Meet Our Team

Katie Dyal
Katie DyalFounder & Co-Director
Katie Dyal has been passionate about the world’s water since childhood. Her love and knowledge of aquatic ecosystems increased as she studied, played and eventually gained her Masters in Water and Soil Science. Since then she has helped with local reef conservation efforts in Fiji and helped teach the local children. She also worked as a field instructor teaching children about the Pacific Ocean on Catalina Island as well as an instructor aboard a sailing vessel along the California Channel Islands. She has also spent time working as a marine instructor in the Florida Keys, and working as dive master. During this time she continues to work with undeveloped areas in the Caribbean and enjoying the Rocky Mountains.
Michael Smith
Michael SmithFounder & Co-Director
Michael Smith received his marine biology BS at the University of Rhode Island. Since then he has enjoyed working with the environment as a shark and fish researcher, a kayak guide in the San Juan Islands sharing the water with orcas, a naturalist aboard whale watching vessels, as a volunteer at a local Nicaraguan school, and as a classroom teacher. He has also worked as an instructor on Tall Ships teaching marine science, snorkeling, and sailing. When not working with Common Tides he works as a director and instructor at two summer marine science programs in New England along with finding time to surf, scuba dive, coach swimming and to cheer the Seahawks on to a win in the Super Bowl.
Dr. Robert Ellis
Dr. Robert EllisContributing Scientist
Dr. Robert Ellis grew up in Southern California and always knew that he wanted to be a marine biologist. He received his BS from UC Santa Barbara where he first got hooked on marine research by studying coral reef fishes in the US Virgin Islands. After graduating he moved out to Catalina Island where he worked as an instructor teaching marine biology to grades 4-12, then onto a couple years surf-bumming around Santa Cruz and Central America. He then went back to school, attaining his MS in Oceanography (LSU) and his Ph.D. in biology (Florida State). Bob currently studies reef fish life history for the state of Florida and stokes his passion for marine conservation by working with Common Tides and the Clear This Fish Foundation working to eradicate invasive lionfish from Panama.