Faculty

Tim Conway

Tim Conway

Assistant Professor, College of Marine Science & School of Geosciences (Joint Faculty)
Chemical Oceanography
Ph.D. University of Cambridge 2010
Office Phone: 727.553.3408
Email: tmconway@usf.edu
CV: View PDF
Website:  Marine Metal Isotope and Trace Element lab
Twitter: @marmite_usf
Google Scholar

 

Research: marine trace elements, trace metal isotopes, biogeochemistry, marine geochemistry, GEOTRACES

Research in Tim Conway’s group aims to understand the geochemistry of trace metals in the marine and earth system, and the role they play as micronutrients and/or toxins in marine biogeochemical cycles, with effects on the global carbon cycle. Researchers working with Dr. Conway employ isotopic techniques including measurement of trace metal (Fe, Zn, Ni, Cd, Cu) isotope ratios by multi-collector HR-ICPMS in a range of materials including aerosol dust, rocks, sediments rain, seawater, ice-cores, marine particles and biological materials. We work closely with national and international collaborators as part of the International GEOTRACES program, working on seawater and other samples collected from all over the world.

New acquisition of a Thermo Neptune Plus MC-ICPMS and Element XR high resolution ICPMS at CMS in 2017, together with an ESI-Seafast flow through system for precise measurement of trace metal concentrations in seawater, provides the group with the ideal resources to utilize and develop these isotopic tracers in order to shed new light on the biogeochemical cycling of these metals in the modern ocean. We are also interested in applying these tracers as proxies for oceanic processes in the geological past.

We are always eager for collaboration in a range of marine and geologic fields, and are always looking for keen and motivated graduate students and postdocs. Please contact us for current opportunities.

For up-to-date laboratory activities and a list of recent publications and news, please visit the Marine Metal Isotope and Trace Element lab web page.

Brad Seibel

Brad Seibel

Professor
Biological Oceanography
Office Phone: 727.553.3403
Email: seibel@usf.edu
CV: View PDF

 

 

Research: Physiological response of marine animals to extreme environments, ocean acidification, deoxygenation and warming, polar and deep-sea biology, biology of mollusks

 

My research employs a unique suite of field and laboratory techniques and approaches to assess the ecological consequences of climate change, including ocean acidification, deoxygenation and warming, and the role of animal energetics in ecosystem dynamics. I carry out broad comparative physiology studies to determine the limits to evolution and ecology. Physiological mechanism provides a foundation upon which ecosystem responses to climate change and consequences for biogeochemical cycles can be understood. My studies compare organisms across size, depth, latitudinal and phylogenetic lines, from microzooplankton to macronekton, ctenophores to fishes, from the poles to the equator and from the abyssal plains to the ocean surface.  We strive to integrate across levels of organization, from mitochondria to ecosystems.  I focus on the physiology of individual species and what this can teach us about their origin, behavior, ecology, diversity and the ecosystems in which they live.

Yun Li

Yun Li

Assistant Research Professor, College of Marine Science
Ph.D., University of Maryland, College Park, 2012
Office Phone: 727.553.3366
Email: yunli@usf.edu
CV: View PDF

 

 

Research: Phytoplankton and ice phenology, Coastal ecosystem, Stratification dynamics, Dissolved oxygen dynamics, Estuarine circulation and secondary circulation, Biophysical interactions, Biogeochemical-physical models

Marine ecological systems are dynamic and impacted by both natural variability and anthropogenic perturbations. Dr. Li’s research aims to better understand the physical processes and the variety of biological-physical interactions that govern the ecosystem responses to climate and human-induced changes, with particular interests focusing on the “bottom-up” effects, which encompass the changes from physical environment (e.g., stratification, circulation, sea ice) to nutrient cycling to marine primary production. Her research spans a wide spectrum of marine environments from estuaries to continental shelves and from low- to high-latitudes. Dr. Li investigates the ecosystem responses mainly through developing and employing coupled biogeochemical-physical models (e.g., ROMS, FVCOM), complemented by analytical approaches and observational data. Her current research includes (1) linking physical dynamics to biological variability in circum-Antarctic polynyas and (2) investigating the correlation scale between stratification and marine primary production in the global ocean.

