Research Projects Begin!


Today we went to the field in both the morning and afternoon for snorkeling in order for students to begin their independent research projects.  On Monday evening each group presented their research proposals to the class and we were able to discuss, advise, and brainstorm the best methodologies for each experimental question.  The research projects are as follows:

  • Habitat Requirements of Ophiuroidea (brittle stars) in the Florida Keys –  Lydia Yoder, Michael Wiebe, & Aspen Schmidt
  • Descriptive Analysis of Nudibranch Distribution Surrounding Long Key, Florida – Erica R. Grasse, Nathaniel L. Klink, & Luke N. Zehr
  • The Analysis of the Relationship Between Macroalgae and Porites porites – Jessica Schirch,Cortney Quick, Michelle Salgado
  • A Comparison of the Biodiversity of Macro-organisms Living In Two Porifera Species at Triton Mudflats – Avery Bischoff, Ellie Schertz, & Sam Weaver
  • Sponge Density in Relation to Habitat Variation – Brook Hostetter, Will Kanagy, Alita Yoder
  • Sizing up sponges: how sponge size affects diversity of refuge organisms within them – Alex Long, Dominic Arrowood-Fouce, Jonathan C. Mark

The weather was amazing today.  There was virtually no wind, creating a glass-like water surface in both the Bay and the Atlantic.  The ocean disappeared into the sky.  Our afternoon visit was during low-tide so visibility was incredible.  In addition to all the benthic creatures we found, students saw bonnet head sharks, dolphins, green sea turtles, and rays.

As I write this students are busy identifying samples retrieved from the field.  It is 10:00 p.m. and soon time to turn in for the night!

Ryan for the entire Marine Biology 2013 team.


  1. Cynthia Kauffmann says

    It’s a tough job but some one has to do it! Wow! Those pictures are beautiful. Study hard. Learn lots.

  2. Anna Lisa Yoder says

    The range of creatures you’re finding boggles the mind! It all looks like incredibly fascinating work (and play!) you’re doing. Hope the great weather continues. I think I’ll enroll next time! :-)

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