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. Topics studied include larval dispersal, population connectivity, population dynamics, life history evolution, adaptive phenotypic plasticity, maternal effects, and local adaptation. I typically use some combination of field and laboratory experiments, field surveys, and mathematical 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.

  • Sophie J. McCoy
    I am a community ecologist with broad interests in ecology, evolution, physiology, and environmental chemistry. My research focuses on macroalgal populations, intertidal communities, and links between biology, environmental conditions and water chemistry. I use a combination of field and laboratory methods to understand natural variability in marine populations, responses of species and communities to climate change and pollution.

  • 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.