Allie started building a mesocosm system that will be used to simulate water conditions at the St. Lucie Reef in Stuart, FL in order to determine the effects of freshwater discharge on the local corals. She compared three different LED light fixtures, finding that one fixture will be suitable to provide the light spectra and intensity needed to maintain live corals. In addition, Allie worked on her thesis proposal, so stay tuned for updates on her project this fall!
This summer has been incredibly busy and exciting for Courtney. She successfully defended her Master’s thesis to a full house in late June, where she provided evidence for locally adapted coral-Symbiodinium associations at St. Lucie Reef. Following her defense, she has been preparing her thesis for publication and getting ready for graduation. She received her Masters in Science on August 5th at the FAU Boca Raton campus.
This summer, Jennifer completed her second Harbor Branch Summer Internship, where she focused on St. Lucie Reef corals, comparing zooxanthellae densities and chlorophyll concentrations from samples taken in July 2014 to those from July 2013. Additionally, she began developing a protocol to determine the gene copy number for different zooxanthellae types, which will be used with quantitative PCR to determine abundances of specific zooxanthellae types found in coral samples for her Masters’ thesis.
The summer of 2014 was very busy for Maureen with field sampling, intern research, and a few projects to tie up. She continued assisting with field work at St. Lucie Reef, helped Jennifer set up her examinations of zooxanthellae clades, and developed methods for map generation from quadcopter photos. She was also able to use a FlowCAM (a flow cytometer coupled to a microscope and camera) to analyze zooxanthellae from corals at St. Lucie Reef.
Michael began his summer on the 2014 Pulley Ridge Tech Diver cruise as sample processor and blogger. July was this year's dive month, where he and Josh furthered their technical diver training with TDI's Extended range and GUE's Fundamentals courses, enabling them to dive to 180ft on their new gear. For the remainder of the summer, Michael has been processing the Pulley Ridge coral samples and starting amplification and genotyping of microsatellite loci in Montastraea cavernosa in order to examine mesophotic and shallow coral population structure.
This summer's been a productive one for all the members of the Voss lab, so here's a short summary of what everyone has been doing: