Cladocerans!

We had an exciting day with Jonathan’s discovery of cladocerans in our samples taken from the Banana River near the Pineda Causeway back in November. These small crustaceans are known as water fleas and females will brood their babies in a pouch before they hatch. There’s no larval planktonic form and what you’re looking at are the adults. After years of studying zooplankton in the Indian River and the Halifax, I have never observed one and these particular samples have tons!

Zooplankton workshop with Union University!

I had the pleasure of hosting students and faculty from Union University, TN on B-CU’s campus for a zooplankton workshop and campus tour.

We collected zooplankton from the Halifax and observed them under our digital compound scopes with help from lab researchers Alyssa and Xavier .

Dr. Krejci explaining zooplankton patterns in the Halifax

Alyssa assisting students with slide preparation

Tour of the Aquatic Research Laboratory and everyone enthralled with the baby seahorses

We also received a tour of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune’s home which was very special!

Manatee Day

Took undergraduate researchers Lakean and Vikash our for a manatee snorkel at Three Sisters Springs in Crystal River. One of the first things Lakean said when I asked him to join the lab last year was “It’s my dream to swim with a manatee!” Well, yesterday dreams came true and it was his birthday!

Winter Break Happenings

I get to spend break taking care of the plethora of Hippocampus erectus juveniles we have, which means stepping up our Artemia grow out so we can start that tricky transition to frozen food soon.  I am distracting myself with taking pictures and videos while I work on abstracts, grant proposals, and coursework for Spring. Enjoy the cool slow mo video. Love those dorsal fin undulations!Artemia culture

 

Success at ShORE Symposium!

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Keeping our success going! 2nd place prize for senior Jonathan Johnson on his oral presentation on the “Impacts of the 2018 superbloom on zooplankton density within the Indian River Lagoon” and 3rd place prize for Sophomore Lakean McGregor on his oral presentation on the “Patterns in zooplankton density in the Halifax River Lagoon, FL”. Big thanks to ShORE and our lab for supporting these smart young scientists!

Seahorse Pilot Study update

Junior undergraduate Alyssa Stubbs is having a successful semester preparing for a feeding selectivity study on Hippocampus erectus and Hippocampus reidi. The Marine Discovery Center in New Smyrna Beach, donated 60 newborn H. erectus to our lab and Alyssa and Vikash have done an amazing job getting them to a month old!

New research collaborations

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On Thursday I went out with our plant physiologist and fisheries biologist to tour restored marshes in the Tomoka Marsh Aquatic Preserve with DEP aquatic preserve manager.

We are organizing pre-sampling of water quality, zooplankton and fish for September in Gamble Rogers Marsh which will have drag-line ditch impoundments restored soon. We’ll continue with post monitoring once the restoration is complete.

My marine bio class will head out to the preserve to measure abiotic conditions in Gamble Rogers in a couple of weeks.

Now I need to find a student to lead the project!

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Welcome back to B-CU!

IMG_5927It’s back to class at B-CU! I organized a “Welcome to the Science Building” information table to help students get around the building for the first two days of campus. We had signs at each main corridor and hallway junctions Professors from the college volunteered for 1 hour sessions to man the table.

The event was a huge success and greeting students with friendly smiles and information made a confusing first few days easier. It’s definitely a repeat event!

It was great to see all my researchers and former students back!