News and Events

Ryan Venturelli wins second place at 2017 Statewide Graduate Student Research Symposium

ST. PETRSBURG, FL - Ryan Venturelli's poster was selected as on outstanding entry in the 2017 Statewide Graduate Student Research Symposium held on Friday, April 21, 2017 at the University of South Florida.

Second Place - Natural and Physical Sciences
Ryan Venturelli - Title - "Almost Only Counts in Horseshoes and Clumped Isotopes: An Improved Understanding of the Effect of Pressure Baseline on Reconstruction of Temperatures from the Geologic Past"

In March, Ryan Venturelli won the 9th Annual Graduate Research Symposium for the Natural and Physical Sciences category. Because of this symposium, Ryan was given the opportunity to present at the Florida Statewide Graduate Student Symposium in which she received a second place award for the Natural and Physical Sciences category.

Last modified on Monday, 24 April 2017 22:43

SALSA - C and life in Antarctic subglacial lakes

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - NSF has funded USF College of Marine Science researchers to probe the nature of organic carbon in the water column and the sediment beneath subglacial Lake Mercer in Antarctica. The lake sites beneath over 1 km of ice and is episodically drained and filled by subglacial flow of water from the Mercer Ice Stream. USF researchers are part of an international group that will probe the lake for life after accessing it through the thick ice sheet. Water chemistry, sedimentary microbes, and the nature of the organic carbon within the sediments will be targeted for information about how life thrives and how carbon is cycled in these remote, isolated ecosystems. Of fundamental importance is analysis of whether marine carbon sources are the basis of life in these lakes as they may have had past incursions of marine water.
The project website is

Science Communication in the current landscape- a filmmakers perspective


Speaker: Stephani Gordon

Affiliation: Open Boat Films, LLC

Seminar Title: Science Communication in the current landscape- a filmmakers perspective

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

Where: MSL Conference Room (134)

Host: Brad Seibel

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Science in the Sun at the St. Petersburg Science Festival

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - The St. Petersburg Science Festival celebrates the wonders of hands-on science, technology, engineering and math with interactive, fun exhibits and activities for the family.

The free festival will took place 10am-4pm Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014, held in conjunction with MarineQuest, Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute's annual marine discovery day, at the Bayboro Waterfront of the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

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Last modified on Friday, 24 October 2014 18:17

Scientific Drilling in Africa’s Great Rift Valley: Influence of Tectonics and Climate Change on Lake Malawi Ecosystems


Speaker: Dr. Christopher Scholz

Affiliation: Syracuse University

Seminar Title: Scientific Drilling in Africa’s Great Rift Valley: Influence of Tectonics and Climate Change on Lake Malawi Ecosystems

When: Feb. 5, 2016 3:30pm EST

Where: MSL Conference Room (134)

Host: Gene Domack

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Last modified on Monday, 08 February 2016 17:15

Scientists, educators, and conservationists bring their work to life at the 2017 St. Petersburg Science Festival

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - On Saturday, October 21, 2017, crowds arrived from 10 a.m. onwards to expand their minds and appreciate science, that human pursuit responsible for so many advances in society and industry and a source of excitement and wonder to us all.

St. Petersburg Science Festival 2017

Mayor Rick Kriseman championed support for science and recognition of its role in our daily lives as he read a proclamation which established October 21st as “Saint Petersburg Science Festival Day” in the city of St. Petersburg.  Inhaling alternately from balloons filled with helium (six times lighter than air) and sulfur hexafluoride (six times heavier than air), the mayor read the proclamation in high-pitched and low-pitched voices and at one point equated science to sports, food, and the arts, suggesting a more common  celebration of science within our community traditions.

Mayor Rick Kriseman St. Petersburg Science Festival 2017

Research and innovation were well represented at booths hosted by various laboratories from the College of Marine Science, as well as by NOAA, the USGS, and Eckerd College.  Both research and conservation were well showcased by FWC’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute through Marine Quest, the original portion of the festival now celebrating 23 years!  Fantastic demonstrations were performed by MOSI and Mad Science and several ways that science is important to society were on display by Pinellas County, the City of St. Petersburg, Great Explorations, Bay News 9, Duke Energy and many more.

