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Graduate Theses and Dissertations

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Modeling Early Life: Ontogenetic Growth And Behavior Affect Population Connectivity In Gulf Of Mexico Marine Fish, Kelly Vasbinder Nov 2020

Modeling Early Life: Ontogenetic Growth And Behavior Affect Population Connectivity In Gulf Of Mexico Marine Fish, Kelly Vasbinder

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

This dissertation is an examination of growth, behavior, and dispersal during the early life stages of marine fishes in the Gulf of Mexico. Understanding movements of early life stages is a key part of managing exploited fish populations. Position in the water column can impact larval dispersal, since it determines those currents to which larvae are exposed. First, I investigated the relationship between length and age in early life stages of marine fishes. I found that demersal fish taxa tend to be represented by exponential models, while pelagic fish tend to be represented by linear models. I suggest this may ...


Discrete Models And Algorithms For Analyzing Dna Rearrangements, Jasper Braun Nov 2020

Discrete Models And Algorithms For Analyzing Dna Rearrangements, Jasper Braun

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

In this work, language and tools are introduced, which model many-to-many mappings that comprise DNA rearrangements in nature. Existing theoretical models and data processing methods depend on the premise that DNA segments in the rearrangement precursor are in a clear one-to-one correspondence with their destinations in the recombined product. However, ambiguities in the rearrangement maps obtained from the ciliate species Oxytricha trifallax violate this assumption demonstrating a necessity for the adaptation of theory and practice.

In order to take into account the ambiguities in the rearrangement maps, generalizations of existing recombination models are proposed. Edges in an ordered graph model ...


Origins Of Amyloid Oligomers And Novel Approaches For Their Detection, Jeremy Barton Nov 2020

Origins Of Amyloid Oligomers And Novel Approaches For Their Detection, Jeremy Barton

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Alzheimer’s disease, type II diabetes, and other amyloid diseases are known to be associated with the formation of amyloid aggregates. It has been thoroughly researched whether amyloid fibrils or oligomers are the main culprit for these diseases, and recent evidence has connected oligomers as the most disease relevant aggregate species. However, many difficulties have arose in confirming this hypothesis. Techniques for oligomer detection are often limited in their sensitivity, and in many cases are unable to distinguish oligomers from rigid fibrils. Additionally, the role oligomer splay in fibril assembly is still unclear, and has led to the belief that ...


The Use Of Spanish Moss As A Biological Indicator To Examine Relationships Between Metal Air Pollution, Vegetation Cover, And Environmental Equity In Tampa, Florida, Yousif Abdullah Nov 2020

The Use Of Spanish Moss As A Biological Indicator To Examine Relationships Between Metal Air Pollution, Vegetation Cover, And Environmental Equity In Tampa, Florida, Yousif Abdullah

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Studies of inequality in exposure to less common air pollutants, like metals, are often limited by the costs of high spatial resolution measurements. Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides) is a promising bioindicator for measuring air pollution due to its lower cost, enabling capture of time-average environmental concentrations at high spatial resolution. This study had three major aims. First, I aimed to use Spanish moss as a bioindicator to characterize ambient concentrations of selected metals (Ti, Cr, Mn, Co, Ni, Cd, Hg, Pb, As, and Sb) in Tampa, Florida. My second goal was to determine the impact of vegetation cover on metals ...


Succession In Native Groundwater Microbial Communities In Response To Effluent Wastewater, Chelsea M. Dinon Oct 2020

Succession In Native Groundwater Microbial Communities In Response To Effluent Wastewater, Chelsea M. Dinon

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Aquifer storage and recovery techniques are used globally to mitigate increasing demands for groundwater. Microcosms were used to evaluate the effect of wastewater effluent that may be used for aquifer storage and recovery injection on native aquifer microbial communities. Sulfur Springs water was used as the source of aquifer water. The microcosms were 100% spring water, 100% unchlorinated filtered wastewater effluent, or one of three mixtures of unchlorinated filtered wastewater effluent and spring water. The mixture microcosms were 50%, 30%, and 10% unchlorinated filtered wastewater effluent with the balance as spring water. The effluent water was UV treated prior to ...


