Spotlight on Research

2018 AAAS new fellow Mya Breitbart

Austin, TX - Congratulations to Mya Breitbart, a new 2018 fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Examples of areas in which nominees may have made significant contributions are research; teaching; technology; services to professional societies; administration in academe, industry, and government; and communicating and interpreting science to the public.

Fellows are elected annually by the AAAS Council from the list of approved nominations from the Section Steering Groups.

Last modified on Tuesday, 20 February 2018 13:38

2018 Sloan Foundation Fellow physical oceanographer Xinfeng Liang

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - Congratulations to USF College of Marine Science physical oceanographer Xinfeng Liang, a new 2018 Sloan Foundation Fellow. “The Sloan Research Fellows represent the very best science has to offer," says Sloan President Adam Falk,"... Fellows are quite literally the future of twenty-first century science."

View 2018 Fellows

Last modified on Tuesday, 20 February 2018 12:12

Research: Oxygen Levels Continue Dropping In World's Waters

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - Scientists say that climate change is having an effect on the levels of the world’s oceans. But it’s also apparently affecting the oxygen levels throughout the oceans, as well as our coastal waters including the Gulf of Mexico. That’s according to a study published in the Jan. 4 issue of Science by a team of scientists from the Global Ocean Oxygen Network (GO2NE), a working group created by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission.

Read the full article by Mark Schreiner

USF College of Marine Science Geologists Join International Antarctic Expedition

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - USF College of Marine Science Associate Professor Amelia Shevenell and doctoral student Imogen Browne are departing on an international expedition to the Ross Sea, to investigate 23 million years of past climate change and West Antarctic Ice Sheet response in a region that is sensitive to changes in ocean and atmospheric warming and contributes to global sea level change.

Read Full Article

View Expedition Antarctica Blog

Obituary: Eugene Domack

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - Dr. Eugene Domack (Gene), Professor in Geological Oceanography at the USF College of Marine Science (CMS), died on Nov. 20, 2017 after a brief illness.

Gene received his Ph.D. in Geology from Rice University in 1982. He was hired at Hamilton College in 1985, after working for two years as an Exploration Geologist for Union Oil Company of California. He joined USF College of Marine Science in 2014. His scientific career was dedicated to the study of climate change, which he advanced through the development of international interdisciplinary programs. He was highly recognized for his research, including awards in 2011 as Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and 2012 as Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His fieldwork led him all over the globe, on both land (Namibia, Australia, Greenland, Svalbard, Oneida Lake NY, and Whidbey Island WA) and sea (Chief-Scientist or Co-Chief Scientist on 15 Antarctic cruises).

His primary passion was Antarctic research and he generously shared that passion with others, including numerous students. He captured the interest and imagination of young scholars and enabled them to experience the excitement of science first-hand. He mentored hundreds of students throughout his career as a professor at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, Hamilton College in Upstate New York, and the University of South Florida. He left a rich legacy: many of his former students are now passing along that passion, including Ian Howat (Professor at Ohio State University and invited 2013 Eminent Scholar Lecture Series speaker at CMS), Amelia Shevenell (Associate Professor at CMS), and Matt Kirby (Professor at Cal State Fullerton).

Born in Wisconsin, Gene had a life-long love for the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers and his alma mater, the Wisconsin Badgers. But most of all he loved his daughter, Maddie. Gene is survived by his wife Judi and daughter Madison, both of St. Petersburg; his mother Vivian Domack of Brookfield, WI; sister Deborah (Todd) Hill of Trempealeau, WI; brother Randy (Kasey) Domack of Holmen, WI; sister Julie (Jeff) Borkowicz of Brookfield, WI; and several nieces and nephews. He was pre-deceased by his father Benjamin and his younger brother Shawn.

Contributions may be made to: The Madison Domack Education Fund. Checks can be sent to David C. Gross Funeral Home, 6366 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg FL 33707 for the family, or Temple Beth El “Religious School Special Projects Fund”, 400 Pasadena Ave. S, St. Petersburg, Florida 33707.