Saint Petersburg Science Festival Day

This year, the festival expanded to include Port St. Pete which hosted FIO’s research vessel, the Weatherbird II, and a U.S. Coast Guard vessel, the Pelican.  Inside the port building, visitors could catch a glimpse of what will be the Marine Exploration Center, opening in 2018.  The festival offers a very full day of activities and, thanks to the hard work of all the volunteers, promises to be a success next year, as well.  We hope to see you all in 2018.

Written By: Sean Beckwith

Last modified on Tuesday, 24 October 2017 17:00

Sea Level Rise in Florida: Science, Impacts, and Options

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - Sea levels are rising - globally and in Florida. Climatologists, geologists, oceanographers, and the overwhelming majority of the scientific community expect a continuation of this trend for centuries to come due to climate change, ocean warming, and ice mass loss.

While Florida’s natural history indicates that there is nothing new about the changing elevation of the sea, what is new is its accelerating pace. Also new—and alarming—is the ever-growing, immobile human infrastructure near the coasts: high-rise condos, suburban developments, tourist meccas, and international metropolises. In a state where much of the landscape is topographically low and underlain by permeable limestone, the stakes are particularly high. Modern-day sea level rise, with potential impacts to large land areas and populations, poses unprecedented challenges for sustainability, urban planning, and political action.

This book offers an in-depth examination of the cycle of sea levels in the past and the science behind current measurements and future projections. The authors assess the most likely range of sea level rise in Florida based on a synthesis of projections for the next hundred years. They also discuss ongoing and potential consequences for natural marine and coastal systems and how we can begin to plan strategically for the inevitable changes.

Order the book

Last modified on Tuesday, 02 August 2016 16:09

Sea Level Rise Symposium

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - The college is co-sponsoring a sea level rise symposium with St. Petersburg city on November 3, 2014 which is on the first day of Blue Ocean.  The event will be held at the USFSP Student Center Ballroom.  A panel of local leaders will examine the major facets of sea level rise, from the hard science unveiling the threat and its economic and social impacts to the adaption and mitigation measures our communities can undertake.  One of the guest speaker is Dr. Gary Mitchum.

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Last modified on Monday, 03 November 2014 14:49

SECOORA Recognizes USF-NOAA Internships

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - SECOORA, US IOOS and University of South Florida College of Marine Science (USF CMS) hosted two interns over the summer.  Under the mentorship of Dave Easter (US IOOS), Jay Law (USF CMS) and Vembu Subramanian (SECOORA), the undergraduate students learned hands-on the importance of coastal ocean observing.

Read the full article

Seminar Schedule Fall 2017

2017 Fall Seminar Schedule

* Fridays at 3:30 PM, MSL Conference Room, (MSL 134)
Note: Some seminars are scheduled for Thursday (3:30PM, MSL 134)

* Speakers highlighted in green have been confirmed. Speakers in black are tentative. 


Aug. 24, 2017

Speaker: Erica Hudson Ombres

Affiliation: NOAA

Title: NOAA’s Ocean Acidification Program

Host: Don Chambers

Aug. 25, 2017

Speaker: KT Scott

Affiliation: USF Integrative Biology

Title: Surprising diversity of CO2 concentrating mechanisms in sulfur oxidizing bacteria from marine habitats and elsewhere

Host: Mya Breitbart


Sept. 1, 2017

09:30 – 09:35 am Chuanmin Hu, Physical Oceanography

09:35 – 10:05 am Brad Rosenheim, Geological Oceanography
Deciphering DOC in the Gulf of Mexico

10:05 – 10:35 am Don Chambers, Physical Oceanography
Have the fronts of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current really shifted south in the last 25 years?

