Field of Focus
  • Climate Dynamics
  • Ecology
  • Fisheries
  • Coastal Development
  • Ecological Indicators
  • Ecotourism
  • Endangered Species
  • Habitat Loss
  • Harmful Algal Blooms
  • Hypoxia
  • Invasive Species
  • Overfishing and Bycatch
  • Pollution
  • Restoration
  • Sustainable Development
  • Microbiology
  • Biological Oceanography
  • Decision, Risk and Management Science
  • Economics
  • Sociology
Area of Expertise
Coral Reef Management; Managing and Establishing MPAs; Coral Reef Ecology; Coral Reef Fishes; Benthic Ecology; Marine Zoning; Climate Change; Coral Bleaching; Resiliency of Coral Reefs; Managing for Sustainability; Damage Assessment and Restoration
  • Ph.D., Honorary Doctorate in Science, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, Florida, U.S.A., 2006
  • M.S. Texas A&I University (now Texas A&M University-Kingsville), Kingsville, Texas, U.S.A., 1969
  • B.A. University of Corpus Christi, (now Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi), Corpus Christi, Texas, U.S.A., 1967

Billy Causey is the Southeast Regional Director for the National Marine Sanctuary Program of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Previously, he had managed National Marine Sanctuaries in the Florida Keys since 1983, when he became the Manager of the Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary. As the manager of this marine protected area he developed the education, science and enforcement programs and sustained an interagency partnership between the state and federal governments. He served as the Superintendent of the 2900 square nautical mile Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary from August 1991 to September 2, 2006, when he assumed his current position. Dr. Causey has been the lead National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) official in the development of the management plan for the Keys Sanctuary, which is the third largest marine protected area in the United States. He serves as the liaison with local, state and other federal agencies responsible for management of natural resources in the Southeast Region. Dr. Causey’s academic interests are in coral reef ecology, coral reef fishes, sustainable management, marine zoning, climate change and marine policy. He has been observing and studying coral reefs since 1962, when he explored coral reefs off Veracruz, Mexico. He has dived the coral reefs of the Florida Keys since 1968 and moved there in 1973. He has been observing and documenting the impacts of climate change on coral reefs in the Florida Keys since 1979. He has authored numerous papers and book chapters on the impacts of elevated sea surface temperatures on the coral reefs of the Wider Caribbean. Dr. Causey received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Corpus Christi in 1967, and a Master of Science degree from Texas A&I University in 1969. Three years of post graduate work at the University of South Florida introduced him to the Florida Keys coral reef ecosystem. On May 6, 2006, Billy Causey was bestowed with an Honorary Doctorate in Science from the University of South Florida. Dr. Causey has received numerous awards for his work in coral reef conservation, but is probably most highly recognized for his experience in marine protected area management and policy development. He was responsible for establishing the first comprehensive marine zoning plan for the United States. He is a charter member of the Working Group for the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force.