 

Last modified on Tuesday, 27 February 2018 20:07

Dr. Xinfeng Liang

Xinfeng Liang

Assistant Professor, College of Marine Science
Physical Oceanography
Ph.D., Columbia University, 2012
Office Phone: 727.553.3507
Email: liang@usf.edu
CV: View PDF
Lab Website

 

 

 

Research: Role of Ocean in the Climate System, Influence of Mesoscale Eddies on Deep Ocean Processes, Ocean Mixing and the Associated Dynamical Processes, Ocean Current Measurement and Ocean State Estimates

As a physical oceanographer, Dr. Liang is interested in using a combination of observations, numerical models and theory to understand how the ocean works and how the ocean is affected by and responds to the changing climate. In particular, Dr. Liang is interested in how the heat, salt, carbon and other biogeochemical tracers are transported in the global ocean. Another of Dr. Liang’s current research interests is the dynamic processes that can supply energy to ocean mixing, and these processes mainly include internal tides, near-inertial oscillations and mesoscale eddies. Dr. Liang has extensive seagoing experience, primarily in acquiring and processing data from Lowered/Vessel-mounted Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP). Furthermore, he is familiar with the system of ocean state estimation (e.g. ECCO), which is powerful and has huge potential in addressing fundamental oceanographic questions.

Last modified on Monday, 29 February 2016 16:50

Gary Mitchum

Gary Mitchum

Associate Dean, Professor, College of Marine Science
Physical Oceanography
Ph.D., Florida State University, 1984
Office Phone: 727.553.3941
Email: mitchum@usf.edu
CV: View PDF

 

 

Research: Climate Change; Ocean Eddies; Satellite Remote Sensing; and Sea Level Rise

Professor Mitchum has been a faculty member in the College of Marine Science at the University of South Florida since 1996. Prior to coming to the USF he was a faculty member in the Department of Oceanography at the University of Hawaii where he was also the Director of the University of Hawaii Sea Level Center. His interest in sea level rise began there in the mid-1980's, and he remains especially interested in the study of 20th century sea level rise. Professor Mitchum's research focuses on the use of satellite and in situ data to study sea level variations and climate change. In addition, he also works on a wide variety of problems in the general area of ocean physics, including ocean eddies, the El Nino phenomenon, internal tides and various types of ocean waves. He also has a long-standing interest in the application of ocean physics to improve our understanding of fisheries.

Dr. Mitchum currently serves as the Associate Dean for Research for the college.

David F. Naar

David F. Naar

Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
Geological Oceanography
Ph.D., Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 1990
Office Phone: 727.553.1637
Email: naar@usf.edu
CV: View PDF

 

 

Research: Marine Magnetics; Mid-Ocean Ridge and Hotspot Interactions; Plate Tectonics; Seafloor Mapping with High-Resolution Multibeam Sonars of Artificial and Real Coral Reefs, Mines, Paleoshorelines, Hydrothermal Vents, and Fish Habitats; and Wax Analog Modeling of Seafloor Spreading Processes

Deep Ocean: Mid-ocean microplate tectonics, small and large offset propagating rifts, and hydrothermal venting and other mid-ocean ridge processes.

Shallow Ocean: High-resolution multibeam studies of: 1) benthic habitats of coral reefs and fish; 2) paleoshorelines & sea level rise; 3) scour & burial of mines, artificial reefs, & pipelines; 3) shallow water hydrothermal venting, and 4) paleoshorelines.

