First dwarfs born!

The first batch of Hippocampus zosterae were born today with 38 newborns!! I hope our adults keep producing like this for Alyssa to get her data collected for her senior thesis. This batch will be used for a pilot of our feeding selectivity study. The next batch with be for data collection!

Benthic infauna sampling at CWCC

Dr. Krejci, assisted by FAMU post doc Dr. Emily Jones and masters student Catherine Eckart, lead all the NOAA CCME scholars through a field demonstration of collecting benthic infauna using cores in the Laguna Madre, TX. The samples were stored on ice and analyzed in the Univeristy of Texas Rio Grande Valley Port Isabel WetLab. Students will be given an excel file as homework to calculate the Shannon Weiner Diversity Index, species evenness, and species richness. The data collected will help them decide on the environmental impacts of a proposed second causeway construction across the Laguna.

2019- NOAA CCME Center-wide Core Competency Course

B-CU students Miranda White and Abraham DaSilvio with Dr. Krejci and Dr. Cho are attending the CWCC which is a biannual workshop for the NOAA Center for Coastal and Marine Ecosystem program. The CCME grant provides funding for undergraduate and graduate students at B-CU and partner institutions around the country including FAMU, California State at Monterey Bay, Jackson State University, The Univeristy of Texas at Rio Grande Valley, and Texas A&M Corpus Christi. All the partner schools, students and faculty are participating in a week long workshop examining the potential impacts of a new causeway being built over the Laguna Madre. The students are assigned user group perspectives to explore and will be gathering data to make a decision on their recommendation of the causeway construction.

Birth imminent!

Our labs first Dwarf seahorse, Hippocampus zosterae, is any day now! Check out this large and amazing belly. The broodstock were donated from Alyssa’s Seahorse Savvy and their offspring will be part of a feeding selectivity study with undergraduate Alyssa Stubbs.

Schools out, but we’re still here!

Update: we have been selected!! Baltimore here we come!

Classes are over, students are on their way home or preparing for graduation tomorrow, final grades are submitted…but straight back to work we go! Dr. Isokpehi brought together me and Ms. Junell McCall to apply for a NSF proposal writing workshop for the Noyce teacher scholarship program. My brain is mush and I can’t believe there are coherent thoughts coming together, but the submission got in and now we wait to see if we’re selected! 

Chlorophyll a analysis with Dr. Hunsucker

Senior Jonathan Johnson is preparing for his senior thesis presentation on the impacts of the 2018 superbloom on zooplankton. He’s been presenting research obtained during the summer CURE program, but we resampled the superbloom in November 2018 and he has yet to share those findings. One last measurement was our chlorophyll a analysis. Dr. Kelli Hunsucker from Florida Tech generously offered her tissue grinders, acetone and spectrophotometer for us to use. Five hours of tissue grinding and analysis and the data is finally complete to run our PCA and distance linear model! (And I’m sure Jonathan never wants to see another chlorophyll sample again) A special thanks to the Florida Tech work studies who took some of the work load off us today! I’m incredibly grateful for my friends at Florida Tech who are willing to lend a hand and a lab to make science happen 💙

Jonathan organizing the final samples
Jonathan loading the samples into the spec
Saying good bye to the tissue grinder FOREVER!
A pretty obvious chlorophyll signature from control and superbloom sites
Scientists after a long, successful collaboration filled day!

Lagoonacy 2019 at Marine Discovery Center

Dr. Krejci and Dr. Kim along with undergrad biology majors, Lakean McGregor and Xavier Grindley, hosted a table along the beautiful restored marsh at Lagoonacy to educate visitors about zooplankton, ocean acidification, and oyster reproduction.

Over 100 participants, young and not so young, visited the table to engage with the educational displays and learn about research at the great Bethune-Cookman!

New awards announced!

The Florida Academy of Sciences have just announced the awards from the March meeting and Bethune-Cookman takes home the top prizes in undergraduate oral and poster presentations!

Jonathan Johnson- Outstanding oral presentation

Lakean McGregor- honorable mention oral presentation

Jehmia William-Outstanding poster

Alyssa Stubbs and Vikash Bisram- honorable mention poster

Online Learning Consortium: Innovate 2019

Had the honor of presenting data from our pilot study using Open Education Resources in science courses as part of B-CU’s grant with Tennessee State University and Merlot (University of California). B-CU President Grimes flew out to receive an award for B-CU’s innovative use of online learning and to hear our 45 minute workshop. The workshop was a tremendous success and I’m looking forward to the next steps! !

Academic Showcase 2019

B-CU hosts a campus wide showcase every spring to highlight all the research going on. We had a whole session dedicated to the Aquatic Research Lab including three student presentations by Lakean McGregor, Jehmia Williams, and Jonathan Johnson, followed by a presentation by Dr. Krejci. We also had two posters from the lab written by Alyssa Stubbs, Vikash Bisram, Lauren Albury, Derion Ashford, and Briana Martin. It was an impressive showing and I’m so proud of these students growing knowledge, confidence and the important research they are contributing to the world!