Dr. Corliss joined the University of Rhode Island, Graduate School of Oceanography as Dean in September 2012. The Graduate School of Oceanography is one of the world's foremost marine research institutions. Prior to joining URI, Dr. Corliss was Professor of Earth and Ocean Sciences in the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University and Director of the Duke/University of North Carolina Oceanographic Consortium that consists of five universities in North Carolina that operated the R/V Cape Hatteras research vessel. He also was interim chair of the Division of Earth and Ocean Sciences, senior associate dean of the Nicholas School of the Environment, and chair of the Department of Geology at Duke. Earlier he served on the scientific staff at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Dr. Corliss served as chair of the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System, an organization of 61 academic institutions and national laboratories that coordinates the activities of the United States oceanographic research ships. He is well known for leading the organization's efforts in "greening" the Academic Fleet to help make existing and future research vessels more environmentally sustainable. Dr. Corliss' research has focused on paleoceanography, deep-sea biodiversity, benthic microorganisms, and the development of paleoclimatic proxies.
Dr. Corliss received a B.A. from the University of Vermont and both his M.S. and Ph.D degrees in Oceanography from the University of Rhode Island.