Masters Student (Fall 2020)
Audrey is starting her first year as a master’s student in the lab. She is particularly interested in how light ecology affects animal health and behavior. Audrey has a diverse professional background, from gene and cell therapies production, to aquarium habitat design and maintenance. She first became interested in light while working in the environmental laboratories at the Georgia Aquarium, where she collaborated extensively with the Zoological Lighting Institute (ZLI) to promote captive animal health. She received her B.Sc. in Biology from the University of Florida in 2016.
Ph.D Student (Spring 2021)
Originally from Canada, Blue received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Windsor, Ontario in 2011 her Master’s under the supervision of Dr. Nigel Hussey in late 2020. As a Master’s student Blue studied trophic interactions among large apex predators (i.e. using a top down approach) by examining dietary composition through diet contents and stable isotope analysis of shark muscle and liver tissue. She successfully published two manuscripts; a review in Food Webs on the methods available to study and measure intraguild predation in modern food webs, and a study on the pre-treatment and utility of shark liver tissue as a tool to further our understanding of elasmobranch ecology published in the Journal of Fish Biology. Blue is now excited to examine nutrient cycling in corals as well as photo-physiological responses of Symbiodiniacea in an effort to reveal thermally tolerant phenotypes with an overarching goal of identifying ways to reduce coral bleaching events and conserve coral reef ecosystems.
Summer REU student (2020)
Joe is originally from Wisconsin, but is currently a 4th year undergraduate majoring in Marine Biology at Florida International University. He enjoys scuba diving and playing soccer in his free time. His main research interests lie in using genetic variation and physiological responses to understand how corals and their symbiotic algae adapt to climate change associated stressors. During his time at DISl, Joe used the sea anemone (aiptasia) to understand how nutrient amendments influence the production of reactive oxygen species within zooxanthellate algae and the impact on the coral symbioses during high temperature stress. Joe plans to continue his research on the ecology and evolution of the coral-algae symbiotic relationships in the future.