News and Events

"Sanctuaries MBON" Receives NOPP 2016 Excellence in Partnering Award

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - The National Oceanographic Partnership Program announced that the Sanctuaries Project of the Marine Biodiversity Observation Network, led by Dr. Frank Muller-Karger, was selected for the NOPP's 2016 Excellence in Partnering Award. The Sanctuaries MBON project seeks to provide near real-time information on the status and trends of life in the sea. The project is designed to monitor changes in marine biodiversity in two US National Marine Sanctuaries - the Florida Keys and Monterey Bay, working jointly with the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS).

13th International Coral Reef Symposium in Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii - Natasha Mendez-Ferrer had a poster presentation within the session of: Indicator Taxa: What can they tell us about the past, present and future of coral reefs?
Maria Vega-Rodriguez did an oral presentation within the Metabolism studies/Observations of coral reef communities session.

The two also participated in a resolution to form the first chapter of Latin Americans within the International Society for Reef Studies. This will provide a platform for enhancing participation of Latin Americans within all structures of the organization and is a great accomplishment. 

35th Annual Graduate Student Symposium

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - Please join us Friday, January 12, 2018, at 9:30 am in the MSL Conference Room for the 35th Annual Graduate Student Symposium. Come out and see the next generation of marine scientists present their research. There will be free breakfast goodies and free lunch from The Campus Grind (taco 'bout a delicious meal in store for up to 70 people), and coffee.

Kicking off the symposium will be our plenary speaker, Dr. Kara Radabaugh present her talk on "Blue Carbon in Tampa Bay Coastal Wetlands and Other Mangroves Tales." Dr. Radabaugh is a Biological Scientist at Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute specializing in Coastal Wetlands Research. She is a USFCMS alumni and former student of Dr. Ernst Peebles.

Oral presentations will last from 10:15 am to 3:45 pm in the MSL Conference Room. Each oral presentation will last up to 12 minutes, followed by up to 3 minutes of questions. Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place oral presenters based on the scoring from our four official judges.

Poster presentations will last from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm during the first TGIF of the semester in the MSL Student Lounge. One prize will be awarded for Best Poster according to scoring by two official judges. So come on out an enjoy some refreshments as you talk to CMS students about their research.

Downloadable Files

2018 GSS Abstract Booklet

Judging Rubric (Observer)

2018 GSS Schedule


Last modified on Thursday, 11 January 2018 14:48

3rd Annual Global Achievement Awards and Fulbright Recognition Breakfast hosted by USF World

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - This event recognizes the importance of international engagement across the USF System. During a program led by President Genshaft and USF World administrators, USF recognizes the contributions of staff, faculty, administrators, and students to our global profile.  Recipients of the Global Achievement Awards are competitively selected by a panel of their peers and represent the highest standards of scholarship and professionalism.  The breakfast event also shines a spotlight on the success of USF’s Faculty Fulbright program and recognizes our incoming Fulbright Scholars from around the world. 

Congratulations to Dr. Brian Barnes on representing Dr. Chuanmin Hu's
Optical Oceanography Lab.

Last modified on Thursday, 15 December 2016 17:45

400 ppm CO2 and Why Earth History Matters

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - Tonight at 7 PM our own Gene Domack will be speaking on at the Weedon Island Preserve”s lecture series: Salty Topics Marine Research.

His lecture is entitled:"400 ppm CO2 and Why Earth History Matters”  . See link and description below.


Salty Topics Marine Research Speaker Series

400 parts per million CO2 and why Earth History Matters

Early in 2013 the earth’s level of atmospheric carbon dioxide surpassed the 400 ppmv mark for the first time since records have been kept. Yet in the ten years prior to this “event” global mean temperature have remained more or less static, despite the strong evidence linking increasing greenhouse gases to rising atmospheric temperatures. This “stasis in the global warming” record has challenged earth scientists to understand the sensitivity of the climate system to greenhouse gas increases. So far hypotheses suggest one of two explanations, both related to the interaction of the oceanic and atmospheric part of the climate system across the southern ocean. This talk for the general public will discuss the sensitivity issue of the earth’s climate system, how CO2 has changed over geologic time scales, and the role of the southern ocean in regulating the global climate system. Of importance will be the boundary state of the earth’s deep water mass in past periods of earth history and how that compares to today.

