PhD Dissertation Defense: "Modeling growth and production dynamics of Spartina alterniflora"

Summary: The goal of this work is to investigate growth and production dynamics of the most dominant salt marsh grass in the southeastern United States, Spartina alterniflora, including documenting the non-structural carbohydrates pool and presenting translocated biomass between above- and below-ground tissues in S. alterniflora during several phenological periods.

Microplastics pollution focus of Evening @ Skidaway Nov. 16

Savannah, Ga. – Tiny pieces of plastic are so pervasive in Georgia’s coastal waters, researchers estimate there are more than a trillion microplastic particles and fibers in the top foot of the state’s inshore waterways. 

The issue of microplastics in coastal waters and what, if anything, can be done about them will be the focus of a special Evening @ Skidaway program on Thursday, Nov. 16, in the McGowan Library on the University of Georgia Skidaway Marine Science Campus. (10 Ocean Science Circle, Savannah, GA 31411) 

Investigating the chemistry of marine aerosol particles and their influence on clouds

The influence of aerosol particles on clouds remains one of the largest uncertainties in accurately predicting the Earth’s energy balance in a changing climate system. The size and chemical composition of aerosol particles affects their radiative properties and ability to grow into cloud droplets, thus influencing the properties and lifetimes of cloud. Recent studies suggest that the presence of surface-active organics (surfactants) in these particles may play a role in cloud droplet growth, but the surfactant properties of aerosol particles are not well-constrained.

Aquatic ecology in Southwest Florida

Dr. Toshi Urakawa is an associate professor of marine and Ecological Sciences at Florida Gulf Coast University, which is a new public university mainly focused on undergraduate study and located in Fort Myers, Florida. In Southwest Florida his research has included: the nitrogen cycle and associated microorganisms; cyanobacteria and freshwater restoration; aquaculture; conservation biology, which include smalltooth sawfish and Burmese Pythons, using molecular ecology techniques.

Sensing more than a quorum: what are bacteria saying about their hosts?

Many host-associated bacteria use pheromone-signaling (PS) systems to coordinate group behaviors.  Such signaling requires high cell density, and is often referred to as “quorum sensing”.  However, a high cell density “quorum” may be necessary but not sufficient to induce a behavior. Our understanding of the light-organ symbiosis between the bioluminescent bacterium Vibrio fischeri and the Hawaiian bobtail squid Euprymna scolopes suggests that the bacteria could use PS as a way to communicate information about host microenvironments.