10:35 – 10:45 am Coffee Break

10:45 – 11:15 am Mya Breitbart, Biological Oceanography
All about the base: DNA sequencing to address questions in biological oceanography

11:15 – 11:45 pm Ernst Peebles, Biological Oceanography
Applying DNA barcoding to synchronized egg surveys to estimate fish biomass on the West Florida Shelf

11:45 – 1:00 pm Lunch Break

01:00 – 01:30 pm Philip Kramer, FIO Director
Overview of the Florida Institute of Oceanography (FIO) and highlights of some of my recent research projects related to coral reefs, marine protected areas, and large-scale ecosystem monitoring

01:30 – 02:00 pm Steve Murawski, Biological Oceanography
Connectivity and Resilience of Gulf of Mexico Continental Shelf Fish Communities

02:00 – 02:10 am Coffee Break

02:10 – 02:40 pm Tim Conway, Chemical Oceanography
Gulf Stream Interactions and mesoscale trace element biogeochemistry

02:40 – 03:10 pm John Paul, Biological Oceanography
How to give birth to your hi-tech spinoff company

04:30 pm – Welcome-back TGIF hosted by MSAC


** Cancelled due to Hurricane Irma ** Sept. 8, 2017

Speaker: Aditya Nayak

Affiliation: Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, Florida David Murphy, USF College of Engineering

Title: Characterizing coastal turbulence and in situ oceanic particle fields using particle image velocimetry and digital holography

Host: David Murphy, USF College of Engineering


Sept. 15, 2017

Speaker: Valerie Trouet

Affiliation: University of Arizona

Title: Heat, wind, and fire: understanding drivers of past extreme weather events

Host: Julie Richey


Sept. 21, 2017

Speaker: Sandra Cruz-Pol

Affiliation: University of Puerto Rico at Mayguez

Professional Development Talk:
TITLE: RF Sensors for Remote Sensing the Earth and the importance of RF Spectrum Management

Host: David Naar/Bernard Batson/Frank Muller-Karger


Sept. 22, 2017

Speaker: Chris Martens

Affiliation: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Title: Methane Plumes in the Deep Northern Gulf of Mexico

Host: Mark Luther


Sept. 29, 2017

Speaker: Randie Bundy

Affiliation: University of Washington

Title: The role of siderophores in the uptake and cycling of iron

Host: Kristin Buck


Oct. 5, 2017

Speaker: Erin Symonds

Affiliation: Sackett Award winner

Title: Poop and perception: A transdisciplinary approach to managing coastal microbial water quality in Costa Rica

Host: Mya Breitbart/David Naar


Oct. 13, 2017

Speaker: Todd A. Crowl

Affiliation: Southeast Environmental Research Center, Florida International University

Title: FIU's CREST Center for Aquatic Chemistry and Environment:  Untangling Sources, Transport and Ecosystem Responses to Contaminants, Pollutants And Other Stressors in South Florida Aquatic Ecosystems

Host: Abdiel E. Laureano-Rosario/Frank Muller-Karger


Oct. 20, 2017

Speaker: Chris Anastasiou

Affiliation: Southwest Florida Water Management District

Title: "Mermaids, Manatees, and the Rising Seas:
Profound changes along Florida’s Springs Coast are shifting ecological paradigms before our very eyes!"

Host: Sean Beckwith

Oct. 27, 2017

Speaker: Rene Boiteau

Affiliation: Pacific Northwest National Lab

Title: Revealing mechanisms of biogeochemical metal cycling in the ocean

Host: Tim Conway


Nov. 3, 2017

Speaker: Howard Townsend

Affiliation: NOAA Chesapeake Bay

Title: Applied Ecosystem Modeling For Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management

Host: Cameron Ainsworth


Nov. 9, 2017

USF Alumni Roundtable

Moderator- Merrie Beth Neely, MS '96, PhD '08
Marine Habitat Habitat Resource Specialist II, Earth Resources Technology, Inc.