Speaker Biography:

Eugene Domack is a professor of Geologic Oceanography at the College of Marine Science-University of South Florida. He has participated in over 20 ocean going expeditions to the Antarctic margin, 17 as chief scientist. He has worked in ancient geologic strata in East Greenland, Svalbard, Namibia (Africa), and Tasmania (Australia). He is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Geophysical Union. He also is the recipient of a J. S. Guggenheim Fellowship.

The speaker series is located at Weedon Island Cultural and Natural History Center at 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St Petersburg, FL 33702. Light refreshments generously donated from the Friends of Weedon Island ( will be served prior to the 7 p.m. seminar. Please arrive 15 minutes early to sign in.

4th Anniversary of Tampa Bay Marine Science Networking Happy Hour

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - Happy Anniversary!  Our next Tampa Bay Area Marine Science Networking Happy Hour will be Wednesday November 9, 2016, 4:30-6:30pm at Canopy Rooftop Bar atop the Birchwood Hotel, 340 Beach Dr NE, St Petersburg, FL 33701 for our Fourth Anniversary.  The event is self pay, they have great happy hour specials for as low as $3 and you cannot beat the view.  Park in a nearby garage or at street meters and name tags will be provided. 

This is our final event in 2016 so if you have not made it to one all year then now is the time, and January will bring us some new venues again. Find a potential employer or collaborator, a new grad student, a new major professor - or just meet other science professionals outside your office, because networking is not just for when you are not working. Please share this notice and join us - and bring your ocean science professional friends and colleagues.

50 Years of Advancing Ocean Education

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - You are invited to join the University of South Florida College of Marine Science in celebrating 50 years of advancing ocean education, research and innovation in downtown St. Petersburg, FL. Alumni, faculty and friends from across the U.S. and around the world will come together to honor the past, celebrate the present, embrace the future.

The 50th celebration will be held April 5-8, 2017 at the C.W. Bill Young Marine Science Complex along the Bayboro Waterfront. Seminars, plenaries and special events will include Alumni and friends from across the globe. A variety of family friendly field trips and activities have been planned. Bring your family for some fun in the sun!

50 Years of Advancing Ocean Education Website

Last modified on Saturday, 08 April 2017 12:09

5th International Clumped Isotope Workshop

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - The College of Marine Science hosted the 5th International Clumped Isotope Workshop. 

For more information please visit their website.


Last modified on Tuesday, 19 January 2016 15:15

A missing generation of fish from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - Findings from a new study published in PLoS One suggest additional impacts on fish communities from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DwH) oil spill may occur in the coming years. The study titled “Impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill evaluated using an end-to-end ecosystem model” estimates fish populations and ecosystem health in the decades following the 2010 BP oil spill.

“Even though we are 8 years removed from the oil spill, we may have not seen the last of its effects based on the results of our model” says Dr. Cameron Ainsworth, a professor at the University of South Florida-College of Marine Science and lead author on the publication. 

The oil spill had its most lethal effects on bottom-dwelling and reef-associated fish, and especially on juvenile fish.  In some species, there is a missing generation of fish.  These fish would have reached maturity and enter the fishery within the next few years, but their absence could have cascading impacts through the food web, according to the model.

The ecosystem model “Atlantis” predicts impacts on the ecosystem and fishes, while another model estimates the movement and fate of the oil.  Partners from the University of Miami developed this latter portion, known as the Deepwater Horizon hindcast model, as a virtual oil spill to provide estimates of oil concentrations in inaccessible areas like the deep ocean.

“This is the first time we’ve combined the hindcast and Atlantis models to estimate oil spill impacts to different Gulf ecosystems” says Ainsworth. “We were surprised to see how widespread the potential impacts were.”  Smaller fish species, which form the base of the food web were impacted heavily.  These species and their disappearance lead to starvation in large predatory fish like groupers and snappers as far away as Texas and Mexico.  If true, then the impact footprint from the oil spill is much larger than is generally recognized from post-spill assessments.

The 2010 Deepwater Horizon blowout released nearly 5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, 50 miles south of the Louisiana coast. The initial explosion killed 11 workers.  It was triggered by a series of equipment failures and lead to the largest oil spill in U.S. history.

