Ross is currently a research faculty at UNCW and is also a project leader for the US Geological Survey. He was the Research Coordinator for the NC Coastal Reserve Program for 13 years. He holds graduate adjunct faculty status at NC State University and UNC Wilmington. His area of specialization is ichthyology, particularly ecology and life history. He has conducted numerous, diverse projects in estuaries and offshore waters and has served as chief scientist on many cruises, including those using submersibles. The current work of Dr. Ross and his team involves assessment of the communities of unique deep water habitats. They are examining energy flow (trophodynamics) and relationships of animals to various habitats, including deep coral banks, canyon systems, and rocky areas.