Media Relations

Press Release:


FAU’s Harbor Branch Names Three New Labs In Memory of Coral Reef Research Supporters John and Andreija Robertson

BOCA RATON, FL (July 12, 2011) – Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University recently named three laboratories in memory of John and Andreija Robertson. The labs, which will be located in the new Marine Science Building, will house the Robertson Coral Reef Research and Conservation Program.

The Robertson coral reef program was made possible by a $1 million gift in 2004 from the Banbury Fund, formally led by William Robertson, John’s brother. The Banbury Fund is a philanthropic foundation established by Charles and Marie Robertson and is now led by Katherine Robertson-Ernst, John’s sister. The Robertson brothers became involved with Harbor Branch in 1999. They were particularly interested in supporting coral reef research, due to the noticeable decline in coral reefs in the Florida Keys. It was this interest that inspired Harbor Branch to use the Banbury gift to fund its coral reef program.

“This program is a testament to the vision of Bill Robertson and his family,” said Dennis Hanisak, Ph.D., director of Harbor Branch’s Center of Marine Ecosystem Health. “The support of the Banbury Fund has been instrumental to building a world-class research program and enabling a number of truly important conservation initiatives.”

The Robertson Program is dedicated to understanding and preventing losses in shallow and deep water coral communities that result from both natural and man-made causes. Robertson Program funds also allowed Harbor Branch to hire two biological scientists whose expertise has significantly increased the productivity of the coral reef program.

“The Robertson funds are making a significant difference at Harbor Branch,” said Margaret Leinen, Ph.D., executive director of Harbor Branch. “Our researchers are identifying and protecting previously unknown deep water coral reefs and developing new ways of assessing coral health. We also are able to foster the development of new scientists who will devote their careers to this important research.”

For more information about supporting the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, visit, or contact Janet Alford at the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute Foundation at 772-466-9876 ext. 224 or


Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. In commemoration of its origin, FAU is celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout 2011. Today, the University serves more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering & Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. For more information, visit

Privacy Policy | University Regulations and Policies | Emergency Information | Get Help | Contact Us

An Equal Opportunity/Equal Access Institution
© Copyright 2016. Florida Atlantic University.
Boca Raton Campus Danie Beach Campus Davie Campus Fort Lauderdale Campus Harbor Branch Campus Jupiter Campus Treasure Campus
 Last Modified 9/7/16