Aquatic Animal Health Laboratory Team

Laramore Susan Laramore, Ph.D. - Project Lead
Associate Research Professor

Lab Staff

cari sinacore-migliano Cari Sinacore-Migliano – Lab Manager

Cari received her Dental Hygiene degree in 1991 and worked as a Registered Dental Hygienist for a decade.  In 2005 she graduated with a B.S. in Biology from Mercy College in NY. In 2010 she received an M.S. in Biological and Environmental Sciences from Western Connecticut University.  She worked for the Town of Somers, NY., educating the public education concerning  the effects of and prevention of water pollution on local water supplies.  Cari moved to Florida in 2011 and began volunteering at HBOI’s Ocean Discovery Center. She joined the Aquatic Animal Health Lab in 2013, and has assisted in a variety of crustacean, bivalve and fish projects.  She has co-authored two Sunray Venus Clam papers and is currently working on a paper that assesses oyster health in the Indian River Lagoon. In addition to conducting histology and molecular lab work she also performs administrative tasks for AAHL. In 2019 Cari attended the University of Arizona’s Shrimp Pathology Short Course.
caitlyn courtemanche Caitlyn Courtemanche – Research Program Coordinator

Caitlyn volunteered for AAHL in the spring of 2016 while attending FAU’s Semester by the Sea Program at FAU-HBOI. She graduated from FAU with a B.S. in Biological Sciences and certificates in Environmental Science and GIS in 2016. After graduation she worked as an animal husbandry intern at the Smithsonian’s Model Ecosystem Exhibit in Fort Pierce, FL.  Caitlyn rejoined the AAHL team in 2017. Her primary duties include conducting DNA and RNA extractions and histology necessary for certification for commercial shrimp and bivalve operations.  She works on industry related projects, in which she conducts bacterial and viral challenges with the Pacific white shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei. In 2019 Caitlyn attended the University of Arizona’s Shrimp Pathology Short Course, and received her certificate. Her greatest accomplishment was winning fourth place in the “Great Pumpkin Over the Lagoon” contest in 2018 and 2021.
ben peskin Benjamin Peskin – Aquaculture Technician

Ben received his Aquaculture certificate from Indian River State College in 2018. He has a certificate in boat mechanics from Marine Mechanic Institute in Orlando, FL. Ben has been part of our aquaculture team since 2016. He has been involved in experiments with shrimp, sea urchins, bivalves, and amphipods. He has worked on projects that have focused on the impact of probiotics in shrimp feed and tank water, the Sunray Venus clam Florida Sea Grant funded project (2018-2021), and more recently has assisted in shrimp disease challenge experiments.
Seth Feola Seth Feola – Aquaculture Technician

Seth received his Aquaculture certificate and AAS in Aquaculture from Indian River State College in 2021 and 2022. He has worked in the aquaculture department since 2022, maintaining microalgae cultures for aquaculture projects and assisting with clam pH experiments.
Bonnie Getter Bonnie Getter – MS Student

Bonnie received her undergraduate degree from Florida Gulf Coast University in 2010. Since graduating she has worked as a Park Ranger in Sebastian, FL, and for the Bureau of Land Management in UT, and as a North Pacific Groundfish observer in WA. Bonnie began her studies in the MSO program at FAU in the spring of 2021 working on a Florida Sea Grant funded project entitled “Evaluating the Abiotic and Biotic Factors Influencing Hard Clam Production in Florida.

Summer interns (since 2015):

2015 Nicolas Brandimarte – Prevalence assessment of Bonamia spp. and Perkinsus marinus within select eastern oyster populations in the Guana, Tolomato, Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve

2016 Reika Yu - Health Assessment of Crassostrea virginica in Natural and Restored Reefs of the Indian River Lagoon

2017 Erica Albright - Production of Parhyale hawaiensis: Dietary and Temperature Effects

2018 Charlotte Ahls - Molecular screening of Eastern Oysters in the Indian River Lagoon for Toxoplasma gondii and Enterococcus faecalis

2019 Emily Rutkowski - Survey and Salinity Preferences of Suberites aurantiacus in the Indian River Lagoon.

2019 Tonia Henning - Production of the Sea Cucumber Holothuria floridana with three different diets in an IMTA system

2021 Jade Salis - Can Juvenile Hard Clams, Mercenaria mercenaria, be Successfully Produced in an IMTA System that Experiences Varying pH?

2022 Meghan Keough - Deep Dive into How Fluctuating pH Affects Post-Set Clam Production

2023 Lily Borema – The Effectiveness of ATP Luminescence as an Indication of the Level of Hygiene in a Marine Aquaculture Facility

Graduate Students:

MS-FAU Lucas Jennings, Biology (2012-2014). Nematocyst replacement in the sea anemone Aiptasia pallida following predation by Lysmata wurdemanni: an inducible defense?

MS-FAU Nicolas Brandimarte, Biology (2016-2018). Health and performance of the Eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) under various culture conditions (Did not complete)

MS-FAU Edward Perri, Marine Science (2019-2021). Dietary impacts on Sunrvay venus clam (Macrocallista nimbosa) maturation and production

MS-FAU Bonnie Getter, Marine Science (2021-2024). Changes in Water Quality and Microbiota Over a Two Year Period in Florida hard clam hatcheries.

Graduate Committees:

MS-FAU Mary Crider, Geosciences (2011-2012).The Social and Environmental Effects of Shrimp Mariculture: Case Study of Two Coastal Villages in Ecuador.

MS-FAU Pedro Lara Biology (2014-2015). Mangrove prop roots as a potential disease vector and environmental refuge for the American oyster, Crassostrea virginica (Did not complete)

MS-FAU Christie Gonzalez, Biology (2016-2017). Histopathologic Study of the Stomach Mucosa in Stranded Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins of the Indian River Lagoon, Florida, 2000-2014. Changed to non-thesis

MS-FAU Rachel Plunkett, Biology (2015-2016). Discovery of Loxosomella vivipara in the Marine Sponge Hippospongia cf. gossypina in the Florida Keys

MS-Texas A&M Hailey Boeck (2017-2018). Survey for the oyster parasites Bonamia, MSX, and Dermo in Texas Bay systems

PhD-Univ FL Marlyn Kallau (2019-2024). Nutrient Value of Microalgae on Growth and Development of Hard Clams Mercenaria mercenaria

MS-FAU Tyler Bianchine (2019-2021). Effect of Feed Pellets Form Factor in Conjunction With β-GLUCAN on Production Characteristics of Florida Pompano Trachinotus carolinus

MS-FAU Lydia Moreland (2023). Non-thesis tract MSO program.

MS-FAU Haley Davis (2021-2023). Hyposalinity stress tolerances of Montastraea cavernosa and Porites astreoides corals in Southeast Florida and implications for coastal freshwater management


Holly Nance, Ph.D., Clemson University (HBOI 2010-2012). Oyster Restoration in SE Florida Estuaries: Use of population genetic methods to monitor effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on an ecologically and commercially important indicator species, the Eastern oyster, along its Gulf Coast range

Md. Mabubul Hassan, PhD., Flinders University (FAU-HBOI 2020-2021). Exploring dietary impacts on improved spawning in Mercenaria mercenaria.

HBOI ocean fish