Biomechanics Of Independent Wheelchair Transfer In Individuals With Spinal Cord Injury, Ashleigh L. Fults Oct 2020

Biomechanics Of Independent Wheelchair Transfer In Individuals With Spinal Cord Injury, Ashleigh L. Fults

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

AbstractIndividuals with a low level spinal cord injury (SCI) at T1 or below must use a wheelchair for mobility and in order to accomplish daily activities, such as using a recreational wheelchair for sports. These individuals must transfer into and out of their wheelchair several times a day. It is most beneficial for the individual to complete these transfers independently, without the help of a caretaker or assistive device. It is important that these transfers be successful and safe, because improper technique can result in a serious injury from a fall or by repeated small damage to the arms and ...


Hepatobiliary Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons In Pelagic Fishes Of The Gulf Of Mexico, Madison R. Schwaab Oct 2020

Hepatobiliary Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons In Pelagic Fishes Of The Gulf Of Mexico, Madison R. Schwaab

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Fisheries populations and their ecosystems are negatively impacted by both chronic and acute inputs of pollutants, including oil spills such as the Deepwater Horizon platform blowout in 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM). After Deepwater Horizon, toxicological studies of demersal fishes of the northern GoM were undertaken to characterize impacts and to establish baseline contaminant levels in the aftermath of the spill. In this study, I quantify polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) concentrations in eight pelagic fish species to demonstrate oil exposure differences between species, region and time. Analysis of biliary PAH metabolite equivalents using high performance liquid chromatography was ...


Feeding Specificity Of The Photosynthetic Sacoglossan Sea Slug Elysia Papillosa, Kourtney Sui Barber Oct 2020

Feeding Specificity Of The Photosynthetic Sacoglossan Sea Slug Elysia Papillosa, Kourtney Sui Barber

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The sacoglossan sea slug, Elysia papillosa is associated with two species of the siphonaceous green alga, Penicillus, which co-occur in mixed macrophyte beds at Tarpon Springs, FL, USA. Field collections revealed that Elysia papillosa is frequently collected from the alga, P. capitatus, but is also present in much lower abundance on P. lamourouxii. Past studies have shown that some species of sacoglossans consume algal species that differ from the algae from which they are collected so, in order to determine whether E. papillosa was consuming either or both species of Penicillus, total DNA was extracted from individual slugs collected from ...


Role Of Ceramide-1 Phosphate In Regulation Of Sphingolipid And Eicosanoid Metabolism In Lung Epithelial Cells, Brittany A. Dudley Oct 2020

Role Of Ceramide-1 Phosphate In Regulation Of Sphingolipid And Eicosanoid Metabolism In Lung Epithelial Cells, Brittany A. Dudley

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Ceramide 1-Phosphate (C1P) is a sphingolipid metabolite which plays a large role in inflammation, cell survival and proliferation1. C1P is known to have both pro- and anti-apoptotic roles in lung cancer cells, governed by ceramide kinase (CERK), upstream of precursor ceramide (Cer)2. Previous work reveals C1P serves as the liaison between sphingolipid and eicosanoid synthesis, by decreasing the dissociation rate of group IVA cytosolic PLA2 (cPLA) from the Golgi membrane, C1P directly activates this phospholipase for downstream eicosanoid synthesis and subsequent inflammatory response3. CERK has been discovered to modulate eicosanoid synthesis, elucidating upstream enzymes may ...


Feature Selection Via Random Subsets Of Uncorrelated Features, Long Kim Dang Sep 2020

Feature Selection Via Random Subsets Of Uncorrelated Features, Long Kim Dang

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The role of feature selection is crucial in many applications. A few of these include computational biology, image classification and risk management. In biology, gene expression micro array data sets have been used extensively in many areas of research. These data sets typically suffer from an important problem: the ratio between the number of features over the number of examples is very high. This problem mainly affects prediction accuracy because it is best to collect more labeled examples than features. A correlation based random subspace ensemble feature selector (CCC_RSM) was proposed to handle this problem [5]. In this approach, first ...