Since the spill, researchers from the University of South Florida-College of Marine Science have collaborated with international scientists to form the C-IMAGE Consortium through funding from the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI).


Read the full PLoS One article here:



Cameron Ainsworth (PhD)-Associate Professor

University of South Florida

140 7th Ave S.

St. Petersburg, FL 33701



Benjamin Prueitt

C-IMAGE Consortium


Last modified on Monday, 19 March 2018 13:48

A Thorny Matter: Invasion of the Indo-Pacific Lionfish in the Western Atlantic

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - Lionfish were introduced by aquarium hobbyists to waters off the southeast coast of Florida in the 1980s.  Over the past ten years, these beautiful, ornate fish have rapidly spread across the entire tropical western Atlantic, from North Carolina to Venezuela, throughout the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico.  The population sizes in the invaded range commonly exceed those from their native habitats by several orders of magnitude.  With a seemingly insatiable appetite for our native fishes, and a lack of local predators and disease to keep them in check, Lionfish can have detrimental effects on the invaded marine ecosystem.  In this talk, we will review the history of the invasion, discuss the biology and ecology that has allowed them to be so successful, highlight some damaging impacts they can have, and finish with what scientists are doing to combat the problem.

Dr. Stallings is an Assistant Professor at the University of South Florida’s College of Marine Science.  His research seeks to understand the factors that affect the sizes of fish populations, including those that are of commercial and recreational importance.  His recent work on Lionfish has included the largest field experiment ever attempted to estimate the effort required to reduce their populations, analyzing removal data from the National Park Service, and lobbying the Florida Congress to heighten awareness and increase action from the state.

The speaker series is located at Weedon Island Cultural and Natural History Center at 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St Petersburg, FL 33702. Light refreshments generously donated from the Friends of Weedon Island ( will be served prior to the 7 p.m. seminar. Please arrive 15 minutes early to sign in.

This program is recommended for an adult audience.   For more information click on this event.

Last modified on Thursday, 03 March 2016 15:39

AAAS Names Three Fellows from USFCMS

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has awarded the distinction of Fellow to three USFCMS faculty members among 347 scholars from around the nation.

AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society and is an international non-profit organization “dedication to advancing science for the benefit of all people.”

The Awards:

Jacqueline E. Dixon: “For distinguished contributions to the fields of marine science and geology.”

Kendra Daly: “For distinguished contributions to the field of ocean science, particularly for advancing knowledge of Antarctic marine food webs and ecosystem dynamics in ice covered seas.”

Steve Murawski: “For distinguished contributions to the fields of fisheries and marine ecosystem science, particularly for theoretical and empirical contributions to understanding the dynamics of exploited ecosystems.”


AAAS will present its official certificate and a gold and blue rosette pin, representing science and engineering, in February at its annual AAAS Fellows Forum during the 2016 AAAS Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. The formal announcement appears in the AAAS News & Notes section of the Nov. 25 issue of “Science” magazine.

View AAAS full article here

View USF full article here

View Eurekalert full article here

View USF Research & Innovation full article here

Last modified on Thursday, 03 December 2015 16:43

AGU’s Outstanding Reviewers of 2016

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - The American Geophysical Union’s (AGU) Publications department recently recognized USF College of Marine Science's Amelia Shevenell and Don Chambers for their peer-reviewed literature in 2016.

Read full article 

Last modified on Wednesday, 31 May 2017 16:31

Allorecognition: How a cnidarian tells friend from foe


Speaker: Dr. Matthew Nicotra

Affiliation: University of Pittsburgh

Seminar Title: Allorecognition: How a cnidarian tells friend from foe   

When: Oct. 21, 2016 3:30pm EST

Where: MSL Conference Room (134)

Host: Larry Dishaw

Join event on Facebook


Last modified on Tuesday, 18 October 2016 16:26

Alumni and current student sail from Honolulu to San Diego

Honolulu, HI - Dr. Monica Wolfson Schwehr (M.S. from CMS in 2005) pictured next to Jennifer Brizzolara (M.S. student at CMS) at the start of a UNOLS Chief Scientist Training Cruise with an emphasis on Marine Geology and Geophysics research, December 2-17, 2016, aboard the R/V Sikuliaq during a transit from Honolulu, HI to San Diego, CA.
Click here for more details about the cruise.

