24 June 2017

R/V Opah joins KML fleet

New to the KML fleet and named after the large, deep-bodied pelagic ‘moonfish’ (Lampris spp), the R/V Opah (25' Parker) is sister ship to KML's R/V Mola Mola. She sports a center console, semi-V hull, and is powered by a 300hp Yamaha four-stroke engine.
The Opah is equipped with racks for 8 SCUBA cylinders, fresh water rinse down, large dive platform, sturdy dive ladder, and 2 live wells on board.

Capacity: 1692 pounds (captain plus 9 snorkelers or 5 divers with gear)
Cruising speed: 25 knots (20 gph)

Range: 150-gal fuel tank

17 June 2017

Coral in situ Metabolism studies at Conch Reef.

Students from the IMaGeS Lab at Florida International University (FIU), under Dr. Mauricio Rodriguez-Lanetty, partnered with Dr. Alina Szmant and Dr. Rob Whitehead (University of North Carolina at Wilmington) to use newly developed Coral in situ Metabolism (CISME) instruments.

Divers briefing and preparing gear

Inspecting CISME units ready to deploy
These units will allow scientist to study coral metabolism and health in the reef environment without harming the coral.

Divers selecting a coral head to set up on

The IMaGeS Lab is working with NASA  astronauts this month at the FIU Aquarius Reef Base, Key Largo. Astronauts will be trained in the use of the CISME units for data collection, to simulate training activities for their NEEMO Mission.

Large coral head Orbicella faveolata at Conch Reef

08 April 2017

University of Colorado Students at KML

Colorado Eco-Warriors picking up litter near Long Key State Park
Students from the University of Colorado, led by their professor, Dr. Heidi Souder, spent their spring break learning about the ecosystems of the Florida Keys. They were constantly amazed and appalled by the  litter everywhere and did their part to help clean up.

Derelict kayak and other debris removed from Bamboo Key
Assessing dune vegetation
 They kept to a busy daily schedule, traveling to Bahia Honda State Park to assess dune vegetation and study the physical and geological oceanography.

Survey techniques 

 These ambitious students also faced some new challenges collecting data in the marine environment. They learned the basic monitoring skills and species identification necessary for KML's Living Laboratory Benthic Monitoring Surveys.
Setting up a benthic survey grid

Locating a corner of the Living Lab grid

Students measured the direction and speed of the longshore current with fluorescein dye.
Dr. Souder and her class certainly packed a lot of activities into their week at KML and left exhausted but with lots of smiles!

01 April 2017

Last Science Seminar of the season at KML

“Boating Activity in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary”

Preliminary results from an aerial survey of boaters and their activities in the Florida Keys

By Maria Cooksey - FWC/FWRI staff biologist

KML Winter Science Seminar #6
April 5th
Wed. 6:00-7:00pm
KML Classroom

Come join us!

07 March 2017

AAUS Diver Proficiency Workshop

April 14th-17th, 2017

This is an intensive  four day workshop (32 hour minimum) hosted by the Florida Institute of Oceanography at the Keys Marine Laboratory (KML). 

This workshop is designed to provide an opportunity for newly trained, or inexperienced, American Academy of Underwater Science (AAUS) Divers-in-Training (DIT) to gain proficiency in scientific diving techniques.  

Upon completion, the DIT will have successfully earned their 30 ft scientific diver rating while gaining proficiency in many diving skills commonly used in marine research.  

It also allows the opportunity for previously trained and active AAUS divers to maintain their status, as required by AAUS Standards Section 5.60, by providing dives that contribute to the annual number of dives required to maintain their depth rating.  

This workshop is NOT intended to train beginning scientific divers.  Instead, it offers the opportunity to advance or maintain their current AAUS scientific diver status, while learning skills crucial to conducting underwater research.  

If are a current AAUS diver or Diver-in-Training interested in this workshop, you can register through University of South Florida’s Continuing Education website here: http://www.usf.edu/continuing-education/programs/ce-partnerships.aspx

The workshop will be limited to 8 divers. We hope to confirm numbers by March 17th and have all necessary LORs submitted by March 27th

Please contact KML's DSO, Bill Ferrell wferrell@mail.usf.edu  if you have any questions.

27 February 2017

2017 KML Open House

Keys Marine Lab Open House

Saturday, March 4, 2017
Long Key mile marker 68.5 bayside
During Layton Day Celebration


Live animal displays

Slide shows in the classroom
Chat with staff scientists

Informational materials

 ~ ~ ~ Uneven terrain ~ ~ ~
Appropriate footwear strongly suggested

25 February 2017

Science Seminar #5 March 1, 2017

"SEX-sess with Coral Spawning"
New Technologies for Restoration of Massive Corals
By Dr. David Vaughn, Mote Tropical Research Lab

Mote scientists attaching coral fragments to cover dead coral heads
Come join us!
2016-2017 Winter Science Seminars
March 1st
Wed. 6:00-7:00 pm
KML Classroom
Long Key - mile marker 68.5 bayside
Pillar Coral female releasing eggs - Aug 2016

Pillar Coral males spawning in the Dry Tortugas - Aug 2015
photo by K Neely

New pillar coral recruit from human-assisted spawning Aug 2016 - first time in Florida

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