August 2020

FAU’s Harbor Branch will utilize $2,200,000 in Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) grant funding to assemble an integrative system of state-of-the-art technologies to strengthen Harmful Algal Bloom Assessment of Lake Okeechobee (HALO).

"We are honored to receive this grant and for the continued support from Governor Ron DeSantis and Secretary Noah Valenstein who share our deep commitment to preserving the health of Lake Okeechobee. Our project, spearheaded by Dr. Jordon Beckler, will implement state-of-the-art monitoring technologies and platforms designed to produce positive environmental, societal and economic outcomes,” said FAU President John Kelly... Read More

Using satellite telemetry, a groundbreaking study by Matt Ajemian, Ph.D., FAU's Harbor Branch, and collaborators, documents the core habitat use of tiger sharks in the Gulf of Mexico ... Read More

The study, led by Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, is the first to analyze the relationship between group behaviors, group type, group dynamics, and kinship in beluga whales. Findings, just published in Scientific Reports, reveal several unexpected results. Not only do beluga whales regularly interact with close kin, including close maternal kin, they also frequently associate with more distantly related and unrelated individuals... Read More 

To demonstrate that ocean currents, like the Gulf Stream, offer powerful power-generating opportunities, FAU’s Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center (SNMREC) engineers recently deployed a turbine that generated electricity from the current for a continuous 24-hour period. Industry partner OceanBased Perpetual Energy, LLC, Miami, Fla., is planning a large scale commercial ocean current turbine installation offshore south Florida and requested FAU’s help to achieve this milestone... Read More

Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute Matt Ajemian, Ph.D., an assistant research professor and director of the Fish Ecology and Conservation Lab and fellow researchers used uniquely coded transmitters and acoustic telemetry to give them a leading edge to unravel fine-scale movement, behavior, and habitat use of whitespotted eagle rays in Florida’s Indian River Lagoon. Biotelemetry provided the researchers with unique insights into this species’ occupancy, which is not apparent at the landscape-scale... Read More
Student Spotlights

Hunter Hines, Ph.D., discovered a population of the gold-colored soil ciliate Condylostomides etoschensis thriving in natural soils on Florida Atlantic University's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute campus. The research was conducted during his doctoral research... Read More

Post-Doctoral Fellow Lauran Brewster part of the Fisheries Ecology and Conservation Lab at FAU's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute received a grant from the Save our Seas Foundation to research the behavioral response of juvenile bull sharks to the harmful algal blooms in the Indian River Lagoon. Lauran is attaching accelerometers to juvenile bull sharks in the Indian River Lagoon. This will help her monitor their body movement and behavior in response to HABs in an important nursery area for these sharks... Read More
Faculty Spotlights

Derya Akkaynak, Ph.D., an oceanographer and engineer at FAU's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, has recently been invited to speak worldwide on her research of how vision works underwater. Akkaynak is developing the color reconstruction program called Sea-thru, a project that uses a physics-based approach to enhance underwater images, reducing the tedious and manual labor it takes to render a clear underwater image... Read More

As global warming transforms our planet and farmers search for sustainable ways to grow food, the answer may lie in the ocean. Sea vegetables grow rapidly and require zero fresh water, and a team of researchers at Florida Atlantic University who studied the salt-loving plants are optimistic that they could be a game-changer in the way we shop for groceries.

Check out the CTV story here!
In the News
Shift in weather pattern brings in banner crop of sargassum

FAU's Harbor Branch researcher Brian Lapointe, Ph.D., explains the shift in weather patterns that brings in banner crop of sargassum.

Read more
Scientists Embark on Journey to the "Deep" to Explore...

Blue holes are underwater sinkholes, similar to sink holes on land. Underwater sink holes, springs, and caverns are karst (calcium carbonate rock) features that are scattered across Florida's Gulf continental shelf. They vary in size, shape and...

Read more
As a health and safety precaution, FAU's Harbor Branch Ocean Discovery Visitors Center is temporarily closed. Please check back for updates . Visit FAU's Harbor Branch social media channels for daily research highlights, facts and trivia questions.

Join us as we take a behind the scenes look around FAU's Harbor Branch! This series will highlight our various research projects, state of the art facilities and equipment, as well as views from our historic 144-acre campus that is located along the Indian River Lagoon.
Bring Ocean Science for A Better World ®  right into your home with virtual resources from FAU's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute! Online offerings include lectures, interviews with marine scientists, activities for children and much more! Visit our virtual resources page to learn about these great opportunities for teachers, students and ocean lovers of all ages!... Learn More
Discover the scientists and engineers behind the great work being conducted at FAU's Harbor Branch. During Behind the Science , a fun and informal web chat series, our researchers will tell you what inspired them to pursue a career in marine science, share stories about their adventures, and advice they would give to a future scientist!

Hear about our most recent discoveries from the scientists and engineers that made them through FAU's Harbor Branch   John and Barbara Ferrara Ocean Science Lecture Series . Our lecture archive goes back ten years and contains more than 100 presentations with topics ranging from sharks to renewable energy.

Through FAU's Harbor Branch Speakers Bureau, community organizations may request a virtual presentation on a specific research topic or a general overview of FAU's Harbor Branch. This program provides an excellent opportunity to learn about the institute’s most recent discoveries and connect with marine science experts. There is no charge for scheduling a speaker, however an honorarium or donation is encouraged.

If you would like to request a virtual speaker for your group/event, please fill out FAU's Harbor Branch Speakers Bureau request form .
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.