News at FSUCML

Coleman named to Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee

Dr. Felicia Coleman, Director of the FSUCML, was recently appointed to the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee by the Department of Commerce, in consultation with the Department of the Interior. She is one of 11 new members appointed to the 30-member committee. The charge of the committee is to advise the Departments of Commerce and the Interior on the development and implementation of a national system of marine protected areas (MPAs). Coleman was instrumental in developing two marine protected areas in the Gulf of Mexico during her tenure on the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, the Madison Swanson Marine Reserve and the Steamboat Lumps Marine Reserve.

Goodbye to Stan Thomas, Security Guard Extraordinaire

Since 2006, FSU Police Security Guard Stan Thomas has been a positive presence at FSUCML, giving all faculty, staff, students, and visitors a warm welcome while maintaining the Lab's security. Stan is moving on to a new security post at the University Center where he will watch over the administrative buildings and work stadium special events, including football games. We will all miss him dreadfully and wish him well in his new position.

Oberlin College Students to Work with FSUCML Faculty

In January 2010, for the second year in a row, students from Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio, will arrive at the FSUCML to participate in field studies at the FSUCML. The students (pictured l-r), Sam Slowinski, Meaghan Harty and Emily Gardner, will work with Dr. Randall Hughes on saltmarsh genetic diversity and with Drf. David Kimbro on cordgrass-marsh periwinkle interactions for their three week winter break. Other Oberlin students, including Loke Jin Wong, Marta Robertson, Nicollette Buckle, and Casey Lee, will work with Dr. Walter Tschinkel on fire-ant ecology. Organizer of this annual trek is FSU alumnus and Oberlin faculty member Dr. Cortland Hill.

FSUCML and Duke partner to study impact of Gulf's "Dead Zone" on shrimp fishery

A team of researchers from The FSUCML, Duke University, and the National Marine Fisheries Service will study the environmental and economic impacts of the vast "dead zone" in the northern Gulf of Mexico on shrimping in the region, home to one of the nation's most highly valued single-species fisheries. Marine ecologist Kevin Craig, a faculty member at the FSUCML, is the principal investigator for the collaborative project, which is funded by a four-year, $702,969 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Northern Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem and Hypoxia Assessment Program.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to enforce new sea grass protection rule

Under new legislation aimed at protecting sea grass in Florida's aquatic preserves (which cover 2 million acres in Florida waters) , the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will begin citing boaters who intentionally cause sea grass scarring within an aquatic preserve. There are 41 Aquatic Preserves in Florida (listed here: A list of the preserves appears here:, including the Alligator Harbor Aquatic Preserve directly off the FSUCML.

Loss of Coastal Seagrass Habitat Accelerating Globally

An international team of scientists warns that accelerating losses of seagrasses across the globe threaten the immediate health and long-term sustainability of coastal ecosystems. The team, including Dr. Randall Hughes, a faculty member at the FSU Coastal and Marine Laboratory, compiled and analyzed the first comprehensive global assessment of seagrass observations and found that 58 percent of world's seagrass meadows are currently declining.