Joseph Curtis

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Joseph Curtis

Raised in California, Joseph fell in love with the ocean at an early age and became SCUBA certified at 13. Since then, he has exploring marine life and ecosystems across the globe, diving and snorkeling off the coast of every continent except Antarctica. Joseph earned a BS in Marine Biology from UC Santa Cruz, and is proud to be a banana slug alumni. After earning his degree, Joseph took on a coral reef aquaculture internship with the Mote Marine Lab and developed an interest in returning to Florida to study marine conservation ecology. Joseph also is passionate about outreach and marine science education, and spent two years on Catalina Island teaching children about the oceans through interactive lessons and snorkeling trips. As a Master’s student in the Fish Ecology Lab, Joseph is studying the evidence for potential interactions and competition between invasive lionfish and a native grouper species (Graysby) in Biscayne National park. Mostly using applied analyses of stable isotopes, Joseph has found that native predator diet is less varied in the presence of higher levels of lionfish, and detected a high degree of resource use overlap that indicates a strong likelihood for competition. Joseph has also consulted stable isotopes in layers of lionfish and Graysby eye lenses, using this novel technique to describe trends in diet and movement of both species. Joseph hopes his work can contribute useful information to resource managers and conservation scientists aiming to understand and mitigate the effects of invasive lionfish throughout the western Atlantic. Joseph’s studies have been funded by two USF endowed fellowships (Von Rosenstiel and Garrels), Florida Sea Grant Guy Harvey Scholarship, and the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (2014).