mike heithaus at aquarius with grouperOceans cover 70% of our world and produce much of the oxygen we breathe. They provide food and jobs for people around globe. Yet they remain mostly mysterious. Only a fraction of these vast waters has been explored, and much of the underwater world is little understood.

The lab is operated by Florida International University (FIU), though it’s also used by NASA, the US Navy, and researchers and educators from around the globe. Tech Insider spoke with Mike Heithaus, a marine scientist and dean of the FIU College of Arts, Sciences & Education, to get an inside look at what it’s like inside the only permanent lab in the world’s oceans. More information >>

Linda-blacktip2As humans continue to alter the number of predators living in the oceans through overfishing and other activities, their prey and other parts of the marine ecosystem are also indirectly impacted, according to a new study published in Global Change Biology in October. Specifically, by altering the numbers, distribution and behavior of predators, humans can influence the prey’s ability to respond to threats and its chance of being killed by a predator. More information >>

Dr. Heithaus goes to Washington

Congress Subcommittee TestimonyFIU’s College of Arts and Sciences Dean Michael Heithaus testified before the House Committee on Agriculture in a hearing titled “Research Innovations from Our Nation’s Agricultural Colleges and Universities” Sept. 29. The Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research hosted the hearing and was interested in Heithaus’ take on building greater capacity at Hispanic-serving institutions through the Hispanic-Serving Agricultural Colleges and Universities (HSACUs) programs. More information >>

steam_fiu_2WLRN’s Topical Currents hosted Florida International University deans, Mike Heithaus (College of Arts & Sciences) and Brian Schriner (College of Architecture and The Arts), to discuss higher education, the acronym of “STEM”:  That’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, and the push to broaden the focus to include the arts, also known as STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics to enhance the performance of students and researchersMore information >>

Jeff-Corwin-and-Mike-Heithaus-still_clipFIU researchers have teamed up with conservationist and TV personality Jeff Corwin to share their mission of protecting the Florida Everglades on the latest installment of “Ocean Mysteries with Jeff Corwin.”

The episode, titled “The Predators of Shark River,” will bring viewers face-to-face with the Everglades’ most important predators, including bull sharks, snook and the American alligator. It will air 9:30 a.m., Saturday, May 23 on ABC. More information>>

Turtle and Sea Grass Study Under Way

Turtle-Grass-ResearchFIU and FRIENDS are now conducting research into what factors affect the habitat use of green sea turtles, and in turn, how green sea turtles are affecting creek ecosystems through grazing on seagrasses. To do so, I have set up exclosure experiments in the tidal creek systems of the Bight of Old Robinson, Snake Cay, and Hill’s Creek. More information >>

shutterstock_173273411The loss of sharks could contribute to the destruction of one of the planet’s most under-appreciated sources of carbon storage — seagrasses. While sharks are often sensationalized as voracious predators, it’s their actual prey that poses a risk to seagrasses, according to FIU researchers. More information >>

DSC_0504As the humidity returns, the thermometer rises and the afternoon thunderstorms water south Florida, we are reminded that the dry season has come to an end.  Over the months that spanned the dry season, however, the lab has been investigating dolphins in the Florida Coastal Everglades and associated areas of Florida Bay to answer questions about their behavior, movements and diets. More information >>

Mike-and-CongressmanFIU Arts & Sciences Interim Dean Mike Heithaus discusses the impact of the recent historic Mission 31 at the FIU Aquarius Reef Base. More information >>

mikeheithausASBBC-078Mike Heithaus has been named interim dean of the FIU College of Arts & Sciences, effective July 1. Heithaus, who currently serves as the executive director of the School of Environment, Arts and Society (SEAS) and associate dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, will replace Kenneth G. Furton, who will become FIU’s provost next month.

More information >>