Reef Indicators Lab
University of South Florida, St. Petersburg
College of Marine Science

Diving for Samples


Pamela Hallock Muller, Biogeological Oceanography
Professor, Ph.D., University of Hawaii, 1977

By studying the geologic record and modern coral reefs, my students and I gain insight not only into environments of the past and present, but also the potential effects of human activities on the future of Earth's ecosystems. Our work has implications for cell biology, coral reef ecology, environmental management, global environmental change, evolution, paleoceanography, sedimentology, and hydrocarbon exploration.

Ongoing projects include:

  • Biology and ecology of larger foraminifera and their endosymbionts, including causes and implications of bleaching. Testing of indices of biological integrity based on foraminifera applicable to subtropical/tropical coastal environments. View FORAM Index CD
  • Effects of ocean acidification on larger foraminifers and other marine organisms.
    Aquarius: Mission 6, 2008
    Aquarius: Mission 7, 2008
    Aquarius: Mission 6, 2009
  • Toxic effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on benthic foraminifers.
  • See also thesis and dissertation topics of Current Graduate Students.
  • See also Reef Lab Graduates and Their Thesis or Dissertation Titles

Recent Theses and Dissertations

  • See also thesis and dissertation topics of Recent Graduate Students
  • Can waters around Durney Key, Pasco County, Florida, support coral recruitment to artificial substrates? Master’s thesis of Kelley Anderson, 12/08.
  • Can colored dissolved organic material protect coral reefs by reducing exposure to ultraviolet radiation? Ph.D. Dissertation of Lore Ayoub, 5/09.
  • Ecological dynamics of livebottom ledges and artificial reefs on the inner central west Florida shelf. Ph.D. Dissertation of Jennifer Dupont, 5/09.
  • Foraminiferal responses to arsenic in a shallow-water hydrothermal system in Papua New Guinea and in the laboratory. Ph.D. Dissertation of Bryan McCloskey, 5/09.  View Project Website
  • Shell abnormalities in Archaias angulatus (Foraminifera) from the Florida Keys: An indication of increasing environmental stress? Ph.D. Dissertation of Heidi L. Souder, 5/09.

Links of Interest


Current Graduate Students:

  • Adrienne George, Ph.D. Student
  • Dissertation Topic: Coral diseases

  • Mark Hartman, M.Sc. Student
  • Thesis Topic: Assessment of Diver Damage during the Spiny Lobster Sport Season, Florida Keys, USA

  • Michael Martinez-Colon, Ph.D. Candidate
  • Dissertation Topic: Pollutants and foraminiferal assemblages in Jobos Bay and Torrecilla Lagoon: An environmental micropaleontology approach

  • Natasha Mendez-Ferrer, Ph.D. Student
  • Dissertation Topic: Characterizing photic stress in Amphistegina (Foraminifera)

  • Kristin Netchy, M.Sc. Student
  • Thesis Topic: To be determined

  • Butch Ringelspaugh, M.Sc. Student
  • Thesis Topic: Effects of effects of ocean acidification on the Caribbean/Atlantic, Acropora spp

  • Ben Ross, M.Sc. Student
  • Thesis Topic: Developing protocols for testing the acute toxicity and sub-acute effects of toxic chemicals on the symbiotic foraminifer, Amphistegina gibbosa

  • Lucy Sprung, M.Sc. Student
  • Thesis Topic: Coral Recruitment to Disturbed Patch Reefs of the Florida Reef Tract

  • Paul Suprenand, Ph.D. Candidate (co-advisor, major advisor is Dr. Ben Flower)
  • Dissertation Topic: Investigations for utilizing pteropods as bioindicators of environmental change

  • Heidi Toomey, M.Sc. Student
  • Thesis Topic: Microbial ecology of corals

  • Libby Tyner, Ph.D. Student
  • Dissertation Topic: Biofilms

  • Katherine Wirt, Ph.D. Student
  • Dissertation Topic: Critical habitat of Acropora spp. on reefs of Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

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