Erin is an undergraduate student who has been conducting research in Dr. Breithaupt’s lab. Erin has been chosen to represent FSU and her undergraduate Honors in the Major project at the 2024 ACC Meeting of the Minds at Notre Dame in April!
Her research focuses on evaluating intertidal oyster reef conditions at five sites throughout Apalachicola Bay by characterizing their sediments' physical and chemical properties and relating them to the abundance and spatial density of oyster shell clusters at the surface. Oyster reefs function as biogeochemical hotspots, filtering particulate organic matter from the water column and sequestering a portion into the sediments below as feces and pseudo-feces. Dead reefs have different sediment compositions relative to live and restored reefs, so documenting the reefs in Apalachicola Bay can give us another way to evaluate reef conditions and identify sites for prioritized restoration.