28 January 2017

KML Science Seminar Wed pm Feb 1st

How Low Can You Go: Restoration and coral holobiont composition across depths on Conch Reef
Postdoc Dr. Anthony Bellantuono & PhD candidates Dan Merselis & Katherine Dougan, members of the IMaGeS Lab at Florida International University (FIU) headed by Dr. Mauricio Rodriguez-Lanetty, have been collaborating since 2015 with NASA NEEMO astronauts to explore coral symbiont diversity in the vicinity of FIU Medina Aquarius, the world’s only undersea research lab. 

A diver outside of the Aquarius underwater habitat
Last summer’s work involved establishing experimental coral restoration nurseries at deep and shallow reefs accessible from the habitat. This team of FIU scientists worked closely with NASA NEEMO astronauts on coral identification and sampling to simulate protocols for future a Mars mission, while testing hypotheses designed to better understand the coral symbiosis for restoration. Come join us at KML to learn about this exciting project.

Come join us at KML to learn about this exciting project.
KML Classroom
Wed Feb 1st 
For more on the IMaGeS Lab website: IMaGeS Lab 
(Laboratory of Integrative Marine Genomics and Symbiosis

or follow them at:

13 January 2017

Welcome Josh Farmer to KML

The Keys Marine Lab is excited to announce the arrival of our newest staff biologist, Joshua Farmer. Josh has his Bachelors of Science in Marine Biology from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. After graduation he worked as Research Assistant for Dr. Alina Szmant and Dr. Robert Whitehead from UNCW, on their Coral In-Situ Metabolism and Energetics (CISME) Project.  Josh is also a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer and worked as Dive Instructor on the East Coast and in the Caribbean.

Please help us welcome Josh to the KML team.

04 January 2017

Science Seminar at KML

“Coral Restoration in the Florida Keys”
Ken Nedimyer – president of Coral Restoration Foundation
Progress and updates on CRF's efforts to restore corals, especially the endangered Staghorn and Elkhorn corals, to reefs in the Florida Keys 
 Come join us Jan 4
Wed. 6:00-7:00pm
KML Classroom

~Future Topics ~
Feb 1: NASA NEEMO Mission at FIU Aquarius underwater habitat
March 1: Dave Vaughn - Mote Marine Lab
April 5: Maria Cooksey (FWC/FWRI) FKNMS boater distribution

01 January 2017

New microscope camera for KML

Thanks to proceeds from the sale of KML t-shirts, hats, and Tervis tumblers, we now have a new microscope camera! Moticam X2 with wifi capabilities. Here are some photographs taken recently of our purple sea plume babies (Antillegoria bipinnata) - 39 days old

23 December 2016

Purple sea plume spawning at KML

Day 1:  New coral planulae emerge on the mother sea plume colony (November 23, 2016)

Dr. Mary Alice Coffroth (SUNY Buffalo) and her team from the BURR Lab (Buffalo Undersea Reef Research) captured the purple sea plume (Antillegorgia bipinnata) spawning event at KML. These corals spawned 1 week before the November new in  moon KML's new seawater well system.
Day 10: Planulae settling on tiles, mouth parts developing (photo by DJ Valent)

Day 15: New recruits! Planulae metamorphosed and settled on pre-conditioned ceramic tiles, polyp tentacles beginning to develop. Baby corals were inoculated with photosynthetic algae (Symbiodinium) harvested from the mother colony.
Day 21: Tentacles extended. These are octocorals (soft coral) so they have 8 tentacles on each polyp which capture small particles (zooplankton) from the water. Purple calcareous spicules (sclerites) are beginning to form in the base of the polyp, protecting the baby coral from predation.

Day 21: Brownish tinge in tentacles 6 days after inoculation, is evidence of the uptake of Symbiodinium which photosynthetically provides nutrients to the growing coral.

Day 23: More purple sclerites and brown algal symbionts visible

Day 31 

01 December 2016

Keys Marine Lab Science Seminar Dec 7th

“What’s the big deal about microplastics?”

by Sarah Egner 
Key Largo Marine Resources Development Foundation

Dec 7th Wed. 6:00-7:00pmKeys Marine Lab Classroom - mile marker 68.5

While the huge amounts of plastic in our waters is utterly apparent on just about any boat ride, what is even more concerning is that much of the marine debris is invisible to the naked eye.  Microplastics come from a variety of sources, most of which are commonly found in every day households and end up going down the drain.  Marine animals from plankton to corals to baleen whales have been documented ingesting the foreign material.  The types, sources and impacts of microplastics will be discussed.  Solutions that any Keys citizen can do will be proposed including participation in a statewide citizen science project.  
You are welcome welcome to bring a 1 L water sample for microplastic analysis after the seminar.