View Eugene Domack's Research

Last modified on Friday, 12 January 2018 14:01

Mya Breitbart Elected AAAS Fellow in the Biological Sciences Section

TAMPA, FL - Mya Breitbart is a Professor of Biological Oceanography in the USF College of Marine Science, and a pioneering scientist in the field of viral metagenomics. She leads this rapidly growing field, publishing novel viral genomes from diverse hosts and environments. Her efforts have changed the way we view viruses and their impacts on our world, laying the groundwork for a whole new body of knowledge. She is recognized by colleagues as one of the top five microbial ecologists at her career level in the world. Breitbart's recent work has demonstrated the widespread occurrence of single-stranded DNA viruses in multiple ecosystems and diverse invertebrate hosts, leading her to develop novel methods for viral classification and produce a field guide of genomic characteristics for this previously overlooked viral group.

Read full article

Last modified on Friday, 12 January 2018 14:10

Don Chambers elected as a Fellow of the AGU

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - University of South Florida physical oceanographer Don Chambers, Professor in the College of Marine Science, has been elected as Fellow to the American Geophysical Union (AGU).  The award recognizes Chambers’ contributions to satellite geodesy that have brought new understanding of ocean and ice dynamics.

AGU is an international non-profit scientific association with more than 60,000 members dedicated to promotion and discovery in Earth and space science for the benefit of humanity.  The Fellows program recognizes AGU members who have made exceptional contributions to their fields as evaluated by their peers and vetted by section and focus group committees.  To qualify for consideration, nominees must be responsible for a major breakthrough, discovery, or paradigm shift in one of the Earth and space sciences.  The rare honor will be recognized during the Honors Ceremony at the organization’s Fall Meeting.

View AGU article here

Last modified on Friday, 28 July 2017 13:56

Award of Tenure

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - Congratulations to Brad Rosenheim and Ernst Peebles.  We have received formal notification of the award of tenure.  Please join us in congratulating them on this momentous occasion.  Congratulations and well deserved!

John Paul receives one of the five 2015 Excellence in Innovation Awards for work in 2014

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - At the Annual Luncheon of the USF Chapter of the National Academy of Inventors, Dr. John Paul, Distinguished University Professor, received one of the five 2015 Excellence in Innovation Awards for the "spin off" company called PureMolecular, LLC, which he formed in 2014 with his recent PhD graduate Robert Ulrich, CTO.  This company grew out of their December 2013 patent.  

They have created a device called GrouperChek (trademark pending), which is ... "A handheld sensor assay for the identification of grouper as a safeguard against seafood mislabeling fraud" - also the title of their recent 2015 publication in Food Control (  


Additional Information

Earlier this week on Monday August 31st, USF convened the 7th annual luncheon for the USF Chapter of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).  The event celebrating NAI’s 6th anniversary (2009-2015) was held at the Galleria, USF Research Park in Tampa, Florida. According to Dr. Clifford R. Merz, President of the USF Chapter of the NAI and College of Marine Science (CMS) faculty member and alumni, the USF Academy of Inventors began in 2009 with 131 inventor members.  From the USF Academy of Inventors, the National Academy of Inventors was born and now comprises 177 Member Institutions from around the country and world with more than 3,000 individual inventor members.  In 2010, USF formed NAI’s founding local chapter. Today, USF’s NAI Chapter has over 360 regular and honorary members, and is the largest chapter in the NAI.  Membership is open to any USF faculty, staff, student or alumni listed on an issued patent from the US Patent and Trademark office. Collectively, USF Chapter Inventor Members are listed on nearly 1,900 U.S. Patents, of which, CMS has nine members with over 85 issued U.S. patents. For additional information on the NAI or to join visit or contact Dr. Merz at

Last modified on Friday, 04 September 2015 15:00

C-IMAGE Spotlight: Chuanmin Hu

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - Dr. Chuanmin Hu and his PhD student Shaojie Sun discuss their C-IMAGE research. They are optical oceanographers and are using satellite images to track oil from the Deepwater Horizon and IXTOC-I blowouts.

Last modified on Tuesday, 25 August 2015 15:33

Ernst Peebles discusses his C-IMAGE research

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - Ernst Peebles discusses his C-IMAGE research, ranging from otolith chemistry to tracking fish in the Gulf of Mexico.

Read more about Dr. Ernst Peebles

Last modified on Monday, 10 August 2015 15:49

Teresa Greely shares information about education and outreach initiatives

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - Dr. Teresa Greely, C-IMAGE's education officer, shares information about C-IMAGE's education and outreach initiatives.  Dr. Greely provides expertise in the areas of biological oceanography, ecological physiology, marine fishes, and ocean science education. She has broad research interests which encompass teaching and training about the ocean sciences in three areas: graduate and undergraduate education, teacher education, and ocean literacy amongst youth.

