Indian River Lagoon Symposium Features Major Florida Tech Presence, Feb. 6-7

MELBOURNE, FLA.—The Indian River Lagoon Symposium, Feb. 6-7 at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in Fort Pierce, will be well represented by Florida Institute of Technology faculty members and students. They will make or display 13 presentations and scientific posters on a variety of lagoon-related topics. Among the presenters are several members of the recently-formed Indian River Lagoon Research Institute (IRLRI) at Florida Tech.

At the 2014 event will be the following Florida Tech faculty, students and their presentations: Holly Sweat, “The Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory: Promoting Biodiversity for Two Decades;” Sweat and Kevin Johnson, “Roughness-driven Diversity and Composition of Benthic Diatom Communities in the Indian River Lagoon;” Geoff Swain, student Kody Lieberman and postdoctoral fellow Kelli Zargiel, on water quality data; student H.G. Kolb, Sweat and Johnson, “Mesozooplankton Populations in the Northern Indian River Lagoon;” postdoctoral fellows Emily Ralston and Zargiel, staff member Abe Stephens and faculty members Geoffrey Swain and Johnson, “The First Record of the Turtle Barnacle on an Artificial Surface Mimicking a Slow-Moving Ocean Vessel;” IRLRI Director Robert Weaver, “Indian River Lagoon Experiment 2012: 3 Days of Water Quality and Inlet Surveys;” John Trefry and student Yuchao Yan, “Copper Release and Dispersion from an Indian River Lagoon Marina;” Johnson and student Xiao Ma, “Phototaxis of Copepods in Relation to Derived Habitat;” Jonathan Shenker and student Mary Draghetti, “Dietary Preference and Gill Raker Morphology of Albula sp. cf. vulpes in the IRL;” Swain and Ralston, “The Ghost of Fouling Communities Past: The Effect of Original Community on Subsequent Fouling after Cleaning and Transplant;” Sweat, Zargiel, Johnson and Weaver, “The IRLRI: Integrating Scientists, Engineers and Educators to Improve and Sustain Lagoon Health;” and Weaver, Andrew Kledzik and student Joshua Todd, “A Forecast Model for the IRL.”

The poster session, Feb. 6, 5:30-7 p.m., is open to the public; no registration is required. The public forum, “The Lagoon Makes Us All Neighbors,” is Feb. 7, 1-4:30 p.m., and is also open to the public with no registration fee required. More information is available at: About the Indian River Lagoon Research Institute In response to the pressing issues of the health of the Indian River Lagoon, Florida Tech recently established the Indian River Lagoon Research Institute (IRLRI). The institute is a collaboration of the university’s scientists, engineers, coastal resource managers and educators, working independently and with community organizations to improve and sustain the health of the Indian River Lagoon, especially in view of the harmful algal blooms. Leading the new institute are Assistant Professor Robert Weaver, Department of Marine and Environmental Systems (DMES), director; Professor Kevin Johnson, DMES; and Associate Professor Jon Shenker, Department of Biological Sciences, co-directors.

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