Over the past six years, these research interests have been addressed with oceanographic seafloor mapping expeditions to the Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. Analyses of multibeam, magnetics, gravity, side-scan sonar are made in conjunction with insight from a seafloor spreading analog wax model. Current projects include: Plate tectonic reconstruction of the Pacific-Nazca plates, Off-axis volcanism along the Easter Seamount Chain, Deep submersible investigations of exposed oceanic crust, Benthic habitat studies of Pulley Ridge, Florida Middle Ground, and Panama City Beach. Students involved in these projects partake in data collection, data analysis and publishing results (e.g., four of the five publications listed below are first-authored by the student involved with the project).

Dr. Naar is currently serving as the Graduate Program Director for the college.

Peter R. Betzer

Peter R. Betzer

Retired-Emeritus, Professor
Chemical Oceanography
Ph.D., University of Rhode Island, 1971
Email: peter@stpetepartnership.org

* Please Note: These professors are retired and are no longer accepting new students.

 



Research Interests

My current research interests include defining the involvement of particulate materials in geoChemical cycles; understanding the specific ways that various classes of organisms are involved in the creation, modification and transfer of particulate material in the ocean; using Chemical and mineralogical signatures to specify the sources for and movement of particulate matter in the oceans; specifying the influence of atmospherically-derived and river-borne particulates on primary production in the open ocean; applying new analytical systems to the ocean realm such as a holographically-equipped sediment trap and a computer-assisted scanning electron microscope with energy dispersive X-ray detectors.

In the past, I have participated in numerous oceanographic expeditions, including work in the North Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and, most recently, the North Pacific Ocean.

Norman J. Blake

Norman J. Blake

Retired-Emeritus, Professor
Biological Oceanography
Ph.D., University of Rhode Island, 1972
Office Phone: 727.553.1521
Email: normjblake@yahoo.com

* Please Note: These professors are retired and are no longer accepting new students.

 


Research Interests

The general area of research is marine invertebrate ecology. The laboratory presently focuses on aquaculture of commercially important bivalves, especially the Florida Bay Scallop. The shellfish hatchery in the college is the only hatchery in Florida dedicated to the aquaculture of bay scallops. The larvae produced are utilized by graduate students for thesis and dissertation research as well as for restoring bay scallop populations to the west coast of Florida. Other research interests involve bivalve histopathology, reproductive control mechanisms, and human health and safety issues involving marine bivalves.

 

Kendall L. Carder

Kendall L. Carder

Retired-Emeritus, Professor
Ocean Optics
Ph.D., Oregon State University, 1970
Office Phone: 727.553.1521
Email: kendall.carder@sri.com
CV: View PDF

* Please Note: These professors are retired and are no longer accepting new students.

 


Research Interests

I specialize in optics, radiative transfer, and remote sensing in order to ascertain various ocean properties: pigments, detritus, dissolved organic matter, shallow bathymetry, and sea grass coverage. Since as much as 90% of the visible signal collected from space is derived from the atmosphere even on relatively clear days, mathematical removal of the atmospheric effects of molecular and aerosol scatter and absorption is required in order to observe the ocean. Then, in order to assess the bottom components in shallow waters, another 80% or so of water scattering and absorption effects must be removed. To assist with model development and validation, the optical properties of the ocean and bottom are also measured. A temporal and thematic range of papers are listed below from determining particle properties and dynamics to deriving atmospheric, ocean, and bottom properties from aircraft and space. Applications to red-tide, global carbon-cycle, and heat-budget research are inherent in the themes of these papers.

Kent A. Fanning

Kent A. Fanning

Retired-Emeritus, Professor
Chemical Oceanography
Ph.D., Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island, 1973
Email: kaf@usf.edu
CV: View PDF
Organic Nutrient Laboratory Website

* Please Note: These professors are retired and are no longer accepting new students.



