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Bermuda cave researcher gets Smithsonian Institution position

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A renowned cave researcher who spent years studying the Island's cave systems has been awarded a Research Associate position with the Smithsonian Institution.

Tom Iliffe worked for 11 years as a Research Associate at the Bermuda Biological Station, now the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS), where he initiated diving investigations into the biology of marine caves.

Dr Iliffe's new position with the Smithsonian will be directly associated with The Sant Ocean Hall at the National Museum of Natural History.

A BIOS spokeswoman said that during his time on the Island, Dr Iliffe discovered some 80 biological species, including a new order of crustaceans not found anywhere else.

“On behalf of the Bermuda Institute of Sciences, we congratulate him on his new appointment and wish him the best of luck,” the spokeswoman added.

Dr Iliffe left Bermuda and joined Texas A & M in 1989 as a lecturer at the Galveston campus, but has repeatedly returned to the Island to conduct further research.

In 2011, he led a four-man team on the deepest recorded manned dive in Bermuda waters, diving to 444ft on the Challenger Seamount as part of a project to study what had been the Island's coastline in the peak of the last Ice Age.

Over the course of his career, Dr Iliffe has dived in more than 1,500 underwater caves around the world and discovered more than 300 species of marine life — and had seven named after him.

Cave biologist: Tom Iliffe
Into the unknown: Cave dive expert Dr Tom Iliffe investigates some of Bermuda's underwater caves.

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Published November 21, 2013 at 8:00 am (Updated November 20, 2013 at 10:57 pm)

Bermuda cave researcher gets Smithsonian Institution position

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