Harbor Branch News


Harbor Branch...The Extended Version

Study Tracking Apex Predators in the Gulf of Mexico Published predators

Harbor Branch researchers and collaborators used electronic tagging data from eight species, including billfishes, tunas and sharks to track when and for how long the eight species crossed international boundaries in the Gulf of Mexico. Matt Ajemian, Ph.D, associate research professor at FAU's Harbor Branch, co-authored the study titled, "Population connectivity of pelagic megafuana in the Cuba-Mexico-United States triangle." The study, recently published in the journal Nature, found several species converged on a common seasonal movement pattern between territorial waters of the U.S. (summer) and Mexico (winter). The study emphasizes the range of possibilities regarding the spatial distribution and movement of large pelagic fishes common to the Gulf of Mexico, and plainly shows a need for cooperative fisheries management among Cuba, Mexico, and the U.S. for many of the highly migratory species that inhabit these waters.

Read more: nature.com/articles/s41598-018-38144-8

Harbor Branch & I-SENSE Faculty Fellow Receives NOAA fellow

Ocean Exploration Research Award

Jordon Beckler, Ph.D., assistant professor in FAU’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute and I-SENSE Faculty Fellow was awarded a $257,000 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Ocean Exploration Research program. This project is a collaboration with a team from Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, Sarasota, in which the researchers will assemble an innovative sensor and sampling suite to explore submarine sinkholes and springs (i.e. “blue holes”) on the Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf.

Offshore submerged sinkhole and spring features have received limited scientific study as they frequently exceed normal scuba limits, reaching depths of >130 m, and exhibit openings too small for access with many submersibles. These blue holes host several commercially important fish species and can be considered ecological hotspots with respect to species composition and diversity. Because of groundwater discharge, the organic matter deposition, and circulation regimes, parameters such as temperature, salinity, light, turbidity, circulation, dissolved oxygen, pH, redox, trace metal, carbonate chemistry, and sediment types are heterogeneous and satisfy various biological niches. Fortunately, due to the development of new technology, it is finally possible to overcome the technological limitations and explore the geological, physical, and chemical environments in these karst features, and the resulting resident biological distribution and diversity.

Harbor Branch Hosts Federal Affairs Director development

Harbor Branch recently hosted Scheril Murray Powell, Director of Federal Affairs Director at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Aquaculture & Stock Enhancement Research professor's Paul Wills, PhD. and Megan Davis, Ph.D. showed Powell the aquaculture research underway at Harbor Branch. They also discussed potential opportunities for federal research funding and development.

FAU Harbor Branch Partners with 4Ocean, Navocean, and GCOOS to Monitor Algae in Lake Okeechobee with First Autonomous Sailboat sailboat

Scientists with Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute partnered with 4Ocean, Navocean and the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observation System (GCOOS), to learn more about HABs in Lake Okeechobee through the deployment of the Navocean “Nav2” vehicle, the first autonomous sail-driven surface vehicle to be used for in-land algae monitoring.

Read More: .fau.edu/hboi/newsroom/autonomoussailboat.php