The Florida Department of Health (DOH) recently released the latest food advisory for fish caught in Florida’s freshwater rivers, lakes, and streams; estuarine waters, and marine waters. Pregnant or nursing mothers should be particularly careful about which fish and how much they consume. Pay close attention to the amounts of fish that can be consumed over a given period of time (there is an additive effect) and to those fish that should be avoided altogether.
News Around the Lab
The Tallahassee Scientific Society recently honored our very own Dr. William F. Herrnkind, Professor Emeritus, FSU Department of Biological Science, with the Society's Gold Medal Award for 2012. The award recognizes Dr. Herrnkind for his outstanding career contributions to science as well as the public service and educational outreach. Dr. Herrnkind now joins the ranks of Dr. Harry Kroto (FSU Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry; Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1996), Dr. Bruce Means (President, Coastal Plains Institute and Land Conservancy), Dr. Jim C. Smith (FSU Department of Psychology), and Dr. Alan Marshall (FSU Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Director of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory ICR Program) to name a few who have received this award. Congratulations, Doc. Well deserved.
Local elementary, middle, and high school students' conservation-inspired artwork takes center-stage at the Florida State University Coastal and Marine Laboratory.
Congratulations to the following recipients of the first FSUCML graduate student scholarship awards. The funds support research expenses of students who are using the FSUCML as a base for conducting their Masters or Doctoral research.
Congratulations to graduate student Matt Kolmann (advisor Dr. R. Dean Grubbs) for receiving a research grant from Sigma Xi. Matt, a native Floridian, has broad research interests in life history, anatomy, and evolution of basal fishes, especially sharks and rays. His award from Sigma Xi will help fund his investigation of the material and structural nature of the skeleton in stingray. Sigma Xi, founded in 1886, is an international, multidisciplinary research society whose programs and activities promote the health of the scientific enterprise and honor scientific achievement.
The FSUCML is pleased to announce that Geo Shipyard, Inc. (New Iberia, LA) won the bid to build our new 63-ft research vessel. Marine architects Dejong and Lebet, Inc. (Jacksonville, FL) developed the preliminary design for this aluminum hull catamaran with input from faculty across the FSU campus, the National Marine Fisheries Service, and the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS).
FSUCML faculty, Dr. Christopher Koenig and Dr. Felicia Coleman, are collecting new data on the once severely-overfished Atlantic goliath grouper in a new three-year study. The species is native to Florida's waters, and is currently making a comeback in the southeastern United States, after a 21-year fishing moratorium. Using nondestructive sampling techniques, Koenig and Coleman will examine specific conditions and behaviors supporting this species' population recovery along Florida's coastlines in both the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico.
Dr. Felicia Coleman is a co-author on a new report released by the Pew Charitable Trust, A Once and Future Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem in which the expert working group makes recommendations for recovering Gulf resources and restoring the natural system. Recognizing that the Deepwater Horizon disaster of April 2010 was just the most visible, recent problem threatening the health of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem, the authors recommend going beyond the traditional restoration approach that targets specific habitats or species damaged by the oil to focus on the Gulf of Mexico as a whole to have it truly recover and thrive in an unpredictable future.
Please welcome Alex Chequer to the FSU Coastal and Marine Laboratory as the new FSU Diving Safety Officer. Alex arrived recently with his wife, Catherine, and son Ryan, after having served for years as the Diving Safety Officer for the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences.
Dr. Mark E. Hay (Professor and Teasley Chair in Environmental Biology) from Georgia Institute of Technology has agreed to serve on the FSUCML Scientific Advisory Board. Mark is an ecologist with considerable experience in food web dynamics across spatial scales that include terrestrial, freshwater, and marine systems, and across taxa from plankton to algae, from herbivores to apex predators.