June, 2018
Upcoming Events
Wednesday, July 11
Harbor Branch Immersion Tour | Ocean Discovery Visitors Center | 10:30 a.m. [ More info ]

Ocean Science Lecture Series:   Did you miss out on the exciting 2018 lecture series? Don't worry! You can watch them all here.
Harbor Branch to Launch Center for Coastal & Human Health
FAU Harbor Branch scientists are collaborating on a new project that seeks to fill a critical need for understanding the significant health threats associated with harmful algal blooms that occur in the Indian River Lagoon. They are launching the Center for Coastal and Human Health (CHH), which will bring together expertise within the Institute to collect a broad spectrum of data in an effort to better understand the connections between climate change, the local environment, harmful algal blooms, and the resulting human health issues.
Faculty leaders on the project include Dr. Amy Wright (Center Administrator), Dr. Mike Twardowski, Dr. Nick Dickens, Dr. Matt Ajemian, Dr. Esther Guzmán, Dr. Gabby Barbarite, Dr. Dennis Hanisak and Adam Schaefer, MPH.
Funding for the project is being provided by the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute Foundation.

Click here to read more about this project in a recent article by Vero News.
Photo Credit: IRL By Air
Harbor Branch In the News
Deep-Sea Sponges Could Be Key to Antibiotic Resistance
Could deep-sea sponges be the answer to antibiotic drug resistance? A team of FAU Harbor Branch scientists is working to answer that question - and their research made headlines in recent weeks:
Seaweed Smothers Local Beaches
If you've been to the beach lately, chances are that you've noticed the high volume of seaweed covering the sand. FAU Harbor Branch scientist Dr. Brian Lapointe was called upon recently to help explain the phenomenon:
Algae in the Indian River Lagoon
With the increased summer rainfall, discharges from Lake Okeechobee and an influx in runoff entering the Indian River Lagoon, there has been an increase in the amount of algae people have been seeing when they're out on the water. FAU Harbor Branch scientists Drs. Jim Sullivan, Malcolm McFarland and Dennis Hanisak have been answering questions about why this is occuring:
WPTV (featuring Jim Sullivan)
WPTV (featuring Malcolm McFarland)
WPEC (featuring Dennis Hanisak)
Special Report: Looking at the Health of Local Reefs
Reefs off the coast of our local beaches are very telling when it comes to the overall health of the ocean and the lagoon. In a special report by WPTV, FAU Harbor Branch scientist Dr. Brian Lapointe explained what he's seeing and points to potential culprits and solutions.
FAU Harbor Branch Develops and Tests Launch & Recovery System for U.S. Navy  
FAU Harbor Branch’s engineering team recently hosted high ranking officials from the U.S. Navy to test and demonstrate a launch and recovery system they designed and built in conjunction with Raytheon to use for deploying oceanographic instrumentation from Navy vessels. Navy brass were on hand to witness tests of the system after significant design evolution, and watch training on how to use it through a variety of deployment scenarios. 
CIOERT Research Supports NOAA National Marine Sanctuary
FAU Harbor Branch researchers have recently published three studies focused on coral reef ecology, connectivity, and conservation in the Northwest Gulf of Mexico (NWGOM). Two sister manuscripts from the laboratories of Dr. Joshua Voss and Dr. Laurent Chérubin, led by recent FAU graduate Dr. Michael Studivan and former Harbor Branch postdoc Dr. Lysel Garavelli, examined the connectivity of mesophotic coral ecosystems with complementary molecular biology and oceanographic modeling approaches to inform a proposed expansion of Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. Additionally, FAU master’s program graduate Jennifer Polinski and Voss have characterized the corals’ algal symbiont communities and demonstrated a potentially novel mechanism for photoadaptation in mesophotic corals of the NWGOM.  The three manuscripts are products of the NOAA’s Cooperative Institute for Ocean Exploration, Research, and Technology (CIOERT) headquartered at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute.

Studivan MS, Voss JD (2018) Assessment of mesophotic coral ecosystem connectivity for proposed expansion of a marine sanctuary in the northwest Gulf of Mexico: population genetics.

