About my research:
For my Master’s thesis, I will be assessing the effectiveness of restoration and out-planting success of coral on a long term scale. Specifically, I will focus on Acropora cervicornis out-plants by using a photo capture technique. An Automated Underwater Vehicle (AUV) will be used to create a photo mosaic that will be analyzed ex situ to give an overall “picture” of percent cover. Aside from determining the success of restoration efforts, we will aim to create a methodology in which long term monitoring of out-planted coral can be assessed (focusing on the level of effort required for acquisition and analysis). Ultimately, I’d like to better understand how restoration efforts are affecting the populations of A. cervicornis and eventually use this methodology to target specific locations where restoration efforts should be focused.
I chose to pursue my Master’s degree at USFCMS due to its ability to form and foster collaborations with the nearby state and government agencies. The Fish Ecology Lab, as well as other labs at CMS, have the ability to work closely with scientist ranging from FWC, NOAA, and USGS, etc. CMS is an exemplary program in that it encourages and emphasizes interdisciplinary science, often leading to collaborations and overall growth of its students and faculty. After all, I belong to a Fish Ecology Lab, but plan to study coral. To top it all off, I love the Burg. The marine science community is awesome, but the overall St. Petersburg community in itself is spectacular!