Genome Maintenance Roles Of Polycomb Transcriptional Repressors Bmi1 And Rnf2, Anthony Richard Sanchez Iv Jun 2020

Genome Maintenance Roles Of Polycomb Transcriptional Repressors Bmi1 And Rnf2, Anthony Richard Sanchez Iv

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The coordination of transcription, replication, and DNA damage response (DDR) is vital for maintaining normal cellular homeostasis. All of these processes take place on the chromatin and thus, the temporal and spatial separation of the factors responsible are necessary for each to be correctly completed. Here we detail several novel processes contributing to this network.

BMI1 is a component of the Polycomb Repressive Complex 1 (PRC1) which plays a key role in maintaining epigenetic silencing programs during development. Recently, BMI1 and other members of PRC1 like RNF2 have been implicated gene silencing during the DDR; however, the mechanism through which ...


Microbial Community Structures In Three Bahamian Blue Holes, Meghan J. Gordon Jun 2020

Microbial Community Structures In Three Bahamian Blue Holes, Meghan J. Gordon

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

This study used 16S rDNA metagenomics and water chemistry to conduct an examination of microbial community dynamics and biogeochemistry in three physically adjacent, sunlit blue holes with variable hydrologic regimes on San Salvador Island, Bahamas. Church and Watling’s Blue Holes are holomictic with relatively clear waters, while Inkwell Blue Hole hosts density stratification and waters stained brown with tannins. Based on water color and clarity and physicochemical profiles, I hypothesized Church and Watling’s Blue Holes would be dominated by oxigenic photoautotrophs, and that the bottom layer of Inkwell would be characterized by euxinic (anoxic and sulfidic) conditions and ...


Polychlorinated Biphenyls, Organochlorine Pesticides, And Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons In Snapper (Family Lutjanidae) From Cuba And The Wider Gulf Of Mexico, Brigid E. Carr Jun 2020

Polychlorinated Biphenyls, Organochlorine Pesticides, And Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons In Snapper (Family Lutjanidae) From Cuba And The Wider Gulf Of Mexico, Brigid E. Carr

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The Snapper species assemblage is economically and environmentally important to all three countries bordering the Gulf of Mexico (GoM). Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were investigated in seven snapper species located in the GoM, with a specific focus on the those caught along the northwestern coast of Cuba. Hepatic samples were processed using QuEChERs extraction methodology and analyzed using gas chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS). Nearly all fish included in this study contained detectable amounts of all three groups of these contaminants, regardless of location, and across all regions of the Gulf ...


Transcriptome Studies On The Toxicity Of Silica Nanoparticles, Shih-Yi Hsu Jun 2020

Transcriptome Studies On The Toxicity Of Silica Nanoparticles, Shih-Yi Hsu

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Nanotechnology enables more precise harmony in health condition via reducing the dosage amount, improving the delivery of hydrophobic drugs, more specific targeting to the cancerous sites, and so on. Nevertheless, issues regarding the toxicity of nanotechnology have begun to call for attention several decades later after the innovation of nanotechnology. Tools about risk management of nanotechnology have been developed, but recently not much evidence recognizes the toxicity of nanoparticles (NPs) except for some animal studies, which demonstrated organ damage after the exposure to NPs. Toxicogenomic approach refers to the method utilizing gene expression to evaluate the chemical toxicity. Databases as ...


Non-Invasive Sex Determination And Genotyping Of Transgenic Brugia Malayi Larvae, Santiago E. Hernandez Bojorge Jun 2020

Non-Invasive Sex Determination And Genotyping Of Transgenic Brugia Malayi Larvae, Santiago E. Hernandez Bojorge

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Lymphatic filariasis is a very painful and disfiguring helminth disease caused by the tissue nematodes Wuchereria bancrofti, Brugia malayi, and Brugia timori. This parasitosis is considered a Neglected Tropical Disease and it is a major public health burden for 72 tropical countries of Africa, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, and South America. Despite the effectiveness of many control programs, there remains the need to develop new pharmacological agents to treat lymphatic filariasis, as most programs rely on a limited variety of drugs that are expensive, logistically difficult to obtain, and can lead to drug resistance. The Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic ...