She currently coordinates four education programs: The Oceanography Camp for Girls (OCG), the In-service Teacher Oceanography Workshops (In-TOW), the National Ocean Science Bowl's regional Spoonbill Bowl competition, and the OCEANS Teaching Fellowships.

Read more about Teresa Greely

Last modified on Monday, 10 August 2015 15:44

Advice for Young Scientists

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - What advice to oil spill researchers have for young scientists? We asked scientists from C-IMAGE studying field like chemical oceanography, ecosystem modeling, and population genomics and compiled their responses.

Mya Breitbart awarded the 2015 STEM Woman of the Year

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - It’s that time of year again to show support of a local STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) program and the organization who for 7 years has had a tremendous focus on STEM education for girls K-12.  There are many men and woman in the community who provide time in mentoring and program curriculum creation/facilitation to help Girls Inc. of Pinellas be able to offer a top notch STEM program.  Girls Inc. of Pinellas recognizes a woman in a STEM career who provides mentorship and supports local/National community programs focused on inspiring girls in STEM.

Girls Inc. of Pinellas will hold it’s 2015 STEM Woman of the Year Luncheon on May 13th11:30-1:00 at the Birchwood Hotel 340 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. 

The 2015 STEM Woman of the Year  award recipient is an Associate Professor at the University of South Florida in the College of Marine Science.

Mya Breitbart is a National Academy of Sciences’ Kavli Frontiers Fellow and an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow and was recognized as one of Popular Science Magazine’s “Brilliant Ten” young scientists in 2013.  Mya’s research uses genomic sequencing to explore the identify, diversity and distribution of viruses in a wide range of environments, ranging from seawater to sewage.  In addition, her laboratory has created new methods for discovering novel viral pathogens causing disease in plants and animals.  Mya is a lifelong Girl Scout and has positively impacted girls in the Tampa Bay region through creating and equipping a fully-functional marine science laboratory at the local Girl Scout camp Wai Lani. Mya has hosted marine science and technology workshops for over 200 girls on top of running numerous camps.  Mya is also involved as a faculty mentor for the USF Oceanography Camp for Girls, a volunteer moderator for the National Ocean Science Spoonbill Bowl, a FabFems role model, a Florida Girls Collaborative Project leadership team member and an advisory board member for the Florida Aquarium’s Center for Conservation. 

Congratulations to Mya Breitbart on her recognition as Girls Inc. of Pinellas STEM Woman of the Year!

Although Girls Inc. is a 50+ year organization it’s efforts in our local community are very much a best kept secret.  In an effort to bring them the resources and financially support girls to attend this gemstone program Girls Inc. of Pinellas relies heavily on contributions.  The goal this year is to raise $35K through luncheon table sponsorships and personal contributions from table guests.

Here is a link to the 2014 STEM Woman of the Year event.


More Information:

STEM Invitation 2015

STEM Sponsorship 2015

Introduction to Girls Inc. 2015


Last modified on Monday, 20 April 2015 17:43

The 2014 Outstanding Faculty Awards

ST. PETERSBURG - Provost Ralph Wilcox and Dean Jackie Dixon celebrate the achievements of Bob Byrne, Chuanmin Hu, and Cam Ainsworth at the Outstanding Faculty Awards ceremony on March 5, 2014.

Mya Breitbart

ST. PETERSBURG - Mya’s marine genomics laboratory, currently consisting of 8 graduate students, 2 postdocs, and 2 undergraduate interns, had an extremely successful year.   Her lab continues to lead the way in the field of environmental viral discovery, publishing findings of new viruses in a wide range of organisms, including shrimp, dragonflies, cockroaches, and bats!  Especially exciting was the first discovery of viruses in copepods, which are the most abundant animals in the oceans.  This study, which has important implications for oceanic food webs and biogeochemistry, was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  In 2013, Mya was recognized as one of Popular Science Magazine’s “Brilliant Ten” Young Researchers, received Honorable Mention for the USF Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award, and was a highlighted FabFems Role Model.  Students from the Breitbart lab performed research and gave presentations all over the world, including Brazil, Bolivia, Scotland, and China.  Finally, Mya co-founded the “Tampa Bay’s Tiniest Biology” club with Shannon McQuaig from St. Petersburg College to bring together the microbiology researchers in Tampa Bay.   This monthly seminar series has been a huge success, with an average of 75 participants at each meeting.

Get to know Dr. Mya Breitbart.

Last modified on Friday, 25 April 2014 17:38