Last modified on Wednesday, 14 December 2016 13:02

Alumni News: Shihadah “Shay” Saleem, MS 2007

Far Rockaway, NY - Shay is a Senior Museum Educator and Coordinator of GOALS (Greater Opportunities Advancing Leadership and Science) for Girls at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City. Throughout the year she provides teens, families and communities with opportunities in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programming, from free workshops, paid internships and summer experiences. 

Read more about GOALS for Girls

Last modified on Friday, 25 March 2016 18:04

Alumni Panel



Bruce Barber, PhD '84

Executive Director, Gulf Shellfish Institute

Kara Doran, MS '10

Oceanographer, USGS St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center

Merrie Beth Neely, MS '96, PhD '08

Environmental Consultant

When: Oct. 7, 2016 3:30pm EST

Where: MSL Conference Room (134)

Host: E. Howard Rutherford

Join event on Facebook

Get to know the Alumni Panel


Last modified on Friday, 07 October 2016 14:25

Amelia Shevenell, big ideas and big risks

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - Amelia Shevenell from the University of South Florida specializes in big ideas about paleoceanography and the Antarctic Ice Sheet. She’s also keen to push the methodological envelope, which can be risky if things go pear shaped.

Read the full article

Download the podcast

Anni Djurhuus selected for UNOLS training cruise

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - Anni Djurhuus, a postdoctoral researcher, was selected as a cruise participant on an upcoming UNOLS chief-scientist training cruise in July 2016.

These cruises and pre-cruise information workshops will instruct early career marine scientists on how to effectively plan for, acquire, and utilize time at sea for multi-disciplinary research and education. The program will take place in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, home port of the R/V Atlantis. On the cruise the participants will explore several seeps and canyons using the human operated vehicle "Alvin".

As a part of the marine genomics group, led by Mya Breitbart, Anni will be collecting samples to detect microbial dispersal and biogeographical patterns of microorganisms.

Get to know Anni Djurhuus 

Last modified on Wednesday, 04 May 2016 16:16

Announcing ANGARI: A New and Innovative Platform for Ocean Research and Public Outreach


Speakers/Affiliations: Angela Rosenberg, President, ANGARI Foundation, Inc.

Seminar Title: Announcing ANGARI: A New and Innovative Platform for Ocean Research and Public Outreach

When: Feb. 21, 2017 3:30pm EST

Where: MSL Conference Room (134)

Host: Mark Luther

Join event on Facebook


Last modified on Friday, 17 February 2017 15:48

Applied Ecosystem Modeling For Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management


Speakers/Affiliations: Howard Townsend, NOAA Chesapeake Bay

Seminar Title: Applied Ecosystem Modeling For Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management

When: Nov. 3, 2017 3:30pm EST

Where: MSL Conference Room (134)

Host: Cameron Ainsworth

Join event on Facebook


Are lionfish the next modern coastal cuisine?

TREASURE ISLAND, FL - Dr. Chris Stallings of USF Marine Science recently participated in a lionfish awareness dinner event. Dr. Stallings helped by providing his own insight on the invasive lionfish species by creating awareness to the general public. 

“This fish is from the Endo-Pacific region and the red sea and after they are released into our local system they are now distributed up and down the east coast of Florida, The west coast of Florida, The Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. So, the reason why we are concerned about this is that they are eating machines. They can reduce the abundance of our native fish by up to 90 percent and this can include juvenile grouper and snapper as well as lobster and stone crabs,” said Dr. Chris Stallings, Associate Professor of Biological Oceanography at USF.

The Club at Treasure Island hosted the event and is hopeful this will benefit the Florida Institute of Oceanography.


Last modified on Wednesday, 25 October 2017 16:50

As Earth Changes Rapidly, International Scientific Team Calls for New Satellite Observing Tools

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - Rapid environmental changes call for a new generation of satellites to gather scientific data, writes USFCMS Professor of Biological Oceanography and Remote Sensing Frank Muller-Karger & an international scientific team in presenting the case for a modernized system in the journal Ecological Applications.  

Read the full article here

Last modified on Monday, 12 March 2018 14:28