Mass Spectrometry Discovery-Based Proteomics To Examine Anti-Aging Effects Of The Nutraceutical Nt-020 In Rat Serum, Samantha M. Portis Mar 2020

Mass Spectrometry Discovery-Based Proteomics To Examine Anti-Aging Effects Of The Nutraceutical Nt-020 In Rat Serum, Samantha M. Portis

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Aging is a complex physiological process that leads to the deterioration of all cells and tissues throughout the body. Aging is a major risk factor for the onset of many degenerative diseases in both the central nervous system (CNS) and the periphery, but even nonpathological aging (“normal” aging) is associated with chronic inflammation, oxidative stress, and decreased stem cell proliferation and regenerative capacity. This decreased regenerative capacity in stem cell niches is thought to be a key component underlying the aging process and many disease states associated with aging.

While the exact biological mechanisms underlying impaired stem cell proliferation and ...


To Mid-Cell And Beyond: Characterizing The Roles Of Gpsb And Ypsa In Cell Division Regulation In Gram-Positive Bacteria, Robert S. Brzozowski Mar 2020

To Mid-Cell And Beyond: Characterizing The Roles Of Gpsb And Ypsa In Cell Division Regulation In Gram-Positive Bacteria, Robert S. Brzozowski

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The bacterial cell division protein FtsZ is a tubulin homolog that forms a ring-like structure at the site of cell division in most bacterial species. There it acts as a scaffold, aiding in the recruitment of other divisome proteins to the site of cell division. Furthermore, studies focusing on the role of FtsZ treadmilling and septal peptidoglycan synthesis implicates that FtsZ plays a direct role in the ultimate closure of the division septum. Thus, many studies in the field of bacterial cell division have focused on FtsZ in terms of its spatial and temporal regulation as well as its ability ...


An Examination Of Changes In Muscle Thickness, Isometric Strength, And Body Water Throughout The Menstrual Cycle, Tayla E. Kuehne Mar 2020

An Examination Of Changes In Muscle Thickness, Isometric Strength, And Body Water Throughout The Menstrual Cycle, Tayla E. Kuehne

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Women are often excluded from research studies interested in changes in muscle size and strength due to confounding influence that the menstrual cycle may have on these variables. Although there is considerable data showing that strength may fluctuate throughout the menstrual cycle, the thesis that muscle size changes throughout the cycle is based on the premise that changes in body water throughout the menstrual cycle may influence the size of the muscle. Despite this suggestion there is no experimental data demonstrating that the menstrual cycle has any influence on muscle size. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to examine ...


Care: Collecting And Assessing Cancer Family History To Identify At Risk Individuals Educational Intervention For Community Health Workers, Laura Moreno Mar 2020

Care: Collecting And Assessing Cancer Family History To Identify At Risk Individuals Educational Intervention For Community Health Workers, Laura Moreno

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Background: Collection of family health history (FHH) can identify individuals at increased risk and guide disease-specific recommendations for management, early detection, and prevention. Yet, collection of FHH is often low or infrequent despite national initiatives. In the Hispanic/Latino population, community outreach and education professionals (CORE-Ps) have effectively increased cancer prevention and control behaviors; but, limited research has been conducted to assess genetic and family health history knowledge among CORE-Ps. We sought to evaluate an educational program designed to improve cancer FHH and cancer genetics knowledge, self-efficacy and attitudes. Methods: The ARBOLES Program educates bilingual (Spanish-English) CORE-P to increase knowledge ...


Targeting The Eskape Pathogens By Botanical And Microbial Approaches, Emily Dilandro Mar 2020

Targeting The Eskape Pathogens By Botanical And Microbial Approaches, Emily Dilandro

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

There is a vital need to find new clinical treatment options to combat ESKAPE pathogen infections. Nature has thus far been the most fruitful at providing antimicrobial compounds, which have been derived from a plethora of sources. Ranging from plants to microbial communities, these organisms create chemical compounds that are used as defense mechanisms against invasive or encroaching organisms and confer the producers with competitive advantages. In this study, cinnamaldehyde was investigated as a botanical approach to finding active antimicrobial compounds that inhibit the ESKAPE pathogens. Here, we show that all the ESKAPE pathogens are inhibited by cinnamaldehyde concentrations between ...