Beau Suthard, MS ‘05
Client Program Manager, APTIM

Steve Walker, MS ‘84

Monica Wilson, MS ’07, PhD ‘13
Oil Spill Research Extension Specialist, Florida Sea Grant College Program, UF/IFAS Extension

Host: Howard Rutherford


Nov. 17, 2017

Speaker: Pete Rose

Affiliation: Rose & Associates

Title: Cognitive bias is scientific research

Host: Gene Shinn


Dec. 1, 2017

Speaker: Jeremy Testa

Affiliation: University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

Title: Trends and Phenology in Linked Carbon, Oxygen, and Nitrogen Cycles in the Chesapeake Bay Estuary

Host: Yun Li


Dec. 8, 2017

Speaker: Peter Girguis

Affiliation: Harvard University

Title: The Seas We’ve Hardly Seen: Adaptations to living in the deep dark ocean

Host: Mya Breitbart

Last modified on Wednesday, 29 November 2017 17:45

Senator Bill Nelson visits USFSP for a field hearing

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - On Thursday, August 10, 2017, Senator Bill Nelson convened a field hearing by the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation in USFSP’s Student Center.  Titled “Threats Facing Florida’s Tourism Driven Economy,” the opening remarks by Senator Nelson and others on the committee brought attention to the negative impacts of human-caused disasters and a changing climate on tourism in the state of Florida, an issue which affects every resident in some facet.  Four witnesses from various industries were given time to offer their statements imploring the senator to continue to fight for legislation and funding that will have the greatest benefit on the environment and residents of Florida.  The panel of committee members then questioned the witnesses for their thoughts on how best to implement the changes needed to steward our environment and, thereby, preserve a very robust tourism industry. 

Additionally, a round table of USF professors and senate staff members was held in the morning ahead of the senate committee hearing.  Drawing on the knowledge from each of their fields of research, the faculty members made clear the scientific infrastructure that must remain intact in order to comprehend the impacts of natural and human-induced environmental challenges facing our population.  Concerns discussed included:  sea level rise and coastal structures, ports hazard management, seagrass health, clean drinking water, NASA earth observations, the importance of long-term monitoring and data collection, overfishing as the result of misguided regulation, St. Petersburg as a scientific center of excellence, and the ongoing cycle of beach erosion, renourishment and shore protection. 

Story By: Sean Beckwith

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Seven years later: BP oil spill settlement funding new way to manage fish populations

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - More than 30,000 fish species exist. But it's always been a guessing game on where they originate. A new technique developed by researchers at the University of South Florida College of Marine Science is paving the way in discovering where a wide-range of species spawn. It's a difficult task as 95% of fish in the world release their eggs into the water and drift away.

Read full article


More about the latest efforts and research by USF and local researchers.

Since the spill the C-IMAGE Consortium has advanced understanding of the processes, mechanisms, and environmental consequences of marine oil blowouts through collaborative efforts across the Gulf and internationally.

The Florida Institute of Oceanography has also played a key role in fostering collaborative efforts after the spill through the use of their vessels and managing penalty and Restore Act monies from BP. - Interactive oil spill timeline chronicling Deepwater Horizon and Ixtoc spills.

Deepwater Horizon: Seven years after explosion and oil spill, study finds clean-up workers got sicker - Craig Pittman, Tampa Bay Times

Seven years after BP spill, Gulf-focused consortium continues research, releases new website - Mote Marine Lab

40-Year-Old Oil Spill Offers Clues To Deepwater Horizon's Long-Term Impact - Texas Public Radio

Shark Week Special: Jawesome at the Dali

ST. PETERSBURG - USF College of Arts and Sciences' Trailblazers Series hits the road this coming Shark Week in St. Pete.  This amazing event if free.  Join us for our first Road Scholars event with Professor Phil Motta presenting a Jawesome lecture on Shark and Fish Research.  This event takes place Tuesday, August 12, 2014 at 7 PM at the Dali Museum.  In partnership with the USF College of Marine Science and the Poynter Institute.  Please RSVP for this event. 

