February 2020

Florida Atlantic University's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute held the Indian River Lagoon (IRL) Symposium 2020 "Reassessing IRL Biodiversity" on February 13-14, in the Johnson Education Center. The IRL Symposium is the result of a multi-institutional, multi-agency effort to provide a forum for discussing Indian River Lagoon science and its application to management of the lagoon. Scientists, decision-makers, students, education and outreach professionals, and the interested public attended the symposium.

Fifteen high school and university students were recognized for their nine excellent oral and poster presentations during the symposium. Three FAU Graduate students, Skyler Klingshirn, Andrew Pressley, and Juliet Ruggiero, received an Outstanding Student Presentation Award for their poster, "Connecting the Community with the Indian River Lagoon through Public Outreach Efforts."

Michelle Edwards, a graduate student in Matt Ajemian’s, Ph.D. lab at FAU Harbor Branch, received two awards, an Outstanding Student Presentation Award and the People’s Choice Award – Best Student 3-Minute Oral Presentation, for her talk "Exposure to Multiple Algal Toxins among Young Bull Sharks, Carcharhinus leucas, in Florida’s Indian River Lagoon..." Read More

Researchers from FAU’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute and Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing along with other collaborators recently detected an airborne exposure of microcystin, a class of toxins produced by blue-green algae species, in the nasal passages of 95 percent of the individuals tested... Read More

When Gabriel Alsenas briefs Florida legislators on how much energy the Gulf Stream holds, he asks them to visualize it: “Imagine all the major freshwater rivers in the world, like the Amazon and the Mississippi, and their discharge into the world’s oceans. Multiply that water flow by 30, and you get what’s going by our shores every second.” Every. Second... Read More
Faculty and Student Spotlight

Malcolm McFarland, Ph.D., a research associate at FAU’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute
is at the forefront of the ongoing effort to detect new toxic algal blooms and develop ways of combating them.

He specializes in the study of marine phytoplankton populations in both saltwater and freshwater environments. He is also a part of the FAU Harbor Branch team that is developing a revolutionary new underwater holographic microscope under a major multi-year grant from the National Science Foundation... Read More
The Marine Resources Council presented FAU Harbor Branch Scientist Dennis Hanisak, Ph.D., with the Stan Blum Award for Lifetime Service to the Indian River Lagoon during the 19th Annual Marine Resources Council Conservation Achievement Awards on February 22... Read More
Terri Turtle's Return

FAU Harbor Branch Researcher Annie Paige-Karjian, Ph.D., joined Loggerhead Marinelife Center, Force Blue, Inwater Research Group and the Turtle Hospital to release Terri, a turtle we found during a collaborative project in the keys. After months of rehab, Terri was released into waters off of Sombrero Beach, Marathon in the Florida Keys.

📸 David Gross

FAU Harbor Branch Aquaculture and Stock Enhancement Researchers Megan Davis, Ph.D., Paul Wills, Ph.D., Susan Laramore, Ph.D., Marty Riche, Ph.D., Assistant Research Professor Sahar Mejri, Research Coordinator Carlie Perricone and Postdoctoral Student Laura King attended Aquaculture America 2020 conference in Honolulu, Hawaii, February 9-12. During the conference, the group shared FAU Harbor Branch's research during eight presentations, including partnerships, IMTA, Florida pompano, bonefish conservation, and queen conch... Read More 

In an effort to highlight the cutting-edge research across the colleges, while engaging and educating others in all the unique research taking place at FAU, the Division of Research hosted first Art of Science photo contest for all members of the FAU community - students, faculty and staff. Almost 150 submissions poured in showing research in the field, in the lab and across all disciplines. FAU Harbor Branch Researcher Hunter Hines, Ph.D., received second place for his photo titled, "Water Bear 1..." Read More
In the News
As algae blooms get more intense, people breathe in more ...

As blue-green algae blooms become more toxic, so does the air inhaled by the people who live and work around them. A study led by scientists at Florida Atlantic University's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Fort Pierce reported the...

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Researchers learning more about possible exposure to...

We know not to drink it. We know not to swim in it. Now, FAU researchers are getting more insight into whether there should be a concern for breathing the air near toxic blue-green algae blooms. Adam Schaefer, an epidemiologist...

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Treasure Coast Marine Scientists on Leading Edge of...

As we go about our lives on the Treasure Coast, teams of leading-edge marine scientists are quietly working in our own backyard at FAU Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in Fort Pierce! They're not trying to keep it a secret, either.

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FAU scientists study health effects from exposure to ...

People in Florida have tested positive for exposure to blue-green algae toxins just from breathing air around it, and scientists are ramping up studies into how toxic algae blooms affect long-term health. Public...

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Florida Oceans Day

FAU's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute traveled to the State Capitol for Florida Oceans Day on Tuesday, February 25, to discuss how our research and outreach programs translate marine science and provide solutions that improve economies and quality of life for coastal communities.
Mission: Ocean Discovery
2nd Annual Ocean Science Art Contest

Congratulations to everyone that participated in the 2nd Annual Ocean Science Art Contest! The Contest invited middle and high school students to create unique artwork inspired by research conducted at FAU Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute and this year we received 89 entries!

Please take a look at our albums on Facebook, showcasing the finalists from the middle and high school age groups. Pick your favorite piece from each album and cast your vote for People's Choice by leaving the letter from the upper or lower left of the artwork below. We will be accepting votes for People's Choice through Wednesday, March 18. If you want to see the artwork in person, it will be on display at the Ocean Science Lecture Series throughout the voting period. People's Choice votes can be submitted in person as well.
Middle School Ocean Science Art Contest Finalists

Cast your vote in the comment section.

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High School Ocean Science Art Contest Finalists

Cast your vote in the comment section.

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Have you heard? FAU's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute has a new boat tour. This 36-passenger pontoon tour boat travels through the Indian River Lagoon educating the public on wildlife and the research conducted at the institute.

The tour runs from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Fridays. Reservations are required... Read More

The 2020 John & Barbara Ferrara Ocean Science Lecture Series at Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in Fort Pierce is underway.

FAU Harbor Branch researchers and distinguished guest lecturers will present weekly lectures each Wednesday through March 18, 2020, at 4 and 7 p.m., in FAU Harbor Branch's Johnson Education Center Auditorium, 5600 U.S. 1 North, in Fort Pierce.

Lectures are free and open to the public; to register for a 2020 season pass to facilitate admission, please visit www.fau.edu/hboi/community/osls.php .

Join us for a lecture series featuring FAU Harbor Branch graduate student research.

Lectures are held at the Ocean Discovery Visitors Center on Fridays from 3 to 4 p.m.

Admission is free. However, space is limited to 30 guests.
Please call 772-242-2293 to reserve a spot.
Sponsored Research Awards
Investigator Name and Research Anticipated Funding and Sponsor
Gabe Alsenas
Device Design and Robust Periodic Motion Control of an Ocean Kite System for Hydrokinetic Energy Harvesting
North Carolina State University
James Sullivan, Ph.D.
Indian River Lagoon Micro algae and Harmful Algal Bloom Monitoring - South Stations 
Indian River Lagoon Council
Brian Lapointe, Ph.D.
Microbial Source Tracking in Lee County Waterways 
Lee County
About Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute: 
Founded in 1971, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University is a research community of marine scientists, engineers, educators and other professionals focused on Ocean Science for a Better World. The institute drives innovation in ocean engineering, at-sea operations, drug discovery and biotechnology from the oceans, coastal ecology and conservation, marine mammal research and conservation, aquaculture, ocean observing systems and marine education.