Showing posts from March, 2017

Undergraduate ReSEArch: Seagrasses in Florida Bay

Post by Kai Lopez Kai Lopez taking a benthic seagrass in a dense seagrass bed Among Everglades researchers, Florida Bay and the shallow seagass beds within it are often forgotten. However, much of Florida Bay is encompassed within Everglades National Park. Much of Florida Bay is dominated by seagrass beds, which provide important ecosystem services, such as vital nursery habitat for many fish species, sediment stabilization, and increased water quality, in addition to  providing food to turtles and manatees. As an undergraduate technician in the Seagrass Ecosystems Research Lab (SERL), I have had the opportunity to get up close and personal with Florida Bay seagrasses.  Cassiopea , the killer jellyfish! From fleeing smacks of jellyfish to almost being swallowed by liquid sediments in a canal, the adventure never stops in the seagrass lab. One time I even got to go mano-a-mano with a stone crab bigger than my head over a tidbit. But don’t get the wro

Diatom of the month: March 2017 - Mastogloia pseudosmithii

by Sylvia Lee, FIU & Periphyton lab alumna Did you know that March 19 is Taxonomist Appreciation Day ? Fig. 1 . Cartoon on what taxonomy is. Image credit: BuzzHootRoor from Taxonomy is the study of organisms and their classification (or in more witty/punny terms in the image above, “how you phylum ”). Recognizing and putting names to organisms may come easy to some natural-born naturalists, but taxonomy can be a challenging task requiring specialized knowledge. This is especially true for groups with many species, such as diatoms. Species identification may not seem like an important skill, but it can be thought of as an essential part of “ ecoliteracy .” It is difficult to care about something if you do not know its name , and it can even become extinct without your knowledge. As part of my Ph.D. research, I was able to do an

The Carbonate Flow

  Post by: Chris Lopes The interest for my research began far from the boundaries of FCE. Swimming through the glistening waters off the Florida Keys in the reef tract, I saw a system that was teaming with life and full of surprises. As I grew older and gained exposure on the status of the reefs, it became clear that the surprises will not be as pleasant if we proceed with business as usual. As soon as I gained access to web of science in high school, I was digging and searching through the literature to better understand the dynamics systems of coral reefs. I wanted to know everything from what composed the communities to what was affecting the ecosystem form and function. It became clear that coral reefs and adjacent systems are changing and we are leaving our fingerprints on the gas handle. As my exposure to science increased during my undergrad, global climate change was a paradigm that had shifted and was now in full effect. I remember a line that was used to describe e