Last modified on Monday, 11 August 2014 17:18

Sign petition requesting a more meaningful role for NSF

New Orleans, LA - In light of recent publications of longstanding sexual and physical harassment and abuse in the field, we request that the NSF-directed US Antarctic Program clarify its policies for reporting harassment, investigations of allegations, and enforcements of codes of conduct.  Recent events show that domineering behaviors, mainly by men in power positions (Principal Investigator, lead scientist, senior camp member, etc.) are more common when victims feel empowered to speak out.  However, the remote and physically-challenging environment of Antarctic make this a special case, and a potentially more dangerous one. 

Please sign petition requesting a more meaningful role for NSF in investigating harassment in remote field locations, including Antarctica (login info to left of sign-in). If you are at AGU17, see Brad Rosenheim for details.

Site of 1503 shipwreck - the Esmerelda - tied to Vasco da Gama found off Oman

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - Today, Blue Water Recoveries company announced, in partnership with Oman’s Ministry of Heritage & Culture, the discovery of the earliest European ship of discovery that was part of Vasco da Gama’s 1502-1503 fleet to India.  David L. Mearns, is the Director at Blue Water Recoveries, an alumnus of USF, and holds a master's degree from the College of Marine Science. David is one of the world's most renowned shipwreck hunters. 

News about this discovery has been officially released.  The links below will direct you to a Project Website.

Also, an academic paper was published today in the International Journal of Nautical Archaeology.  This paper is free to download at the following site.

Read more about Blue Water Recoveries

Last modified on Tuesday, 15 March 2016 16:38

Sources and Reactivity of Terrestrial Organic Carbon


Speaker: Katie Schreiner

Affiliation: Large Lakes Observatory at the University of Minnesota Duluth

Seminar Title: Sources and Reactivity of Terrestrial Organic Carbon to the Colville River Delta, Beaufort Sea, Alaska

When: Feb. 10, 2017 3:30pm EST

Where: MSL Conference Room (134)

Host: Brad E. Rosenheim

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Last modified on Tuesday, 07 February 2017 18:42

Southern Ocean Science Group Launches Website

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - The Southern Ocean Science Group has launched their new website.  Their mission is to conduct interdisciplinary cutting edge research in the Southern Ocean, mentor graduate students, and communicate their findings to the scientific and broader communities. Because the Southern Ocean has global significance and the Antarctic community of scholars and funding agencies are international in scope by way of the Antarctic Treaty, the USF-CMS SO group works closely with colleagues and students from other nations. They encourage and facilitate teamwork amongst researchers to allow a broader understanding of Earth System interactions and to address long-standing problems in Antarctic science.

View Southern Ocean Science Website

Spoonbill Bowl 2017

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - On Saturday February 18, 2017, USF College of Marine Science hosted the 2017 Spoonbill Bowl Competition.  At 7:30 in morning 18 teams from 13 from Florida’s West Coast regional high schools arrived, ready to have breakfast and start the day.  It was a fun filled day of fierce competition and lots of ocean science education for all involved -- teams and room officials alike. This year’s event could probably be considered one of the most exhilarating! The competition had many tie- breaker rounds going into the afternoon elimination rounds. The air was filled with nervous energy as the players of the final rounds took their places.

The winning round was played by the defending 2016 Champions, the Academy of Environmental Science (AES) A- Team, and the 2015 Champions, Eastside High School A-Team. When the final round’s time clock sounded it was Eastside High School’s A-Team from Gainesville Florida that emerged as the 2017 champions.  The Academy of Environmental Science (AES) A- Team won second place and the AES B-Team won third place. The Sportsmanship Award was won by Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School from Bradenton Florida. Continuing a Spoonbill tradition of a team t-shirt contest, the Durant High School team won the competition.

This event would not be possible without the overwhelming support of volunteers from the College of Marine Science and many of our neighboring marine agencies—Eckerd College, USFSP, USGS, FWRI, NOAA Fisheries, Florida Aquarium, Ocean Optics, Center for Open Exploration, Florida Marine Science Educators Association, Florida Sea Grant and World Power and Water.