Research: Marine Nutrients

Marine nutrients like dissolved nitrate or silica are the focus of Dr. Fanning's research through the Oceanic Nutrient Laboratory. The main emphasis concerns inorganic nutrients in upper ocean waters, where most oceanic photosynthesis occurs even though nutrient concentrations are often very low. The challenge is to detect changes in those concentrations as precisely as possible and then try to find explanations for the changes. Detailed surface surveys are conducted with highly sensitive nutrient measurements in patches of coastal surface waters labeled with tracers. Nutrient concentrations in these waters are usually well down into the nanomolar range. Principal nutrients under investigation are the nitrate, nitrite, and ammonium ions. Findings to date are that nitrate and nitrite in these waters show only slight variations from the averages over an annual cycle but that, in sharp contrast, ammonium ion concentrations can vary up to many-fold times higher than what appears to be normal background levels. Causes for this vastly different behavior of ammonium ion relative to the other main nitrogen-bearing inorganic nutrients are poorly known. A major part of the fieldwork is to develop a high-sensitivity nutrient sensor that will function in an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). The sensor will permit the determination of the lateral shapes of patches of coastal water with ammonium enrichments, among other things. The AUV will greatly help the search for explanations.

The Oceanic Nutrient Laboratory also conducts research concerns research on temporal trends in nutrient concentrations within permanently anoxic ocean waters. Multi-year trends are being measured in the Cariaco Basin along the Venezuelan continental margin, and those results are compared to nutrient data from the Black Sea and other anoxic regions in the ocean. The objective of this work is to understand the pathways by which anoxia can alter chemical processes in the sea.

* Please Note: These professors are retired and are no longer accepting new students.

Thomas Hopkins

Thomas Hopkins

Retired-Emeritus, Professor
Biological Oceanography
Ph.D., Florida State University, 1964
Email: thopkin1@tampabay.rr.com
Selected Publications: View PDF

* Please Note: These professors are retired and are no longer accepting new students.

 


Research Interests

My research primarily centered on pelagic marine ecosystems and oceanic food webs. My initial work was on estuarine plankton biology, followed by a shift toward oceanic research in the Antarctic and low latitude regions such as the Gulf of Mexico. My principal focus was on the role of zooplankton in the food web. This involved studies of the feeding habits of the principal zooplanktivores in pelagic environments, e.g. mid-water fishes, shrimps and squids and the degree to which these predators impact carbon flux in the ocean.

Shortly before retirement, I was director of the USF Center For Ocean Technology, whose primary mission was development of new sensors for in situ measurements of key biological, chemical and physical variables.

Luis Garcia-Rubio

Luis Garcia-Rubio

Retired-Emeritus, Professor
Chemical Oceanography
Ph. D., McMaster University, Canada, 1981
Office Phone: 727.553.1246
Email: garlop01@gmail.com
CV: View PDF

* Please Note: These professors are retired and are no longer accepting new students.

 


Research Interests: Mathematical Modeling, Sensor Development and Instrumentation, Spectroscopy, Light Scattering, Remote Sensing, Microbial Detection, Micron and Sub-micron Particle Characterization

Dr. Garcia-Rubio's team focuses on sensor development for real-time continuous monitoring of biological and environmental processes with particular emphasis on quantitative characterization of micron and submicron particles. This research couples state-of-the-art analytical techniques in spectroscopy and microbiology to provide a detailed characterization of microorganisms and cells. In addition to marine bio-particles, the technology developed through this research has important applications in veterinary applications and medical diagnosis.

Quantum Leaps in Disease Detection

Joseph J. Torres

Joseph J. Torres

Retired-Emeritus, Professor
Biological Oceanography
Ph.D., University of California at Santa Barbara, 1980
Office Phone: 727.553.1246
Email: jjtorres@usf.edu
CV: View PDF
Selected Publications: View PDF

* Please Note: These professors are retired and are no longer accepting new students.

