Skip to main content
Skip to main content

Department of Biological Science

at Florida State University

Marine Biology

Students may choose to work with any Department of Biological Science faculty. With permission from the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies, students may also work with Affiliated Faculty from FSU's Coastal and Marine Laboratory.

  • Scott Burgess
    Evolutionary ecology and population dynamics of marine invertebrates.

  • W. Ross Ellington
    Physiological and biochemical adaptations of marine invertebrates.

  • Don R. Levitan
    Evolutionary ecology of marine invertebrates; population biology.

  • Sophie J. McCoy
    Macroalgal populations, intertidal communities, and links between biology, environmental conditions and water chemistry.

  • Andrew Rassweiler
    Field experiments, data analysis and mathematical modeling in the study of temperate reef ecosystems.

  • Janie L. Wulff
    Mutualisms, life history and morphological strategies, predator defenses, and biogeography of clonal marine invertebrates, especially sponges.


Affiliated Faculty

  • Sandra Brooke (Coastal and Marine Laboratory)
    Shallow to deep sea invertebrate ecology
  • Felicia Coleman (Coastal and Marine Laboratory)
    Reef fish ecologist
  • Chip Cotton (Coastal and Marine Laboratory)
    Fisheries Ecologist. Study of age, growth and reproduction in marine fishes.
  • Dean Grubbs (Coastal and Marine Laboratory)
    Elasmobranch ecologist
  • Chris Koenig (Coastal and Marine Laboratory)
    Reef fish ecologist


Marine biological research in the Department of Biological Science has three main foci: (1) the use of marine organisms as effective models for investigating basic processes relating to neurobiology, cellular & subcellular mechanisms, behavior, and ecology; (2) the identification of morphological, physiological, behavioral, and evolutionary adaptations of living organisms to the unique milieu of the marine environment; (3) the assessment of mechanisms underlying the operation of marine populations and communities as they pertain to fisheries and other living marine resources. The investigators draw upon the running seawater facilities of the nearby FSU Marine Laboratory, featuring access to diverse organisms and habitats of a pristine, undeveloped coastline. Complementary expertise stems from participation in biannual international conferences in addition to interactions with colleagues in the Department of Oceanography and the National Marine Fisheries Service and visiting researchers hosted by the William and Lenore Mote Eminent Scholar Chair in Fisheries Ecology.