Porland, OR - My name is Natalia López-Figueroa, I am a first year Ph.D. student in the biological oceanography program under the advisement of Dr. Mya Breitbart. I recently graduated from Hampton University and obtained a Master of Science in Biology/Environmental Science.During the 2018 Ocean Sciences Meeting I presented my master's research project at Hampton University, collaborating with Skidaway Institute of Oceanography (at Savannah, GA) under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center (LMRCSC) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).
My project was about studying the spatial and temporal trends of zooplankton communities in the South Atlantic Bight (SAB). Our main objective in this project was to understand how does the abundance and taxonomic composition of zooplankton is influenced by the hydrographic conditions, specifically upwelling events in two locations in the SAB: the 25 and 40m isobaths (located in the mid shelf portion). We conducted monthly duplicate quantitative tows using a 1m net with a 202µm mesh with an attached calibrated flowmeter and a filtering cod-end. Organisms were subjected to morphological analysis and DNA barcoding to confirm species identification to the lowest taxonomic level possible. Our results showed that during upwelling events there is a species shift in taxonomic composition and an increase abundance of the different groups. This is the first long-term zooplankton quantitative and taxonomic assessment in the SAB. Our assessment adds new information to the spatio-temporal trends of zooplankton related to the physical and chemical conditions, and contributes to the global data base of the DNA Barcode of life.
My experience in OSM:
I was able to assist to the Ocean Sciences meeting as part as the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography Multicultural Program (ASLOMP), which provided me full-funding for the meeting. This program strives to enhance diversity in both ASLO and OS conferences. This was my 5th year participating in this program and I owe very much of my formation as a scientist to ASLOMP. As first year Ph.D. student at USF-CMS, I have learned the fundamentals of oceanography in depth with the experts in the field and for the first time in my years of assisting this meeting I felt like an oceanographer. Also, to see my fellow colleagues presentations I got a great representation of the quality of the work that is being done in our department and how prepared are the students. Also, I reconnected with many professionals and colleagues that I usually see only at these conferences and it's great to catch up with them. This is a great experience that I encourage all students to assist at least once to this meeting because even though it can be exhausting, it is a very enriching experience for our professional careers.
ATLANTA, GA - CMS Sloan students, scholars and directors attended the 24th Institute on Teaching and Mentoring in Atlanta October 2017. The Institute on Teaching and Mentoring, which is sponsored by Compact for Faculty Diversity, is a four-day conference with the largest gathering of minority doctoral scholars in the country. The Institute focuses on faculty and PhD student diversity. This year the two guest speakers were Judge Glenda A. Hatchett and Margot Lee Shetterly.
CMS Sloan students and directors met Margot Lee Shetterly the author of “Hidden Figures,” which reached number one in The New York Times Non-Fiction Best Sellers list. The book was partly funded by the Sloan Foundation and was eventually made into a film. Sloan provided autographed books to Sloan students, scholars and directors at the Institute on Teaching and Mentoring.
View the embedded image gallery online at:
TAMPA, FL - On Monday October 3, 2016, Professor Pamela Hallock-Muller received the USF Mentor of the Year Award. Only one award is given per year. Fifteen students and faculty from the College of Marine Science were among approximately 100 USF scholars honored at the USF Office of Graduate Studies Scholars of Excellence event on Monday October 3 ,2016 in the Marshall Center on the Tampa Campus. Honorees from CMS attending included (left to right): Kara Vadaman (USF Graduate Research Fellow), Kelly Mackenzie Vasbinder (Presidential Doctoral Fellow), Pamela Hallock Muller, (2016 Outstanding Graduate Mentor), Theresa King (Genshaft Family Doctoral Fellow), and Michelle Guitard (McKnight Doctoral Fellow).
TAMPA, FL - Ileana Freytes Ortiz has been selected as a Pathways Award winner for her contributions to the betterment of Latinos. On behalf of the USF Latin Community Advisory Committee FELICIDADES! The award will be presented during this year’s USF Hispanic Heritage Kick-off, Thursday, September 29, 2016 from 12-2pm in the Marshall Student Center Ballroom.
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - Dinorah Chacin was awarded the National Science Foundation, Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide (GROW) fellowship to engage in international research collaboration with Stockholm University in Sweden. This six-month experience will allow Dinorah to work with Dr. Charlotte Berkström and conduct field studies in Mafia Island, Tanzania. Dinorah will be investigating the ecological roles of native algal beds in East Africa as well as those of introduced (through open-water farming) non-native algae. The study aims to 1) identify fish communities that utilize native and introduced algae as habitats, 2) identify herbivores that consume either algae, and 3) examine the connectivity of introduced and native algae to other shallow-water habitats. While conducting field research, local communities, especially fishermen and algae farmers, will be encouraged to participate and learn the importance of assessing the ecological influence of farmed algae through first-hand experience. The results of this study, along with the local’s ecological knowledge, will be used to design and implement an optimal management plan for algae farming in the area, focused on achieving a sustainable practice.
This experience will complement Dinorah’s ongoing doctoral research at the College of Marine Science, University of South Florida, which aims to understand how seascape heterogeneity influences ecological patterns and processes in coastal systems. Until now Dinorah’s dissertation has concentrated on work she has completed in the tropical/subtropical western Atlantic region. The GROW experience will therefore allow Dinorah to expand her research into international and highly understudied coastal systems such as those in African seascapes.