FIU Aquarius Reef Base

On Sept. 18, 2013, Florida International University celebrated the re-opening of the Aquarius Reef Base, the world’s only undersea research laboratory.

One of the many amazing features of this undersea lab is its ability to broadcast live from the facility to anywhere around the world – opening up incredible possibilities for marine research and providing once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for students.

Tanzania – the rest of the story

11_Amartya SahaAfter an early breakfast followed by picking up some fruit for our day on the water, we made our way towards the beach to find bait.  The tide was flooding in so all the fishing boats could reach their near shore moorings and allow the fisherman to come ashore.  They were all displaying their catches on the beach in hopes of attracting a buyer and small ‘fish auctions’ were going on all over the beach. More information >>

P8132209We just got back from an amazing trip last Tuesday.  As always, we left early in the morning and were fortunate enough to catch the tail end of the Perseid meteor shower as we drove to the boat ramp.  On our way to the field site we saw the sun rise over the water and the mangroves, and then got right to work catching sharks. More information >>

DSC_3253Our manuscript, “Multi-tissue stable isotope analysis and acoustic telemetry reveal seasonal variability in the trophic interactions of juvenile bull sharks in a coastal estuary” has just been published in Journal of Animal Ecology.  The manuscript details our investigation of bull sharks’ use of freshwater prey from adjacent marsh habitats that migrate into the Shark River Estuary seeking refuge during the dry season when marsh water levels drop and the marsh dries up. More information >>

DSC_3252My name is Phil Matich and I’m currently a PhD student in the Heithaus Lab.  I started working with the lab as a volunteer at our field site in Shark Bay, WA in 2008, and after arriving in Miami, I immediately started working on my research in the Shark River Estuary in the Florida Everglades. More information >>

American-alligatorFIU researchers have found that the American alligator, and a dozen species in the crocodilia order, enjoy a taste of fruit along with their usual meat-heavy diets of birds, fish and mammals. More information >>

tiger-shark_topThroughout most of the world sharks are in trouble. Big trouble. Dr. Michael Heithaus discusses the impact of the loss of these predators on their ecosystems. More information >>

Heithaus Lab Tanzania Trip Pt. 3

3_Amartya Saha_01Today is our first day on the water with the hired boat and captain.  We planned to fish but everyone was eager to get on the water so there was not enough room to take the gear.  After a walk that I will never forget down the fisherman lined beach towards our boat, we got underway in the 5m boat with our skipper, deck hand, and eight scientific crew… now you might believe us that there was NO room for the fishing gear. More information >>

Heithaus Lab Tanzania Trip

8_Kirk-Gastrich_01-woTime to turn the blog over to Kirk Gastrich and Jeremy Kiszka who just returned from a trip to Tanzania where they conducted a rapid ecosystem assessment of the Ruvu estuary. More information >>

Heithaus Lab Tanzania Pt. 2

5_Jeremy Kiszka_01This morning we had to introduce ourselves to the local authorities (water services) and request permission to enter the waters and start any research activities in the Ruvu River.  After meeting with a few of the people working at the District Commissioners office and having our heads spun from all the Swahili conversations, we ended up being directed to the office of Ndugu Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, Bagamoyo’s Representative of The President of The United Republic of Tanzania. More information >>