Journey Mapping The Minority Student’S Path Toward Genetic Counseling: A Holistic Picture, Tatiana E. Alvarado-Wing Mar 2020

Journey Mapping The Minority Student’S Path Toward Genetic Counseling: A Holistic Picture, Tatiana E. Alvarado-Wing

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Reasons for limited ethnic and racial diversity among genetic counselors in the United States may be elucidated through better understanding the experiences of minority students who are attending genetic counseling graduate programs as well as recent graduates. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with minority participants using Journey Mapping to elicit touchpoints that positively or negatively impact success at varying points on the path to becoming a genetic counselor. Touchpoints with negative impacts include; late awareness of the profession, observing the lack of diversity in the field, the financial burden of the application process, and microaggressions from peers, program leadership, and clinical ...


The Role Of Apkcs And Apkc Inhibitors In Cell Proliferation And Invasion In Breast And Ovarian Cancer, Tracess B. Smalley Mar 2020

The Role Of Apkcs And Apkc Inhibitors In Cell Proliferation And Invasion In Breast And Ovarian Cancer, Tracess B. Smalley

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Research has demonstrated that the atypical protein kinase C-zeta (PKC-ζ) is a component of many dysregulated pathways in breast and ovarian cancer, including cellular proliferation, survival, and cell cycle upregulation. Breast and ovarian cancers affect women every day and are second and fifth leading cause of cancer death. Women who seek treatments are commonly met with invasive surgeries or chemotherapy. Protein kinase C (PKC) is a family of serine and threonine phosphorylating kinases that have been shown to modulate and transduce signaling cascades that play roles in the development and survival of cancers. Atypical PKC (aPKC), have been heavily suggested ...


Isotope-Based Methods For Evaluating Fish Trophic Geographies, Julie L. Vecchio Feb 2020

Isotope-Based Methods For Evaluating Fish Trophic Geographies, Julie L. Vecchio

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Data on the movement and diets of fish during a variety of life stages are important inputs to fisheries stock assessments and marine ecosystem models. Stable isotopes may provide previously inaccessible information on movement and diet of a variety of managed and forage fish species. Here I used several novel means of interpretation for stable isotope data to infer diets and movements of several important fisheries species over both short (weeks to months) and long (lifetime) timescales. To calculate a constant partitioning offset (CPO) between the δ15N of muscle and of liver tissue, I conducted a literature search ...


Evaluation Of Optimal Technique For Left Breast Irradiation, Amitpal Singh Saini Feb 2020

Evaluation Of Optimal Technique For Left Breast Irradiation, Amitpal Singh Saini

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Numerous studies have indicated that radiation therapy reduces the risk of the local recurrence of breast cancer in several cases and that it has increased the overall survival rate. Although radiation therapy is beneficial for the treatment of breast cancer, it is known to increase the risk of both radiation toxicity and secondary breast cancer. In left-sided breast cancer, radiation therapy treatment often leads to the heart and its components—such as the left ventricle and left anterior descending artery—being exposed to high doses of radiation because of the proximity of the heart to the left breast, resulting in ...


Springs Of The Arabian Peninsula: Historical Trends, Current Status And Human Impact In Saudi Arabia, Oman And Jordan, Kamal M. Aljohani Dec 2019

Springs Of The Arabian Peninsula: Historical Trends, Current Status And Human Impact In Saudi Arabia, Oman And Jordan, Kamal M. Aljohani

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

This research was conducted to update previous studies of the springs of the Arabian Peninsula (Saudi Arabia, Oman and Jordan). Approach: 76 springs were surveyed in between March and July 2018: 15 Saudi Arabia, 41 Oman and 20 Jordan to ascertain the current status, water quality and zooplankton benthos and fish communities. Investigation of the changes of biota and chemical parameters downstream from the springs source in Saudi Arabia. Results: Mercury exceeded the WHO and USEPA maximum contaminant level (MCL) in 63 of 76 springs, Aluminum exceeded MCL in 8 of 76 springs, and both were the common dissolved heavy ...


