Student Vignettes

Christian Gfatter

About my research:

I am interested in symbiotic relationships and the study of foraminifera. These protists are found in a wide range of marine habitats and are often studied to provide insight into evolutionary processes, environmental history, and paleoceanography. Some species of foraminifera have diapause-like responses to hostile conditions such as hypoxia and my research examines the survival limits of algal endosymbiont bearing foraminifera compared to those without algal symbionts. This research will generate valuable data that will help explain prior migration and predict future expansion into marginal environments. I am also interested in analyzing foraminiferal assemblages and developing innovative methods to improve identification, such as utilizing image recognition technology.


I believe in the College of Marine Science's interdisciplinary approach to studies in marine science and it has a diverse group of scientists within the fields of Biological, Chemical, Geological, and Physical Oceanography. All of the professors are very approachable and provide their students the necessary tools to become successful. The college, while having the resources of the greater USF system, is located in an quiet setting within the beautiful City of St. Petersburg, Florida which has numerous marine related organizations. For entertainment and recreation, there is a wide range of activities.

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