The Matt Beard Memorial Award
This award is given in memory of Matthew Beard, an FSU student who intended to devote his life's work to the conservation of corals. Matt's research focused on coral recruitment in the Florida Keys and identified important settlement patterns. His research was published posthumously (citation below). The award is given by the FSUCML, with advice from the FSU Diving Control Board to the student who best embodies all that Matt exemplified as a student of marine science and as a member of the FSU scientific diving community.
Mason B., M. Beard, MW Miller. 2011. Coral larvae settle at a higher frequency on red surfaces. Coral Reefs 30(3):667-676 DOI: 10.1007/s00338-011-0739-
2019 - Josh Manning (Ph.D. student, Biological Science, Advisor: Dr. Sophie McCoy)
Josh received the 2019 Matt Beard Memorial Award for his dissertation research in determining the effects of spatially constrained herbivory by parrotfishes on community assembly processes on coral reefs. Constrained herbivory in parrotfishes because of territorial interactions among conspecifics could increase open space suitable for coral recruitment, thus enhancing reef recovery.
2018 - Ethan Cissell (Ph.D. student, Biological Science, Advisor: Dr. Sophie McCoy)
Ethan's research focuses on the interactions between endolithic bacteria and crustose coralline algae especially nutrient enchanges between the endolithic community and the host coralline, impacts of nutrient exchange on host ecology and bioerosion of the living host.
2017 - Abbey Engleman (Master's student, Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science, Advisor: Dr. Sandra Brooke)
Abbey's research looks into the significance of texture in coral recruitment and the application in restoration efforts. By combining characteristics that attract coral settlement with features known to enhance survival to recruitment, substrates can be designed to optimize the percent of larvae that recruit to a reef, improving restoration efforts and kick-starting ecosystem recovery.