~Future Topics ~
Jan 4: Ken Nedimyer – Coral Restoration Foundation
Feb 1: NASA NEEMO Mission at FIU Aquarius underwater habitat
March 1: Dave Vaughn - Mote Marine Lab

April 5: Maria Cooksey (FWC/FWRI) FKNMS boater distribution

19 October 2016

Science Seminars 2016-2017

Myths, Mysteries and Managing the Lionfish Invasion – latest updates and findings”
Lad Akins from REEF

Join REEF Director of Special Projects, Lad Akins, for the latest info on the lionfish invasion and what’s being done to combat invasive lionfish around the region.  Lad will provide a brief background of the invasion, impacts on native marine life and future directions for research and control.  Be prepared for an interactive presentation with great visuals and time for plenty of questions and answers.

Open to the public 

Nov 9th 
Wed. 6:00-7:00pm
Keys Marine Lab Classroom 
Mile marker 68.5 bayside, Long Key

~Future Topics ~
Dec 7: Sarah Egner – Micro-plastics
Jan 4: Ken Nedimyer – Coral Restoration
Feb 1: NASA NEEMO Mission at Aquarius
March 1: TBA
April 5: TBA

20 January 2016

Researchers from the UK studying flatworm development

The beautiful polyclad flatworm, Maritigrella crozieri, (commonly known as the tiger flatworm) feeds on the mangrove ascidian Ecteinascidia turbinata. Both species are common in the mangroves of the Florida Keys (scale = 1cm) (photos by Kate Rawlinson).
A team of researchers from University College London (Fraser Simpson and Johannes Girstmair) and Cambridge University (Kate Rawlinson) has returned to KML to continue their research on the development of the marine tiger flatworm, Maritigrella crozieri.

Flatworms are among the most diverse, and biomedically significant, invertebrate phyla. They include free-living species (best known for their regeneration abilities) and parasitic groups (such as tapeworms and flukes), some of which cause disease in humans.

Early development of Maritigrella embryos, 2-16 cell stages (scale = 50 microns) (photos by Francois Lapraz).
Investigating how flatworms develop tissues and organs from

a fertilized egg during embryonic development is important for our understanding of their biology, and may shed light on ways to control species that negatively impact our health and interests. However, because flatworms lay their eggs in protective egg capsules it is hard to study their development. These researchers have developed methods to rear Maritigrella embryos outside of their egg capsules and are using current molecular and imaging techniques to understand how embryonic cells give rise to adult body structures.

During this visit to KML the team is collecting sexually mature worms from clumps of Ecteinascidia by snorkeling and kayaking. These worms are then brought back to the lab, where their eggs and larval stages are preserved for future analysis.
Kate Rawlinson
Fraser Simpson
Johannes Girstmair

06 January 2016

Science Seminars at KML

Winter Science Seminars
Wed. 6:00-7:00pm
KML Classroom
Mile marker 68.5 bayside, Long Key

Everyone is welcome to attend
Jan 6:
 Effects of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on Gulf of Mexico reef fish’
Mike Norberg, KML marine biologist

Firemouth Snapper (Tomtate sp.)

Future topics:
Feb 3 – lobster navigation & magnetic orientation

March 2 – Pillar coral genetic rescue project

24 October 2015

Winter Science Seminars at KML

First seminar of the winter: Wed Nov 4th 6:00-7:00pm
Topic: "New State-of-the-Art Seawater System at KML"
By Tom Bartlett – KML staff biologist

We will kick off our winter science seminars at Keys Marine Lab with a tour of our new seawater system. Staff biologist, Tom Bartlett, will explain the applications of our new state-of-the-art system to manipulate seawater conditions for ocean acidification research, as well as providing high-quality reef water for marine research. Everyone is welcome!
Winter Science Seminars at KML 
mm 68.5 bayside
first Wed of the month, Nov-April. 
6:00-7:00pm in KML Classroom
Future dates - topics to be announced
Dec 2
Jan 6
Feb 3
March 2