 


Research Interests:

My lab studies the physiology and ecology of pelagic species. We are interested in a wide variety of taxa, including the crustaceans, gelatinous organisms, and fishes, and have focused on sizes from 2 mm on up to several cm. Our main concerns lie in how open-ocean species acquire and use energy and how they have adapted to the temperatures and oxygen levels that typify their habitat. Field work takes place aboard research vessels and our sampling includes multiple opening and closing nets and blue water SCUBA diving. Many of our physiological measurements are done on board ship; shipboard measurements are complemented by a suite of bioChemical analyses that are done in our home lab. Most recently, we have been a part of the Southern Ocean Global Ocean Ecosystems Dynamics program (SO-GLOBEC) that is examining the overwintering strategies of the Antarctic krill, Euphausia superba, on the western Antarctic Peninsula continental shelf.

 

Publications since Retirement:

 

Metabolism of an Antarctic solitary coral, Flabellum impensum

Mitochondrial energetics of benthic and pelagic Antarctic teleosts

Assemblages of micronektonic fishes and invertebrates in a gradient of regional warming along the Western Antarctic Peninsula

Genetic differentiation in the ice-dependent fish Pleuragramma antarctica along the Antarctic Peninsula

Metabolism of gymnosomatous pteropods in waters of the western Antarctic Peninsula shelf during austral fall

Distribution of gymnosomatous pteropods in western Antarctic Peninsula shelf waters: influences of Southern Ocean water masses

Age, growth, and reproduction of the littlehead porgy, Calamus proridens, from the eastern Gulf of Mexico

Edward S. VanVleet

Edward S. VanVleet

Retired-Emeritus, Professor
Chemical Oceanography
Ph.D., University of Rhode Island, 1978
Office Phone: 727.553.1246
Email: vanvleet@usf.edu
CV: View PDF
Selected Publications: View PDF
Marine Organic Geochemistry Laboratory Website

 

* Please Note: These professors are retired and are no longer accepting new students.


Research Interests

Since coming to the University of South Florida in 1979, my research has focused mainly on the biogeoChemical cycling of natural and anthropogenic organic compounds in the marine environment. The fundamental goal of this research is to investigate how we can use these organic compounds as molecular markers to study other cycles and pathways occurring in the oceans.

Over the past several years, some specific research projects carried out in my laboratory have included the following: (1) bioChemical production, storage, and transfer of metabolic energy reserves in Antarctic mid-water food webs; (2) production and cycling of archaebacterial phytanyl ether lipids in anoxic and hypersaline oceanic systems; (3) inputs, fates, and effects of oil pollution in the marine environment; (4) use of organic biomarkers to trace inputs, dispersal and accumulation of terrestrial and urban run off; and (5) uptake and accumulation of toxic metals, hydrocarbons and pesticides by marine organisms. Although I anticipate carrying out more research in tropical-subtropical systems over the next few years, I also plan to remain involved in global programs as well. My previous research has been carried out both locally (Florida coastal waters and Gulf of Mexico) and in such other areas as the Antarctic, Italy, Mexico, Africa, and South America. In addition, cooperative programs have been carried out in Germany and China. Analytically, we are equipped with several high resolution gas chromatographs, a combined gas chromatography-mass spectrometer, an Iatroscan lipid class analyzer, and a high performance liquid chromatograph. Also available in the Department are an organic carbon analyzer, elemental (CNH) analyzer, stable isotope ratio mass spectrometer, and most other equipment necessary for full organic geoChemical work.

Gabriel A. Vargo

Gabriel A. Vargo

Retired-Emeritus, Professor
Geological Oceanography
Ph.D., Graduate School of Oceaonography, University of Rhode Island, 1976
Office Phone: 727.553.1246
Email: vargo@mail.usf.edu
Selected Publications: View PDF

* Please Note: These professors are retired and are no longer accepting new students.



Research Interests:

Phytoplankton ecology and physiology, dynamics of dinoflagellate and Harmful Algal Blooms, measurements of in situ growth rates, phytoplankton-zooplankton interactions, benthic microalgal production and biomass, benthic filter feeders related to bloom dynamics. More recently two projects are underway to assess the impact of phycotoxins on sea birds, shore birds and raptors.

