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Meiolab in the News

Loggerhead Sea Turtles Host Diverse Community of Miniature Organisms


There is a world of life on the backs of loggerhead sea turtles, and it’s more abundant and diverse than scientists knew. An international team led by Florida State University researchers found that more than double the number of organisms than previously observed live on the shells of these oceanic reptiles, raising important questions about loggerhead sea turtle ecology and conservation.

Q&A with Gabriella Pantò


From 27 September to 3 November we were very fortunate to have Gabriella Ella Pantò as a visiting graduate student at the FSU coastal and marine lab! Originally from Sicily, she recently finished her MSc studies in the international program Ocean and Lakes in Belgium. A long-lasting collaboration between the Marine Biology Research Group at Ghent University and Dr. Jeroen Ingels, resulted in Gabriella joining the NOAA Ocean Exploration funded #HydroSMAC cruise on the RV Point Sur in the Gulf of Mexico, exploring the deep sea, and spent three weeks afterwards helping Dr. Jeroen Ingels identify meiofauna samples.

Distribution of Meiofauna in Bathyal Sediments


Ocean deoxygenation has become a topic of increasing concern because of its potential impacts on marine ecosystems, including oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) expansion and subsequent benthic effects. We investigated the influence of oxygen concentration and organic matter (OM) availability on metazoan meiofauna within and below an OMZ in bathyal sediments off Costa Rica, testing the hypothesis that oxygen and OM levels are reflected in meiofaunal community structures and distribution. Mean total densities in our sampling cores (400–1800 m water depth) were highest with 3688 ind.

Exploration of the Deep Eastern Gulf of Mexico


The Florida State University Coastal and Marine Laboratory, on the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) coast in north Florida, is a beautiful place. It is not uncommon there to see ospreys and bald eagles eyeing the coastline, pelican formations flying low, dolphins churning the water in a feeding frenzy or sharks cruising the shallows seeking out their next meal. It is also a place where a clear view of the horizon when standing on the beach is the rule, rather than the exception.

Scientific Response to Antarctic Ice-Shelf Collapse


FSUCML faculty member Dr Jeroen Ingels published an article in Nature Climate Change Today, titled: “The Scientific Response to Antarctic Ice-Shelf Collapse”. The short paper briefly reviews what we know about the ecology of sub-ice-shelf ecosystems and highlights the knowledge gaps that exist in ice-shelf ecosystem ecology. The article suggests that in order to advance our understanding 1) rapid-response research efforts are needed once ice-shelf collapse occurs, and 2) the international scientific community needs to use advances in marine technology to investigate ice-shelf systems before collapse occurs. With rapid environmental change continuing, international collaboration and moving towards prediction of ecosystem change is essential to inform policy and conservation. This article was written following an NSF-funded workshop that was held at the Florida State University Coastal & Marine Laboratory in November 2017; co-authors Prof. Richard Aronson (Florida Institute of Technology) and Prof. Craig Smith (University of Hawaii at Manoa) were the co-organizers of the workshop, which was attended by nearly 40 scientists. For more information on the workshop and outreach https://marinelab.fsu.edu/labs/ingels/outreach/polar-academy

Meiofauna Better Weather Climate Change Effects


FSU Coastal and Marine Laboratory scientist Jeroen Ingels and a team of researchers found that communities of microscopic organisms called meiofauna don’t change much when faced with both rising carbon dioxide levels and higher temperatures. That’s in contrast to larger organisms, which have previously shown to be largely affected by changes in environment.

International Workshop at FSUCML: Antarctic Ecosystem Research Following Ice Shelf Collapse and Iceberg Calving Events


Worldwide publicity surrounding the calving of an iceberg the size of Delaware in July 2017 from the Larsen C Ice Shelf on the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula presents a unique and time-sensitive opportunity for research and education on polar ecosystems in a changing climate. The FSUCML will host a workshop that will draw from the large fund of intellectual capital in the US and international Antarctic research communities.

Media coverage of meiofauna epibionts on loggerhead sea turtles

Coverage of MDPI Diversity article Ingels, J. O. G., Valdes, Y., Pontes, L., Silva, A., Neres, P., Correa, G., Silver-Gorges, I., Fuentes, M., Gillis, A., Hooper, L., Ware, M., O'Reilly, C., Bergman, Q., Danyuk, J., Sanchez Zarate, S., Acevedo Natale, L., & dos Santos, G. (2020). Meiofauna Life on Loggerhead Sea Turtles-Diversely Structured Abundance and Biodiversity Hotspots That Challenge the Meiofauna Paradox. Diversity MDPI, 12(5), 20

Visiting student Gabriella Panto at the @Meiolab


NEWS AROUND THE LAB
Check out our short interview with visiting graduate student, Gabriella Pantò

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Miniature organisms in the sand play big role in our oceans (2-28-2017)


The small organisms that slip unnoticed through sand play an important role in keeping our oceans healthy and productive, according to a Florida State University researcher. 

In the Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, Jeroen Ingels, a researcher at the FSU Coastal and Marine Laboratory, explains that small organisms called meiofauna that live in the sediment provide essential services to human life such as food production and nutrient cycling.

Read the full article here

Coverage by Science Daily

Researchers find seaweed helps trap carbon dioxide in sediment


Seaweeds help capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and transport it off shore where it gets buried or enters the sedimentary foodweb. The meiofauna research in this new study conducted by Jeroen Ingels and several team members at Plymouth Marine Laboratory showed that meiofauna consumes macroalgae and zooplankton further away from shore and help process the seaweed remains. Read the news articles here (FSU) and here (EurekAlert). The original study is open access and available here.

Giant iceberg’s split exposes hidden ecosystem - Biologists rush to study creatures living beneath Larsen C ice shelf before they disappear (9-26-2017)


"Biologists will discuss research priorities for Larsen C and future exposed regions at a swiftly organized meeting at Florida State University’s Coastal and Marine Laboratory in St Teresa on 18–19 November", organized by Drs. Ingels (FSU CML), Rich Aronson (Florida Institute of Technology) and Craig Smith (University of Hawaii, Manoa)

Read Nature article here

Scientists investigate how oil affects smallest organisms in Antarctic waters (9-20-2017)


New research led by Dr. Jonny Stark (Australian Antarctic Division) in collaboration with a Florida State University scientist (Dr. Jeroen Ingels) has examined how oil and other hydrocarbons in Antarctica affect miniature organisms called meiofauna that slip through the sediment widely unnoticed to the casual observer.

Read article here

The JEMBE article is available here