The Voss Lab is growing again! A new Master's student, Caroline Haymaker, joined the lab in August. Originally from Old Dominion University where she did undergraduate research with Dr. Dan Barshis, Caroline has worked on projects regarding algal symbiont genotyping and coral acclimatization in American Samoa and Australia.
We are very excited to welcome Caroline to the ranks, and look forward to her thesis research as it develops. Stay tuned!
Voss lab completes ROV telepresence mission with Global Foundation for Ocean Exploration in Flower Garden Banks
Joshua Voss, graduate students Ryan Eckert and Erin Shilling, and HBOI assistant professor Jim Masterson recently joined Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS) superintendent G.P. Schmahl as well as Todd Gregory, Karl McLectchie, Joshua Carlson, Jeff Laning, and Roland Brian from the Global Foundation for Ocean Exploration (GFOE) aboard the Research Vessel MANTA for a week of Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) operations. This mission was the first of three legs with GFOE in the Northwest Gulf of Mexico. The goal of this mission was to use GFOE's ROV Yogi and portable VSAT to demonstrate the ability to perform live-broadcast ROV telepresence missions from a small vessel. During the course of the mission the team streamed live ROV dives every day, and conducted live interactions with Marine and Oceanographic Academy (MOA) at HBOI and Moody Gardens Aquarium in Galveston, TX.
Throughout the week the team explored Mesophotic Coral Ecosystems (MCEs) on several banks in the NWGOM, including Alderdice Bank, McGrail Bank, Sonnier Bank and Geyer Bank, all under consideration for sanctuary expansion. In addition to technology demonstrations, HBOI researchers collected video and photographic transects for comparison to previously collected data from these banks. The team also tested the sample collection abilities of Yogi, collecting samples of sponge and black coral for use in genetic connectivity analyses throughout the NWGOM with collaborator Santiago Herrera (Lehigh University). The second and third legs of the GFOE cruises are being led by collaborators Sarah Davies (Boston University) and Mercer Brugler (NYC College of Technology) with focuses on MCE coral spawning and black corals, respectively.
Thanks to GFOE, the crew of the R/V Manta, and FGBNMS for a successful research mission!
Learn more about the mission here:
Review twitter posts from this cruise using #seathegarden
Following his successful thesis defense in June, Ryan completed his remaining graduate requirements, submitted his thesis to the FAU Graduate College, and graduated on August 6th! His thesis research has resulted in a published manuscript in Scientific Reports (found here) and another manuscript in preparation for submission in Fall 2019.
Ryan has been accepted into the Integrative Biology PhD program at FAU starting in Fall 2019, and will be continuing to work with the Voss Laboratory for his PhD as well as participate in field research with the lab this summer.
Congratulations Ryan! Thrilled to have you sticking on with our team!