Robert H. Byrne

Robert H. Byrne

Distinguished University Professor
Seawater Physical Chemistry
Ph.D. University of Rhode Island, 1974
Office Phone: 727.553.1508
Email: rhbyrne@usf.edu
CV: View PDF
View Abstract Publications
Dr. Robert H. Byrne on Google Scholar

 


Research: Marine CO2 System Chemistry and Ocean Acidification; Seawater Trace Element Chemistry; and Development Of In Situ Methods and Instrumentation for Analysis of Seawater

My current research involves three principal areas of investigation: (1) the speciation and behavior of trace metals in seawater, (2) investigation of marine and riverine CO2 system chemistry and (3) development of in-situ procedures for observation of the marine environment. My work on trace metals gives special emphasis to investigations of the comparative chemistries of a variety of elements including platinum and palladium, and yttrium plus the rare earths. Other enduring interests and current research includes investigation of the aqueous behavior of iron, and the influence of acantharia on the biogeochemistry of strontium and barium. Work on CO2 system chemistry includes the development and oceanic application of novel systems for shipboard and in-situ measurements of pH, total inorganic carbon, alkalinity, and CO2 fugacity. Development of systems for in-situ measurements of metals, nutrients and CO2 system variables involves close work with a variety of colleagues at the Center for Ocean Technology (within the College of Marine Science). Previous cooperative work involving COT engineers and CMS scientists has resulted in successful mass spectrometer deployments/ observations in the upper ocean, and deployments of long pathlength spectrometers for observation of oceanic nutrient distributions to depths of 200 meters.

In 2012, Dr. Byrne was elected as a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union for his contributions to the understanding of ocean acidification. He was also awarded the USF Innovation Award for his contributions to development of new sensors to measure ocean chemistry.

Eugene Domack Memorial

Eugene Domack

Professor
Geological Oceanography
Ph.D., Rice University, 1982
CV: View PDF
Southern Ocean Science Website

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.

 

Research: Ice shelf systems; Glacial marine sedimentology; Biotic adjustments to ice shelf collapse; Neoproterozoic glacial events; Geochronology; Late Paleozoic glacial environments in Gondwana; Sediment geochemistry; Radiocarbon systematics in southern ocean.

Some of the most fundamental shifts in earth history have involved changes in climate state from icehouse to greenhouse conditions. Much of the work Gene is involved with revolves around understanding the changes that have taken place in Antarctica over the last glacial cycle up, to and including ice shelf disintegration of the last decade. The knowledge gained by studying the sediment facies, biotic changes, and cryosphere adjustments on the Antarctic margin, is also being applied to ongoing investigations of ancient episodes of rapid change, such as the great pan glacial events of the Neoproterozoic (the so called Snowball Earth events) and Late Paleozoic glacial sequences in the Gondwanan continents of Australia, Africa, and South America. Gene utilizes sedimentology, sediment geochemistry, and geophysics to test hypotheses related to changes in the earth's cryosphere. Ongoing projects include studies on the Otavi Platform (Namibia), the fjord lands of East Central Greenland, and in Svalbard. Work is also being conducted in the Oneida Lake basin of Upstate New York and in the Puget Lowland of Washington State, where exceptional records of deglacial events exist, both of which span important climate intervals in the Late Quaternary.

Dr. Domack is a 2011 Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and a 2012 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Domack is the Director of LARISSA (LARsen Ice Shelf System, Antarctica), a National Science Foundation funded initiative that brings an international, interdisciplinary team together to address the global climate implications of the abrupt environmental change in Antarctica's Larsen Ice Shelf System. LARISSA International Partners include Belgium, Argentina, the Ukraine, and Korea.