Garavelli L, Studivan MS, Voss JD, Kuba A, Figueiredo J, Chérubin L (2018) Assessment of mesophotic coral ecosystem connectivity for proposed expansion of a marine sanctuary in the northwest Gulf of Mexico: larval dynamics. Frontiers in Marine Science

Polinski JM, Voss JD (2018) Evidence of photoacclimatization at mesophotic depths in the coral-Symbiodinium symbiosis at Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary and McGrail Bank. Coral Reefs
Harbor Branch Aquaculture Team Publishes Results of Shrimp Feed Study
FAU Harbor Branch aquaculture researcher Susan Laramore, Ph.D., is lead author on a paper that was recently published in the Journal of Applied Phycology. In the study, she, along with Harbor Branch co-authors Paul Wills, Ph.D. (pictured, left), Dennis Hanisak, Ph.D. and Richard Baptiste, evaluated the use of harvested Ulva lactuca from a land-based IMTA system as a partial replacement or a supplement to a commercial shrimp diet for Litopenaeus vannamei juveniles. Click here to read the full paper.
Image: Ulva lactuca is a macroalgae used to maintain water quality for fed and extractive species in Harbor Branch's integrated multi-trophic aquaculture system
Beckler Co-PI with MOTE on Benthic Lander Project
FAU Harbor Branch scientist Dr. Jordon Beckler is co-principal investigator on a grant that was recently awarded to Mote Marine Laboratory for a project in the Gulf of Mexico that will utilize a benthic lander (pictured, right) to explore "blueholes" - or sinkholes on the seafloor.
Scientific data on blueholes is relatively limited because while some can be accessed via scuba, others exceed scuba depth limits and have openings that are too small to be accessed by submersibles. Beckler and his colleagues hope the benthic lander will allow them greater access in order to gather information for more in-depth geochemical characterization.
Conferences and Presentations
Scientists Present at Gordon Research Conference
A group of FAU Harbor Branch scientists recently headlined a prestigious international conference on mesophotic reefs. Drs. Michael Studivan (pictured, left), M. Cristina Diaz (center, left), Dr. Andia Chaves-Fonnegra (center, right), and Dr. Joshua Voss (right) presented at the Functional Roles of Mesophotic Coral Reefs in the Anthropocene Gordon Research Conference (GRC) in Maine. Click here to read more.
McCarthy and Students Attend Microbe 2018 Conference
FAU Harbor Branch research professor Dr. Peter McCarthy (pictured, right) and several students from his lab traveled to Atlanta, GA recently to attend the American Society for Microbiology conference “Microbe 2018”. Hunter Hines (pictured, left), Brandon McHenry (center, left) and David Bradshaw (center, right) presented their research in a very well-attended poster session. McHenry was also selected to present his research in a lightning session which built on his experience with the 3 Minute Thesis competition. Bradshaw received an Outstanding Abstract award for his research on the effects of Hurricane Irma on the microbiome of the Indian River Lagoon. The photo was taken by former McCarthy lab post-doctoral scientist Julie Olson.
Page-Karjian and Lo Present at IAAAM Conference
FAU Harbor Branch veterinarian Annie Page-Karjian, DVM, Ph.D. (pictured, left), and her graduate student Catherine Lo (pictured, right) recently participated in the 49th annual conference of the International Association for Aquatic Animal Medicine (IAAAM) in Long Beach, California. Page-Karjian gave an oral presentation, "Investigating tumor regrowth, case outcome, and tumor scoring system in rehabilitating sea turtles with fibropapillomatosis" and presented a poster, "Nesting green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) exhibit evidence of subclinical chelonid herpesvirus 5 infection." Lo presented a poster on her master's thesis research, "Anthropogenic contaminants in stranded cetaceans in the Southeastern United States, 2012-2017."
SOLO the Dolphin - Where is She Now?
You may remember the story of SOLO - the dolphin who found herself stranded in shallow water near Orchid Isle in late spring, 2013. The FAU Harbor Branch Marine Mammal Rescue Team assisted with a multi-agency intervention to rescue SOLO, and thanks to a VHF transmitter that was attached to her dorsal fin that day, they have been able to keep track of her whereabouts ever since.
In recent years, SOLO has been seen healthy, thriving and hanging out with her family. FAU Harbor Branch's Photo Identification Team has documented that SOLO is a third generation Indian River Lagoon dolphin. SOLO is often seen with her mom, FAKE, and grandmother, SLIM - two dolphins that Harbor Branch has been tracking since the 90's. SOLO is now a mother herself - in 2016 she birthed the first ever fourth generation IRL dolphin calf!