience 2(4): 272-275.
- Morton, S.L., A. Vershinin, L.L. Smith, T.A. Leighfield, S. Pankov, and M. Quilliam. 2009. Dinophysis spp. and Prorocentrum lima in Black Sea phytoplankton and mussel toxicity related to them. Harmful Algae 8: 629-636.
- Fire, P., Z. Wang, T. Leighfield, S.L. Morton, W.E. McFee, W.A. McLellan, R.W. Litaker, P.A. Tester, A.A. Hohn, G. Lovewell, D.S. Rotstein, S.G. Barco, A. Costidis, B. Sheppard, G.D. Bossart, and F.M. VanDolah. 2009. Domoic acid exposure in pygmy and dwarf sperm whales (Kogia spp.) from southeastern and mid-Atlantic U.S. waters. Harmful Algae 8: 658-664.
- Richlen, M., S.L. Morton, P. Barber, and P. Lobel. 2008 Phylogeography, morphological variation and taxonomy of the toxic dinoflagellate Gambierdiscus toxicus (Dinophyceae). Harmful Algae. 7: 614-629.