Our team consists of a diverse body of staff and researchers who are knowledgeable in areas such as marine engineering, GIS, acoustics, and Gulf of Mexico fisheries and habitats. The goal of this project is to add to the amount of high resolution bathymetry available for the West Florida Shelf as well as characterize and assess the habitat and fish communities within these areas.
This project, funded by that National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) is adding to the body of knowledge on essential reef fish and sea turtle habitat on the West Florida Shelf (WFS). Though these habitats are incredibly important to the coastal communities along the Gulf, little of it has actually been studied and mapped; only approximately 5% of the WFS has been mapped in detail and we hope to add another 4% to this over the next three years.
Dr. Murawski was previously the Chief Scientist at NOAA/NMFS and has an extensive background in fisheries and habitat assessment.
Chad Lembke has been at USF since 1998 and since then has worked extensively with several types of ocean technology such as ROV's, gilders and BSOP's.
Dr. Locker has acquired vast experience in multibeam mapping and is well informed on the various bottom types found on the West Florida Shelf.