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Science to Solutions lecture series

FAU faculty, staff and students are welcome to attend the FAU Harbor Branch pillar Science to Solutions lecture series.


John Andrew Nyman, Ph.D.

3:30 p.m. Jan. 18
DW 108, Davie campus
Video conference to Harbor Branch LE 103; Jupiter SR 275; Boca Raton SC 141

Nyman, of Louisiana State University, will present "Managing Stressors, Nutrients and Edges to Improve Coastal Wetland Restoration."

This talk will introduce wetland restoration in coastal Louisiana, where an area the size of Delaware has converted from emergent vegetation to shallow water since the 1930s. It will also describe recent research exploring how stressed vegetation responds to nutrient inputs and how fish and wildlife use different types of edges, which consists of the boundary between emergent vegetation and shallow water. Such information might improve restoration efficiency by guiding how water from the Mississippi River is allowed to flow through wetlands into the Gulf of Mexico and by guiding how dredged sediments are used to create new coastal wetlands across the salinity gradient.

John Andrew Nyman is a professor in the School of Renewable Natural Resources at Louisiana State University. He has worked with wildlife managers and wetland restoration agencies for over 25 years and has coauthored over 70 peer-reviewed publications. His most-cited publications address wetland loss, oil spills, or marsh vertical accretion, which allows coastal wetlands to offset some subsidence and/or sea level rise.


Name Date Location Lecture More information Video
Melissa Omand, Ph.D. To be rescheduled LE103, Harbor Branch campus Omand of the University of Rhode Island, will present "Diel Rhythms in Phytoplankton Physiology and Marine Snow Export Observed From a Wirewalker Autonomous Platform."

Rapid, wave-powered profiling of bio-optical properties from an autonomous Wirewalker platform provides insights into phytoplankton physiology, including the patterns of diel growth, phytoplankton mortality, nonphotochemical quenching of chlorophyll a fluorescence, and natural (sun-induced) fluorescence of mixed communities. Such autonomous measurements of phytoplankton physiological rates and responses open up new possibilities for studying phytoplankton in situ, over longer periods, and under a broader range of environmental conditions.

Melissa Omand is an assistant professor at the Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island. She obtained her Ph.D. in 2011 from Scripps Institution of Oceanography and completed a postdoc at WHOI in 2014.

Oscar Schofield, Ph.D. Nov. 16, 2017 Engineering East, Room 303, Boca Raton campus Schofield of Rutgers University, will present "Ecosystem Responses From Algae to Penguins Along a Melting West Antarctic Peninsula."

The West Antarctic Peninsula is the fastest winter warming location on Earth, with temperatures rising by almost more than 6 degrees, that has resulted in nearly a decrease of 90 sea ice days each year. These physical changes, driven by shelf-wide intrusions of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, are now altering the food web. This provides an opportunity for understanding the mechanisms by which climate variability affects multiple trophic levels in food webs and provides a model for determining ecosystem responses to climate change, which is the focus the Palmer Long Term Ecological Research program which has been operated over the last 25 years. This talk will show how tightly coupled the food webs in this system and how the large climate signals are rippling through the ecosystem.

Schofield is a biological oceanographer interested in how physics and chemistry regulates ocean ecosystems, with a primary research focus on the physiology and ecology of phytoplankton. His research is conducted in oceans from the rapidly warming/melting along the West Antarctic Peninsula to sustained studies along the northeast United States. Additionally he is part of the Center of Ocean Observing Leadership (COOL), which is focused on developing new technologies and ocean sensor networks to better document and model the marine system. The COOL group has, and continues, to innovate a range of technologies spanning from remote sensing, radars, and autonomous underwater robotics. Their research efforts are coupled to an extensive public outreach effort focused on communicating the excitement and adventure of conducting science in the field. These outreach efforts have been anchored by extensive web services, teacher training and full length feature movies.

Austin Becker, Ph.D. Oct. 5, 2017 Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, Room 108, Boca Raton campus Becker of the University of Rhode Island, presented new tools that policy makers, the public and other stakeholders need to weigh the costs and benefits of resilience investments that will be necessary in the coming decades.

Storm resilience and climate adaptation has long been acknowledged as a “wicked problem” for planners and policy makers. The uncertainties in rates of climate change and the lack of significant resilience funding leave decision makers unsure as to which adaptation option(s) to pursue, on what timescale, and how to pay.
In the coming decades, many communities will be forced to adopt so-called “transformational adaptation” strategies such as the construction of storm barriers, the reorganization of vulnerable systems, or changes in their locations.
Such strategies can take decades or more to plan, design, find consensus around, fund and ultimately implement. Before any meaningful decisions on climate change resiliency can be made, however, a shared understanding of risks, consequences, and options must be generated and allowed to percolate through the system to those who deal with such issues.
These research projects develop new tools that policy makers, the public, and other stakeholders need in order to effectively weigh the costs and benefits of resilience investments that will be necessary in the coming decades.


 Last Modified 1/16/18