General Ecology-Macro plastics Lab

Dr. Krejci’s General Ecology course at a Bethune-Cookman Univeristy completed the laboratory analysis of macroplastics collected from Tom Renick and Sun Splash Parks in Daytona Beach, FL.

Macroplastics were collected by sieving around 3-gallons of sand. The samples were sorted in the lab into the categories of natural material, hard plastic, wrappers, styrofoam, cigarette butts, rope, and others. All items were counted and weighed.

Next weeks students will learn how to analyze the ghost crab hole density and size compared to the amount of macroplastics.

ShORE Symposium 2019

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Prepare yourself for posts from the Aquatic Research Lab today, as we attend the ShORE Symposium 2019 hosted by Daytona State College, Marine Discovery Center, and the Atlantic Center for the Arts.

This free annual symposium provides a forum for high school students, undergraduates and scientists to share their research and create greater public awareness of issues impacting the Indian River Lagoon and it’s watershed.

Follow the link here to learn more.  See the full agenda of today’s events: ShORE 2019_Draft AgendaFixed

This year undergraduate senior, Jehmia Williams, will be presenting an oral presentation titled “Determining Spatial and Temporal Water Quality Changes in the Halifax River Lagoon”.

Undergraduate seniors, Alyssa Stubbs and Ja’Kaila Jefferson, will be presenting their poster titlied, “Benthic and Pelagic Copepod Feeding Preferences of Dwarf Seahorses, Hippocampus zosterae” and

Undergraduate sophomore, Lauren Albury will present her poster “Zooplankton Density in Dragline Ditch Marsh Sites Compared to Natural Waterways”

These projects are the culmination of over a year of hard work from these women scientists!

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Guest Lecture- New Smyrna Beach Garden Club

Yesterday Dr. Krejci, Dr. Reiter and Dr. Cho has the pleasure of providing guest lectures on environmental science topics for a course offered by the New Smyrna Beach Garden Club.

The lady-dominated club offers a twice-a-year course for its members, called the Environmental School, where they can learn about local, national and international environmental issues.

It’s an absolutely fantastic group and quite commendable that they are spending their free time keeping up to date with these important issues!

B-CU professors will return to the group in January for another week.

Bethune-Cookman hosts Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce’s seminar on Resilience

Dr. Krejci and her students were invited to hear Dr. Julie Nesheiwat, Florida’s Chief Resilience Officer, Ginger Adair, Director of Volusia County Environmental Management, and Jenifer Rupert, East Central Florida Regional Planning Council, speak at B-CU about Florida’s readiness for climate change.

Sophomore Lauren Albury was able to learn about the economic impacts of climate change along Florida’s East coast and the proactive approaches to preparing for sea level rise.

Overall it was a great opportunity for networking and to ask questions about local, regional and state environmental policy. Thanks to B-CU’s Division of Institutional Advancement for including the Aquatic Research Lab!

Gamble Rogers Fish Sampling

Dr. Krejci volunteered to assist with Florida Fish and Wildlife’s (FWC) and Univeristy of Central Florida’s sampling of fish communities in marsh restoration sites located near Gamble Rogers State Park in Flagler County.

The marsh was dredged in the 1960s for mosquito control and portions are now being restored to their original hydrology. Teams of researchers are tracking changes in water quality, vegetation, and biodiversity before and after the restoration. Dr. Krejci’s lab is involved with sampling the areas for zooplankton and had previously conducted a small fecal coliform study.

Enjoy the video below of the field work including some time-lapse footage of the sampling:

Happiness is data analysis at 9am

Have you ever seen two water quality nerds so excited to be at work/school finishing their PCA summaries of Halifax River Lagoon water quality?? Now you have LOL. Graduating senior Jehmia Williams is now a pro at eigenvectors and describing patterns in water quality. We’re finally finished and are able to sit back and look at overall patterns, which are there and amazing.

What prey do Dwarf Seahorses prefer?

Exciting results are coming out of the Aquatic Research Laboratory this week! Our seahorse feeding selectivity trial is testing the feeding preferences of the dwarf seahorse, Hippocampus zosterae, on two copepod species using a non lethal observational method.

Undergraduate senior, Alyssa Stubbs, has been painstakingly running the pilot trials making sure we can recover 100% of the tiny copepods from our feeding chamber. Once she perfected the method and tested, retested and tested it again we began our trials on 2 mo old juvenile dwarfs.

The results examining seahorses feeding on each species show a clear winner. Which one?? You can find out at ShORE Symposium 2019 where she will presenting a poster of the findings.

We have one final trial to run on Friday where they will be given both species at once. Congrats to Alyssa on a successful project and a shout out to fellow undergraduate researcher Ja’Kaila for her support in keeping the algae and copepod cultures going strong! Not an easy task!!! Ja’Kaila will be using similar methodology to examine the impacts of habitat density on pipefish feeding preference in the spring.

Thanks to Algagen for providing our copepods and algae cultures, Alyssa Seahorse Savvy for donating dwarf broodstock, and Henson Robinson Zoo for their fundraising which provided the finances for this project!