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Bernhard Riegl, Ph.D.

Chair and Professor
Associate Director, National Coral Reef Institute
Dept. of Marine and Environmental Sciences
(954) 262-3671


  • M.S.c - University of Vienna (Austria)
  • Ph.D. - University of Cape Town (South Africa)
  • Habilitation - Karl-Franzens University Graz (Austria)

Area(s) of Research

Coral reefs: geology, population dynamics, mathematical modeling, hydrographic surveying

Dr. Bernhard Riegl is professor at the Nova Southeastern University Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography. He is the associate director of the National Coral Reef Institute (NCRI). He received the MSc degree from the University of Vienna (Austria) and the PhD degree from the University of Cape Town (South Africa). He also received the habilitation at Karl-Franzens-University Graz (Austria). He is Geology editor of the international scientific journal Coral Reefs, and editor of the book series Coral Reefs of the World.

 Dr. Riegl's research centers on coral reefs and other tropical benthic biota, such as seagrass and algae. He is both a biologist and geologist, his research and publications have involved the paleontology, sedimentology, spatial dynamics, ecology, taxonomy and conservation biology of coral reefs and associated organisms. He is also active in hydrographic survey, particularly sonar-based seafloor discrimination, which he integrates with optical remote-sensing to provide high-resolution maps of the seafloor. His research has taken place in the Red Sea, Arabian Gulf, Indian Ocean, South Pacific, Eastern Pacific, tropical Atlantic and Caribbean.

Riegl held grants from the Austrian Science Foundation, the South African Foundation for Research Development, the South African Association for Marine Biological Research, NOAA, the US Navy, the WWF, the Austrian Geological Survey, the US Geological Survey and many other local and international agencies. He is author of numerous scientific publications and technical reports for various agencies and companies. He has served as Commission of the European Community and USAID technical advisor in the environmental departments of several Middle Eastern governments and has played an active role in the development of coastal zone management, conservation strategies for coral reefs and environmental legislation.

Current students

PhD Candidates
Kristi Foster -  Coral population dynamics in high-latitude reefs

Anastasios Stathakopoulos -  Sea level history and geomorphic change in early Holocene reefs in Florida

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