Invasive Fish and Tarpon Student Researchers at Florida Tech Earn Guy Harvey Scholarships

MELBOURNE, FLA.—Two graduate students at Florida Institute of Technology are among eight to earn $5,000 2013 Guy Harvey Scholarship Awards for their outstanding achievement in marine science research. They are Tyler Sloan of Hanson, Mass., and Kristin Kopperud of Murray, Ky.

Sloan, a new doctoral student at the university, earned a Florida Tech bachelor’s degree in marine biology in May. His research is on the spread of invasive fish species. Specifically, he is comparing the feeding performance and behavior of lionfish during different life stages and at different water temperatures, under advisor Ralph Turingan, professor of biological sciences. He is a 2009 graduate of Whitman-Hanson Regional High School.

Kopperud is in her third year working on a biological sciences doctorate. A former art museum curator, with degrees in arts administration, agricultural biotechnology and biology, Kopperud now studies vision in the Atlantic tarpon, an important sportfish, under advisor Professor Michael Grace, professor of biological sciences and associate dean of the College of Science.

Kopperud is determining how biological clocks in these fish drive daily changes in structure and function of the eye. She is a 1999 graduate of Murray High School.

The scholarship, established in 2010 through a partnership between Florida Sea Grant and the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, recognizes students at Florida universities whose research focuses on the biology, ecology, habitat or management of fish in Florida’s marine environment. Since the award was established, $84,000 in scholarships has been given to students at Florida universities. Recipients also receive a certificate designed and signed by well-known marine wildlife artist and conservationist Guy Harvey.

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