By Irene Wright Growing up on the Gulf coast of Florida, shark researcher Dean Grubbs has always been fascinated by nature’s ancient animals. “I caught a little sharpnose shark when I was 7 years old, and I thought it was the coolest thing I’ve ever seen, and (I) told my parents I was going to be Jacques Cousteau,” he told McClatchy News in a phone interview. “That fascination never changed.”
FSUCML in the News
In 2003, smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata) had the unenviable distinction of being the first native marine fish listed under the Endangered Species Act. The classification followed decades of declining populations due to habitat loss, overharvesting and mortality as fisheries bycatch. Now, 20 years later, a 13-foot adult female captured off the coast of Cedar Key, FL suggests the species may be making a slow but spirited comeback.
Resource managers and policymakers need robust data about marine ecosystems for decision-making and setting sound policies. However, data about marine life can be challenging to collect, integrate, and analyze. Invertebrate animals are a key component of life on the seafloor, but their wide range of body sizes and diversity make it especially difficult to understand their abundance and distribution.
“I think this is going to potentially be one of the most important estuaries or nurseries for this species on the west coast of Florida as the waters continue to change,” said Andres, who is with the Florida State University Coastal & Marine Laboratory.
On March 21, the Florida Capitol hosted its annual FSU Day at the Capitol, a day dedicated to celebrating the relationship between Florida State University and the Florida government.
In an article published in The Invading Sea, Dr. Chris Koenig and Dr. Felicia Coleman take the Florida Fish and Wildlife agency commissioners to task for ignoring the best available science when making decisions about wildlife.
Call for Papers. -- Dr. Coleman is serving as guest editor for a special issue, “Frontiers in Goliath Grouper Research" to be published in the journal Fishes. Papers by scientists from the Global South are particularly of interest. Deadline for manuscript submission is 30 March 2023.
Two FSUCML students have received the Guy Harvey Scholarship Award, an honor that recognizes students from Florida colleges and universities whose research focuses on the biology, ecology, habitat or management of fish in Florida’s marine environment.
When Florida State University researcher Dean Grubbs wants to gather data, he heads to sea. It’s there, in the Gulf of Mexico, and sometimes at depths of more than a mile underwater, where he’s able to find the information he needs for his research into sharks, rays and other marine wildlife. The work wouldn’t be possible without the R/V Apalachee, a 63-foot research vessel docked at the FSU Coastal and Marine Laboratory in St. Teresa, Florida, and the largest ship in the lab’s fleet. The ship is the largest research vessel between the Tampa Bay area and Mobile, Alabama, making it an important tool for anyone who wants to do research on the northern Gulf.
WWF is elated to announce Jasmin Graham, MSc., as winner of the third-annual Conservation Leadership Award. This award aims to give the next generation of conservation leaders access to a global platform and experts, and provides a financial prize that recipients can use to further their professional or educational goals related to their conservation work. Graham is a marine biologist, environmental educator, and social justice activist. She is the CEO and president of the organization Minorities in Shark Sciences.