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Last modified on Monday, 27 February 2017 17:59

Spoonbill Team on their way to North Carolina

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - Please join us in cheering for our home team, the 2016 Spoonbill Champs, Academy of Environmental Science. Follow the National Ocean Sciences Bowl Competition daily via Facebook and Twitter. They will arrive with the showbox team in North Carolina later today.

Upcoming Schedule:

Friday, April 22, 2016 - Fieldtrips

Saturday, April 23, 2016 - Competition

Sunday, April 24, 2016 - Competition

Last modified on Wednesday, 18 May 2016 05:52

Students Develop Environmental Leadership Skills

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - Last week, 13 high school students from Pinellas County participated in a five-day workshop to increase their knowledge about marine/watershed pollution causes and impacts, and develop their communications and project leadership skills. The new workshop was developed by Keep Pinellas Beautiful and the University of South Florida College of Marine Science for the Collaborating for Clean Communities initiative, which is funded by a NOAA Marine Debris Prevention grant. 

The students heard presentations and engaged in discussions with experts from KPB, USF CMS, the City of St. Petersburg, the Youth Ocean Conservation Summit and the USF SP School of Media Studies.  Held at the USF SP Harbor Hall, students kayaked in Booker Creek and X beach to assess litter, and practiced organizing a clean-up in Bayboro Harbor. During the week, students honed in on their issues and developed projects to implement at their schools.   

Students from Stewart Magnet Middle School visit CMS and FIO

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - A group of 47 students from Stewart Magnet Middle School along with teachers and chaperones visited the College of Marine Science on Friday, December 1st, 2017, to learn oceanographic research practices directly from the scientists themselves.  The magnet school is STEM focused with electives that include aerospace, engineering, environmental, robotics, computer, and video game design.  Their partnerships include NASA, NOAA, Tuskegee Airmen, U.S. Air Force, FBI and more.

Representing the Center for Ocean Technology (COT), the Institute for Marine Remote Sensing (IMaRS), and the Ocean Monitoring and Prediction Lab, students, faculty and researchers of CMS led three groups of Stewart Middle students around the halls and the docks of the peninsular campus in Bayboro Harbor.  Members of the Florida Institute of Oceanography (FIO) enriched the tour with explanations of the research fleet and an in-depth tour of the Weatherbird II, FIO’s flagship research vessel.

The introduction to the day’s studies was given by Frank Muller-Karger who has worked with teachers from Stewart Middle to educate students on marine science and technology for the past 18 years.  Dr. Muller-Karger teaches remote sensing and directs the IMaRS group.  After a tour of the Weatherbird and a hands-on demonstration of marine sensors, the students were provided exercises on sea floor mapping and remote sensing of environmental parameters useful to understanding biodiversity.  The young students kept the faculty and researchers on their toes with some astute questions, offering the prospect of at least a few future oceanographers.

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Written By: Sean Beckwith

Last modified on Wednesday, 13 December 2017 14:45

Students participated in the Blue Vision Summit Healthy Oceans Hill Day in Washington D.C

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - Thanks to Dean Dixon's generous support, Marcy Cockrell, Megan Hepner, Kate Dubickas, and Alex Ilich participated in the Blue Vision Summit Healthy Oceans Hill Day in Washington, D.C on May 10. Constituents met with 24 Florida Congressional offices, and the CMS team met with 9 of the 24 offices, including Rep. Kathy Castor and Sen. Bill Nelson. They lobbied for efforts to reduce marine debris, maintain federal funding for Florida's coastal resiliency and ocean water quality monitoring programs, and to uphold the moratorium on oil and gas drilling off Florida's coasts. The offices were very receptive and encouraged all students and concerned citizens to reach out to their elected officials, from local to federal, for resolutions of these and other ocean and coastal issues.

Last modified on Friday, 12 May 2017 14:31