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Ashley is a graduate student in the Environmental Science program at FGCU. As an undergraduate,
Ashley did her senior research on disease intensity of sea fans in the Florida Keys,
and has since been an essential member of the dive team for Ciguatera studies. Her
responsibilities include conducting photo transects and analysis by Coral Point Count
for seasonal changes in benthic cover. Ashley’s thesis research will focus on the
benthic substrate dynamics in the Florida Keys.
Andrea is a graduate student in the Environmental Science Master’s program at Florida
Gulf Coast University. Her research is funded by the NSF PIRE grant and focuses on
the grazing preferences and rates of invertebrate species (common to the Florida Keys)
upon some of the common macroalgal hosts of Gambierdiscus, the source of Ciguatera Fish Poisoning. While the majority of her funding goes toward
her research, a portion is also applied to outreach and education, including instructing
the Vester Marine Summer Science Camp at FGCU’s Vester Marine Field Station, as well
as leading other educational tours.
Katie is a third year graduate student in Dr. Anderson’s lab. She is working on designing
FISH probes to detect Gambierdiscus at both the genus and species level. Her interests include the genetic basis for
diversity within Gambierdiscus and elucidating seasonal benthic community dynamics.
Katie is a graduate research assistant in Dr. Michael Parsons lab. She started as
a lab technician in 2015 doing algae and fish extraction work then began working on
her master’s degree in 2017. She is currently conducting research on the grazing dynamics
of pinfish between two common macrophytes found in seagrass beds in the Florida Keys,
Thalassia testudinum and Halimeda incrassata, at varying temperatures.
Jessica is a graduate student in the Environmental Science program at FGCU. As an
undergraduate, Jessica did an internship in Dr. Parsons' CiguaHAB lab, starting her
interest in marine benthic dinoflagellates. Jessica's thesis research will focus
on the abiotic influences and the community dynamics of benthic dinoflagellates in
the Florida Keys.
Anne is a graduate student in FGCU's Environmental Science Masters Program. She began
her involvement with Ciguatera Research as an intern at FGCU, where she performed
algal and fish tissue extractions, maintained live cultures of various marine microalgae,
and assessed seasonal Gambierdiscus populations by microscopy. Anne's thesis research is focused on a particularly toxic
strain of Gambierdiscus and its growth and toxin responses to several light and temperature conditions. This
work will contribute to the modeling efforts to predict and prevent Ciguatera Fish
Poisoning outbreaks, especially in the wake of warming sea surface temperatures.