FSU Biology - Faculty Research Interests - Marine Biology

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
    My research combines ecological and evolutionary principles to study the population biology of coastal marine invertebrates. One main focus is on the evolution of dispersal, reproductive strategies, and life histories. Another main focus is on the ecology and evolution of cryptic species of corals in the genus Pocillopora. We typically use some combination of field and laboratory experiments, population, quantitative, and molecular genetics, and mathematical modeling/theory.

  • Sarah Lester
    I am an applied marine ecologist focused on coastal and marine natural resource management and conservation science. Lester Lab research centers around three closely linked themes: 1) spatial approaches to marine conservation, management, and ecosystem restoration, 2) socio-ecological vulnerability of marine systems to global change, and 3) marine aquaculture and sustainable seafood systems. We apply an interdisciplinary lens to our work and utilize field surveys, data analysis and synthesis, and modeling.

  • Don R. Levitan
    I am interested in the ecology and evolution of marine invertebrates. My work examines the interactions between ecological processes, natural and sexual selection, and molecular evolution. I am particularly interested in how sperm availability and population density influence the evolution of gamete traits and reproductive behavior and the cascading effects of this selection on reproductive isolation and speciation. I enjoy integrating field experiments and molecular studies with theory.

  • Daniel Okamoto
    We study population dynamics, with a focus on how environmental variability, trophic interactions, and management affect viability and productivity in space and time. We partner with coastal and Indigenous communities in our research, with the goal of making resource management and conservation more equitable, ecologically sound, and just. Research in the lab integrates fieldwork, laboratory experiments focused on ecophysiology and energetics, statistical analysis, quantitative theory, and simulation modeling.

  • Andrew Rassweiler
    I am a quantitative marine ecologist with research interests straddling the linked fields of natural resource management and ecosystem resilience. I combine field experiments, data analysis and mathematical modeling to address basic and applied questions in temperate and tropical 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
  • Dean Grubbs (Coastal and Marine Laboratory)
    Elasmobranch ecologist
  • Jeroen Ingels (Coastal and Marine Laboratory)
    Benthic ecologist, meiofauna.
  • 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 Coastal & Marine Laboratory, featuring access to diverse organisms and habitats of a pristine, undeveloped coastline. Complementary expertise stems from interactions with colleagues in the departments of Earth Ocean & Atmospheric Science and Geography, and visiting researchers funded by FSU's Mote Eminent Scholar Endowment.