Charles Messing, Professor of Oceanography, has been affiliated with Nova Southeastern University for 18 years and has been part of the South Florida marine biological community since 1970 when he began graduate work at the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. There, he accompanied several deep-sea dredging and coral reef research expeditions around the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific, and completed both M.S. (1975; on crinoid systematics) and Ph.D. (1979; on crustacean development and ecology) degrees. This was followed by a Smithsonian post-doctoral research fellowship to continue work on crinoid systematics and a brief lectureship with the University of Miami’s Undergraduate Marine Science Program. His subsequent field research on crinoid ecology, biogeography and systematics has taken him to the Bahamas, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Micronesia, Australia and Malaysia. He has received three National Science Foundation grants to use the Johnson Sea-Link submersibles to study the ecology, growth, distribution and taphonomy of stalked crinoids in the Bahamas, using these animals as actualistic models for better understanding fossil crinoids. As a result, he was the first to measure the growth of stalked sea lilies in situ. More recently, he has become involved in investigating the ecology of deep-water azooxanthellate coral reefs dominated by Lophelia pertusa off eastern Florida. Because the taxonomy of extant crinoids remains in substantial disarray, particularly at generic and specific levels, he has spent a substantial amount of time on museum work, disentangling numerous taxonomic problems, particularly among unstalked (comatulid) crinoids. He is the author or co-author of over 40 scientific articles, chiefly on crinoids, but has also studied the effects of dredging and beach renourishment on marine habitats in Broward County, FL, and the ecology of deep-water non-hydrothermal hardbottoms. In addition to his research, he is a scientific illustrator and teaches a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses at NSU, including biology, invertebrate zoology and the taxonomy of marine invertebrates.