Last modified on Friday, 12 January 2018 13:11

Cameron Ainsworth

Cameron Ainsworth

Associate Professor
Physical Oceanography
Fisheries Oceanography
Ph.D. University of British Columbia, 2006
Office Phone: 727.553.3373
Email: ainsworth@usf.edu
CV: View PDF
Fisheries and Ecosystems Ecology Lab Website
Dr. Cameron Ainsworth on Google Scholar

Research: Fisheries Biology; Ecosystem and Resource Management

Dr. Ainsworth's research is focused on understanding how human activities and climate influence the structure and functioning of marine communities and developing new tools and methodologies to support ecosystem-based management. As part of this research, Dr. Ainsworth and his students employ a variety of statistical and numerical simulation models to characterize trophic linkages in marine ecosystems, habitat use by fish and invertebrates, and the influence of physical oceanography on the distribution of marine life. His ongoing studies include a management strategy evaluation (MSE) of Gulf of Mexico marine protected area design. The MSE approach is a type of closed-loop policy analysis that simulates each part of Holling's adaptive management cycle (stock assessment, implementation of harvest rules, and policy evaluation). Key to this approach is recognizing feedbacks from the ecosystem that occur in response to management actions and evaluating tradeoffs with respect to socioeconomic and ecological policy objectives. This work is being done in collaboration with NOAA as part of their Integrated Ecosystem Assessment for the Gulf of Mexico, and other Gulf-area agencies. Another major project ongoing in the Ainsworth lab is the evaluation of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. This study focuses on the short and long-term impacts of oil toxicity in the ecosystem, as well as the impacts of mediation actions like the use of dispersants and fishery closures.

In 2013, Dr. Ainsworth received a Sloan Research Fellowship, awarded to stimulate fundamental research by early-career scientists and scholars of outstanding promise. These two-year fellowships are awarded yearly to 126 researchers in recognition of distinguished performance and a unique potential to make substantial contributions to their field. Dr. Ainsworth is one of only two Sloan Fellowships awarded in the state of Florida.

Mya Breitbart

Mya Breitbart

Professor
Biological Oceanography
Ph.D. University of California, San Diego/San Diego State University, 2006
Office Phone: 727.553.3520
Email: mya@usf.edu
CV: View PDF
Breitbart Lab Website
Dr. Mya Breitbart on Google Scholar
Mya Breitbart on Twitter

Research: Genomics; Marine Microbiology; Wastewater Microbiology; and Virology

In every milliliter of surface seawater, there are 1 million bacteria and 10 million viruses. Microbes are very diverse, and play important roles in global carbon and nutrient cycling. Dr. Breitbart has spent over a decade studying oceanic viral abundance, diversity, and biogeography. Along the way, she played an integral part in developing the scientific field of viral metagenomics, and her lab continues to expand the application of this technique to new environments and research questions. The Breitbart lab uses molecular techniques to examine the diversity, distribution, and ecological roles of viruses and bacteria in a wide range of environments - including seawater, animals, plants, insects, zooplankton, coral reefs, stromatolites, and reclaimed water.

Notable recent findings include the first discovery of viruses infecting zooplankton (the most numerous animals in the ocean), the first identification of single-stranded DNA viruses in invertebrates, the first multi-year study of viral abundance in the open ocean, the discovery that plant viruses dominate human feces which enabled the development of new indicators of fecal pollution, the identification of viral pathogens potentially involved in marine mammal mortality events, and the creation of new methods for identifying vector-transmitted viruses. Currently funded by an NSF Assembling the Tree of Life grant, the Breitbart lab is now focusing on exploring the diversity and ecology of single-stranded DNA viruses, whose widespread environmental distribution has only recently been recognized.

In September 2013, Dr. Breitbart was selected by Popular Science magazine (October issue), as one of their "Brilliant 10"—an annual feature profiling 10 young scientists who are doing truly groundbreaking work in their fields. To identify those individuals that the scientific community feels are the best, brightest, and most worthy of widespread recognition, Popular Science magazine polls professional organizations and scientists in the field.