FSUCML in the News

Florida State University scientists describe and name new species of coral in French Polynesia


Scientists from the Department of Biological Science at Florida State University have described and named a new species of coral in the waters of French Polynesia. Postdoctoral researcher Erika Johnston and Scott Burgess, associate professor of Biological Science, described Pocillopora tuahiniensis by studying the coral’s genome and examining the symbiotic algae that live inside its cells. They also considered where these coral live and how they’re different from other specimens in the area. These things helped them conclude that this coral represents a previously undescribed species. Their research was published in

Watch the Hammerhead Shark get its Hammer


So in the new study, developmental biologists tagged along with scientists studying bonnethead sharks (Sphyrna tiburo), a small hammerhead species with a relatively giant noggin. As the team scooped the sharks from the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and off the U.S. east coast, the biologists retrieved live embryos of all ages. The biologists preserved the embryos for further study using different staining and imaging techniques, piecing together the video above from different specimens.

Endangered 13-foot sawfish caught off Florida coast. Why that’s good news for species


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.”

Sawfish Tagged in Cedar Key for the First Time in Decades


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.

Researchers outline best practices for understanding life on the ocean’s vast seafloor


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.

Officials charged with protecting Florida's wildlife and ecosystems don't seem to understand science - or care about it


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.