Constituent Partitioning Consensus Docking Models And Application In Drug Discovery, Rainer Metcalf Nov 2019

Constituent Partitioning Consensus Docking Models And Application In Drug Discovery, Rainer Metcalf

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

This work expounds on some of the current computational tools and programs available and the best practices associated with their use. A high-level introduction, intended for both novices and the semi-experienced, focusing on the more common programs used in scientific literature is the scope of this topic. Both classical and quantum techniques are described. Classical methodologies include Molecular Dynamics, Monte Carlo, energy minimization methods, molecular docking, low-mode, and homology modeling. Quantum chemistry techniques are also discussed encompassing Hartree-Fock, Post-Hartree-Fock theories, and Density Functional Theory along with associated basis sets.

Along with established methodologies, novel theoretical methods are introduced for furthering ...


Ecological Responses Of Seascape Heterogeneity, Dinorah H. Chacin Nov 2019

Ecological Responses Of Seascape Heterogeneity, Dinorah H. Chacin

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

A core aim of landscape ecologists as well as conservation and management practices has been to understand how processes that structure communities vary as a function of landscape context. Landscape heterogeneity (i.e. landscape composition, configuration) and fine-scale habitat characteristics can influence ecological interactions across habitat patches at a range of scales. Therefore, the main objective of this work is to apply a landscape ecology perspective to understand how seascape heterogeneity can influence demographic rates, community patterns, and ecological processes. To accomplish this overall goal, I conducted a literature review on oyster reefs from a seascape ecology perspective (Chapter 1 ...


Lung Cancer Cells Survive Egfr Tki Exposure Through Upregulation Of Cholesterol Synthesis, Mark Howell Nov 2019

Lung Cancer Cells Survive Egfr Tki Exposure Through Upregulation Of Cholesterol Synthesis, Mark Howell

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer related death in both males and females. About 20% of all non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients are expected to harbor an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) activating mutation. EGFR inhibitors have been shown to provide clinical benefits over chemotherapy for lung cancer patients with EGFR activating mutations. However, despite the initial clinical responses to these EGFR targeted therapies, long-term efficacy is not possible because acquired drug resistance hampers the effectiveness of these therapies. We found that a fiber inspired smart scaffold (FiSS) platform established in our laboratory allows growth of ...


The Peculiar Nature Of Florida’S Sandhill Wetlands, Ponds & Lakes— Their Ecohydrology, Relationship With The Regional Aquifer & Importance Within The Landscape., Renae Starr Nowicki Nov 2019

The Peculiar Nature Of Florida’S Sandhill Wetlands, Ponds & Lakes— Their Ecohydrology, Relationship With The Regional Aquifer & Importance Within The Landscape., Renae Starr Nowicki

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

This dissertation explores the ecohydrology of Florida’s peculiar and poorly studied sandhill wetland and water features, particularly those located in west-central Florida. The primary research goals include: compilation and summarization of the available ecohydrologic information for features across Florida; comparison of water level and water geochemistry data between sandhill wetlands and waters and the regional aquifer to provide evidence of regional hydrologic control; and use of geophysical applications to examine the hydraulic connections between sandhill wetlands and waters and the regional aquifer.

From this research, a natural history of sandhill wetland and water ecohydrology is presented, highlighting: the differences ...


Untapped Potential Of Gorgonian Octocorals For Detecting Environmental Change In Biscayne National Park, Florida, Usa, Selena A. Kupfner Johnson Nov 2019

Untapped Potential Of Gorgonian Octocorals For Detecting Environmental Change In Biscayne National Park, Florida, Usa, Selena A. Kupfner Johnson

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

One consequence of dramatic stony-coral loss has been recognition that gorgonian octocorals (Anthozoa: Octocorallia) have emerged among the dominant reef fauna. However, gorgonians are notoriously difficult to field-identify and consequently have been underrepresented in most monitoring efforts resulting in a lack of long-term data. The rich diversity of habitats, close proximity to the urban center of Miami, and connectivity to other areas of Florida have made Biscayne National Park an active location for reef research since its establishment in 1968. As such, a plethora of data (e.g., museum specimen and species abundance data) has been collected and stored in ...