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.

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Diana-Churchill-ed-weboptSeven graduate students at universities in Florida, including Heithaus Lab’s Diana Churchill, have received Guy Harvey Scholarship Awards, recognizing their outstanding achievement in marine science research. More information >>

reen-AVED-1Like many aquatic species, sea turtles can be extremely difficult to observe in the wild so important aspects of their behavior remain poorly known. However, using new, high-definition animal-borne video cameras, we have gotten an astonishing look into the lives of these charismatic yet elusive creatures. More information >>

A trip to the Red Sea, Rabigh Lagoon

IMG_1711I traveled to the west coast of Saudi Arabia at the invitation of Dean Mohammed Al-Jahdali (a marine biologist) to start a collaboration between biologists at King Abdulaziz University – Rabigh Campus and FIU’s Marine Science Program.  We are working to develop a project to restore and study Rabigh Lagoon and the surrounding waters of the Red Sea. More information >>

face-to-faceA couple weeks ago, we had the pleasure of welcoming Dr. Adam Barnett to the lab for more than a week.  Adam has been doing some really interesting work on sevengill and tiger sharks, and hopefully we can get some projects going together soon!  He also has been working on a great website with lots of information. More information >>

Sans-titre1418Data analysis is ongoing…and there is a lot to do going through all the video and preparing the samples for stable isotope analysis.   Johann just finished processing the photos that were taken of blacktip reef sharks at the shallow water site.  Because each shark has unique markings on their fins, we can see how many individuals were observed at the site and how often they are there. More information >>