Ashley Carreiro was recently awarded 2nd place for the American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS) master’s level scholarship award. Her proposal on The Effects of Nutrient Enrichment on Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease was chosen to receive this scholarship against twenty-seven other reviewed proposals. Her research will be looking at the progression of stony coral tissue loss disease (SCTLD) on Montastraea cavernosa coral colonies on a reef off Fort Lauderdale beaches. She will be comparing the disease progression rates on SCTLD-affected colonies amended with moderate nutrients to the progression rates on unamended SCTLD- affected colonies. This scholarship will help her fund the water quality analysis needed to determine the changes of nutrient levels around the different experimental colonies. SCTLD was first described in 2014 and has been killing off corals along the east coast of Florida and wider Caribbean for the past seven years. It is still a mystery to what has caused this disease and how local stressors may influence the prevalence and spread. Ashley hopes that her research will answer some of the questions to which environmental stressors, specifically nutrient run-off, might cause this detrimental disease to persist and advance. Congrats, Ashley!
Join us in congratulating new lab member Haley Davis on being selected as the 2021-2022 recipient of the Paul Dritenbas Memorial Scholarship by the Sunrise Rotary Club of Vero Beach. This scholarship program honors Paul's legacy supporting research and conservation efforts for Indian River Lagoon ecosystems. This scholarship, coupled with an award to Voss Lab from Florida's Department of Environmental Protection, will support Haley’s master's thesis research at FAU Harbor Branch investigating hyposalinity stress tolerances of coral species commonly found on Saint Lucie Reef, just outside the St. Lucie Inlet. Over the past several years, controlled freshwater releases from Lake Okeechobee have impacted the environmental health of the Indian River Lagoon, the St. Lucie Estuary, and St. Lucie Reef. However, lethal hyposalinity tolerance thresholds have yet to be determined for important stony coral inhabitants of this region. Identifying these tolerance thresholds for corals will help to inform best management practices regarding duration and intensity of controlled freshwater releases downstream of Lake Okeechobee.
We are excited to provide an update on our recent emergency intervention expedition to Dry Tortugas National Park. Led by Dr. Karen Neely of NSU, our team completed the largest SCTLD-intervention effort to date. The team consisted of Dr. Neely, Sydney Gallagher and Michelle Dobler from Nova Southeastern University and from FAU Harbor Branch Dr. Joshua Voss, Erin Shilling, Gabby Pantoni, Allie Klein, and Ashley Carreiro of the Voss Lab. Over the course of the 10 day cruise, we treated 6,038 coral colonies of 27 different species spanning an area of reef equal to 146 football fields at Bird Key near Fort Jefferson. This cruise was a fantastic success, and gives us hope that future intervention expeditions can protect vital coral reef habitats throughout Florida.
NSU press release here
Cruise photo album here