Happy Birthday seahorses!

On February 13 we celebrated the birth of 16 new dwarf seahorse babies in the lab. We have three more expectant fathers ready to deliver any day!

Wait?! Did you expectant fathers? Yup! Male seahorses carry the eggs of the females in their specialized pouch for about 14 days. While the males don’t provide nutrients to the babies to grow, that comes from the egg, they do provide oxygen and change the pouch fluid from internal body fluid to seawater as the babies develop. By the time he’s ready to give birth the babies are floating in the same seawater in the pouch as what is outside, ensuring they’re adjusted to life outside.

The male goes through labor and has contractions which help push the babies out into the water. Once the babies are born, the males and females do not care for their young and they’re entirely on their own.

Hope for seagrass restoration?

Tonight’s lecture by Dr. Robert Virnstein was surprisingly hopeful that seagrass transplants and restoration efforts can lead to successful growth in areas of the the Indian River Lagoon which have seen dramatic seagrass losses since 2011. New efforts with Brevard Zoo will enlist and train coastal homeowners, schools and volunteers to collect fragments and place them in ideal locations. While water quality management is still a priority, restoration may be a tool to kick start and help maintain seagrasses until algal blooms subside.

Next Seminar 2/12- Seagrass Restoration

We are very honored to have Dr. Robert Virnstein coming to speak next week at Bethune-Cookman University about Seagrass Restoration. Dr. Virnstein is one of the leading experts on seagrasses in the Indian River Lagoon after working and researching them for 40 years. Dr. Virnstein served on the Ph.D. committee of Dr. Krejci back in 2012, advising her on all things seagrass and agreeing in the end that she earned her Ph.D.!

4- Seagrass

Special Delivery!

In preparation for Alyssa’s research on seahorse feeding preferences in wild vs captive seahorses, we received a delivery of seahorses from the Keys today! Everyone is doing well. One male gave birth to four babies in transit and 5 males are very, very pregnant! The received their first meal of B-CU cultured copepods and gobbled them up (see last video)!

Feeding trials are set to begin next week. Stay tuned for updates!

Alyssa carefully carrying seahorses from FedEx
Getting ready to see our new additions!
Ahhh! They’re beautiful, pregnant and also giving birth 😂😀
Cluster of new Dwarf Seahorses, Hippocampus zosterae
Very pregnant male! We love his white saddle mark across the pouch. Very unique!
We’re going to have a lot of babies this week 😱

Seminar Series- Mitigation Banking

Mr. Reid Hilliard, Mitigation Bank Technical Program Coordinator from St. John’s River Water Management District, was at B-CU for a lecture today. It was a great opportunity for students to see the management decisions behind wetland impacts from development. He did a great job of fielding our questions and providing information for internship opportunities for our students.

FAS Abstracts submitted!

Krejci Aquatic Research Lab representing strong at FAS with NINE abstract submissions!!

6 posters

3 oral presentations

5 student authors, 2 posters for Dr. Krejci and faculty, and 1 faculty oral presentation

Topics:

Seahorse feeding selectivity (babies & wild vs aquaculture)

Pipefish feeding selectivity based on sea grass density

Syngnathid distribution pattens in the IRL

Water quality parameters in the Halifax

Zooplankton density in dragline ditches

Impacts of Open educational resources on academic success

Success of visual literacy interventions

Socioscientific argumentation interventions using argument driven inquiry

Let’s do this team!!! Next year how about an even 10 submission??

Look at those Tisbe!

Ja’Kaila sent a quick video of our Tisbe biminensis cultures at B-CU. The original stock came from Algagen. These copepods are used for our pipefish and seahorse feeding studies and require substantial effort from our students in maintaining live algal cultures and monitoring the copepods for water quality and density. Ja’Kaila and Alyssa’s efforts are paying off! Check out all those eggs 😍