News at FSUCML

FSU researcher receives early career fellowship for work on algal species

A Florida State University researcher has won an early career award for her work examining the abundance of algal species that are indistinguishable, even under a microscope. Assistant Professor of Biological Science Sophie McCoy received the Norma J. Lang Early Career Fellowship from the Phycological Society of America to explore the ecological differences and consequences associated with algal species that appear identical in structure but have key genetic differences.

Art in Nature - Local Students Paint Ocean Murals

With a simple theme, THE DEEP SEA, for guidance, students from Franklin (Franklin County Elementary School), Wakulla (Wakulla High School), and Leon counties (Cornerstone Learning community, Magnolia School, Raa Middle School, Rickards High School, School of Arts & Sciences) revealed through art their visions of the rich ecological diversity in the Deep Sea while boosting their awareness of the need to conserve and protect even those parts of the planet that few will ever visit.

Diving into Science at FSU

Scientific Diving has been taught at Florida State University since the inception of the Academic Diving Program in the 1970’s. Thanks to the work of FSU faculty including Dr. William F. “Doc” Herrnkind, a training program evolved focused on enabling student, faculty and staff research diving operations. January 9th, 2019, marks the 3rd time the training will be conducted under Diving Safety Officer Christopher Peters in a workshop entitled Introduction to Scientific Diving.

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.

New Deep-Water Dog Fish Shark Discovery

Dogfish sharks of the genus Squalus are small, deep-water sharks with a slow rate of molecular evolution that has led to their designation as a series of species complexes, with low between-species diversity rela­tive to other taxa. The largest of these complexes is named for the Shortspine spurdog (Squalus mitsukurii Jordan & Snyder), a medium-sized dogfish shark common to warm upper slope and seamount habitats, with a putative circumglobal distribution that has come under investigation recently due to geographic variation in morphology and genetic diversity.

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.

Disney Conservation Fund Supports Smalltooth Sawfish Research

In September, The Disney Conservation Fund (DCF) granted more than $5 million in conservation grants to nonprofit organizations as part of its commitment to save wildlife, inspire action and protect the planet. FSUCML’s Dr. Dean Grubbs smalltooth sawfish research was one of more than 75 projects selected through a rigorous review process focused on supporting conservation organizations to study wildlife, protect habitats and develop community conservation and education programs in critical ecosystems around the world.

Deep Search 2018: DEEP Sea Exploration to Advance Research on Coral/Canyon/Cold Seep Habitats

From August 19 to September 2, 2018, FSUCML's Dr. Sandra Brooke is part of a research expedition sailing on the R/V Atlantis (Woods Hole Oceanographic Inst.) with the submersible ALVIN. The cruise is led by Erik Cordes (Temple University) and includes participants from several universities, the US Geological Survey, NOAA and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management as well as media representatives. The cruise will collect critical baseline data on deep-water coral, canyons and cold seep habitats offshore the Mid-Atlantic and southeastern US, to inform management and conservation of these sensitive deep-water ecosystems. At the link below, follow this expedition with daily mission logs and amazing pictures taken from ALVIN’s eyes on the seafloor.

Corals in the Arctic???

Unlike shallow corals reefs, which are restricted to warm clear waters, deep or cold-water corals are found in almost all the world’s oceans. In the Atlantic, the most abundant cold-water reef-building coral is Lophelia pertusa, a branching stony coral that can form structures over a hundred meters tall and several kilometers long. Some of the largest and most stunning of these ecosystems occur in the frigid waters off the coast of Norway, as far north as the Arctic Circle. So yes, there are indeed corals in the Arctic!