Tidings - Spring 2016 Newsletter
Director's Report - What Have We Done For You Lately?
When asked recently by a visitor to the laboratory, "What have you done for Florida lately," all I had to do was look around the lab at our faculty, grad students, and staff to see the answer. These scientists daily contribute to solving the ecological problems of the region and help move science into the policy arena. This includes research initiatives that assess the long-term effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill; study long-lived animals like groupers, sharks, and corals that are economically important to the State's recreational and commercial fisheries, vulnerable to over-exploitation, or threatened or endangered in Florida waters; contribute to the protection and restoration of local habitats along Florida's coast, from coastal seagrass beds, oyster reefs and salt marshes moving offshore to the  edge of the West Florida shelf; and foster local, regional and international collaborations with scientists from state and federal agencies, academic institutions from Florida and elsewhere in the U. S. to Europe, South America, Central America, and Japan. 
Growth of the marine lab since 2006 brings more business to Wakulla and Franklin counties. In addition, the staff and new hires are residents in these counties, where they buy property, raise their families, and contribute to the local economies. 

I would call these wonderful, heartfelt contributions to the state that we know, love, and all call home.
Marine Operations in Full Swing, From Sea to Shore
Sex in the Sea: Sea Urchin Spawning in Cold Waters

FROM THE ACADEMIC DIVING PROGRAM. What triggers spawning in sea urchin and what is their reproductive success? Is the trigger food supply, lunar phase, the presence of sperm or eggs in the water, or something else? Dr. Don Levitan and graduate student Kevin Olsen in the FSU Department of Biological Science ask these sorts of questions in their research on reproduction in marine invertebrates conducted in the cold waters of British Columbia.

Longleaf Pine Restoration at a Marine Lab?  Really?

Seems odd, doesn't it, to have longleaf pine restoration at a marine lab.  Recall, however, that one reason the "FSU Marine Lab" became the "FSU Coastal and Marine Lab" was to highlight the connectivity between land and sea. The FSUCML has ~25 acres immediately on the other side of Highway 98 that marine technician extraordinaire, Chris Matechik, and his band of merry volunteers, have been preparing for a restorative burn that will occur in February 2017.  Learn the facts about The North 70 Long Leaf Pine Restoration Project
Research at the FSUCML
Faculty Research Report
  • Dr. Dean Grubbs and Dr. Chip Cotton published research that disputes the findings of a 2007 study claiming that shark declines led to rising populations of cownose rays, which were responsible for the collapse of oyster and shellfish industries along the Atlantic coast. This study challenges blaming Cownose Rays for the shellfish decline in Chesapeake Bay. Learn more about their findings. 
  • Dr. Sandra Brooke and team received the National Oceanographic Partnership Program's (NOPP) 2015 Excellence in Partnering Award for their work on the Atlantic Canyons: Pathways to the Abyss
    project. Throughout the course of the project, Dr. Brooke and team logged 90 at-sea days, conducted 414 hours of Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) dives, and identified over 125 species of fish. Congratulations, Dr. Brooke! Learn more about her award.
  • Dr. Sophie McCoy (FSU Dept. of Bio Sci and FSUCML) recently published research on the effects of ocean acidification on coastal marine communities. In her studies of crustose coralline algae (CCA) she finds that ocean acidification essentially replaces herbivory as the dominant force guiding competitive interactions among different CCA species, promoting greater species diversity among them. Learn more about her research.

Additional Research News
  • The FSUCML is pleased to welcome Dr. Mauricio Hostim, who is conducting research on Goliath Grouper in the Coleman-Koenig Research Laboratory for the year. Dr. Hostim joins us from the Department of Agricultural and Biological Sciences at the Universidade Federal do Espirito Santo (UFES) in Brazil. Learn more about Dr. Hostim's background.
Researchers Beyond FSU Borders

This fall we had visitors from all over the world, including Brazil, Guam, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Visiting researchers are working on projects ranging from life history of marine mollusks to post oil spill plankton data. 

Grad Student Spotlight: Ale Mickle, Hagfish Queen 

Who knew when Ale joined us as an undergraduate intern in 2009 working on fish communities in seagrass beds that she would end up as a graduate student working on what some might consider among the ugliest beasts in the sea? Her work on the deep sea hagfish targets the question, what ecological niche do they occupy, predator, scavenger, or both? And how do they use the copious amounts of slime they produce? 

Awards & Degrees

From defending dissertations (Bob Ellis) to receiving Guy Harvey Scholarships (Brendan Talwar and Chris Malinowksi) and FSUCML Scholarships (Katie Kaiser, Austin Heil, Chris Malinowki, and Ryan McKenzie), FSUCML graduate students are being recognized for their hard work and ground breaking research. 

FSUCML Welcomes New Facilities Director

The Lab welcomes Russ Burcher as our new Facilities 
Director. Russ is a civil engineer and a registered Professional Engineer with over 36 years of facilities and infrastructure experience. Russ's career has included extensive maintenance, design, construction and environmental management positions both in the private and public sectors. Russ is a retired Air Force Lt Colonel and comes to us via Colorado where he recently managed facility responsibilities for the U.S. Air Force Academy. Russ has a M.S. in Engineering Management and a B.S. in Civil Engineering. He is married and has 2 children and a granddaughter. Russ, we are so thrilled to have you join the lab!

Recycle Monofilament Fishing Line

Improperly discarded monofilament fishing line causes devastating problems for marine life and the environment. Did you know monofilament fishing line can be recycled? And you can recycle it at the FSUCML! Use the monofilament recycling unit at the stop sign in front of the lab along Coastal Highway 98. Fishing line is just one of the many pollutants affecting our waterways.

Learn more about plastic pollution and what you can do to help
Click here to see photos from the 2015 regatta
Whatever Floats Your Boat Regatta

SAVE THE DATE: The 5th Annual Whatever Floats Your Boat Regatta will take place on Saturday, September 24, 2016 from noon-3pm. Last year we had a great turnout of 16 boats and over 250 attendees. Let's keep the fun going this year! Grab your team, gather your recycled materials, and start building your vessel now!

The FSUCML is now Blogging!
The FSUCML blog is now live! Graduate students share their latest research, visitors to the FSUCML share their experiences, and much more. Follow along as we continue to add new blog entries.
Friends of the Lab - 2015 Donors and Volunteers

We are thankful for the support from the Friends of the Lab, like Tommy Warren and Kathy Villacorta, who just gave the lab an endowed scholarship for graduate research. Your gifts of time, talent, and funds support the laboratory's mission and success. Click on the links below to see the list of donors and volunteers from 2015. Or, learn how you can become a Friend of the Lab today. 

2015 Donor List

The Florida State University Coastal & Marine Laboratory
3618 Coastal Highway 98 | St Teresa, FL 32358
 850.697.4120 | [email protected]