Study Finds High Levels of Toxic Pollutants in Stranded Dolphins and Whales

Researchers examined toxins in tissue concentrations and pathology data from 83 stranded dolphins and whales from 2012 to 2018. They looked at 11 different animal species to test for 17 different substances. The study is the first to report on concentrations in blubber tissues of stranded cetaceans of atrazine, DEP, NPE and triclosan. It also is the first to report concentrations of toxicants in a white-beaked dolphin and in Gervais’ beaked whales.

Read more

Dolphin Calf Entangled in Fishing Line Only Lived Two Years Following Rescue

Researchers examined the outcome of an entangled bottlenose dolphin calf with monofilament fishing line wrapped tightly around its upper jaw. It was successfully disentangled and immediately released it back into its natural habitat. Surviving only two years, results showed long-term severe damage due to this entanglement including emaciation. There are about 1,000 bottlenose dolphins that live in the Indian River Lagoon, which also is a very popular location for recreational fishing.

Read more

Sea Level Rise Report: Impacts to Property and Regional Planning Solutions

A new study reveals that urgent action is needed to protect billions of dollars in real estate investment across South Florida due to impacts of sea level rise over the next several decades. The report casts light on the issues and clarifies the alternatives available to South Florida, which embraces the four counties of Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach. Together, these counties generate more than $337 billion in personal income annually with a combined real property value assessed at more than $833 billion.

Read more

Biotelemetry Provides Unique Glimpse into Whitespotted Eagle Rays’ Behavior

Using uniquely coded transmitters and acoustic telemetry, a study is the first to characterize the ecology and fine-scale habitat use of whitespotted rays in Florida while also identifying areas of potential interactions between this species and multiple environmental threats. Biotelemetry provided unique insights into this species’ occupancy, which is not apparent at the landscape-scale. Prolonged observations showed affinities for habitats of considerable recreational and commercial importance, like inlets, channels, and clam aquaculture lease sites close to shore.

Read more

Back to School?

Dr. Terry Adirim provides answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding COVID-19 and return to school for school-age children. Adirim is a physician executive with senior leadership and executive experience in academic medicine and the federal government. Her expertise includes pandemic planning and response, health care quality improvement and patient safety, and health policy and management.

Read more

Traffic Data Show Drastic Changes in Floridians’ Behavior at Onset of the Pandemic

A study using same-day traffic volumes for March 2019 and March 2020 across Florida examined the chronological relationship of key governmental requests for public isolation and travel limitations. Results show the drastic changes in human behavior during the onset of the pandemic. Traffic volumes by March 22, 2020, dropped by 47.5 percent compared to that same point in 2019. Moreover, traffic declined in March 2020 corresponding with the governor’s state of emergency declaration and school, restaurant, and bar closures.

Read more

FAU Poll Finds Climate Change Still is Important Topic for Floridians in Era of Coronavirus

The third Florida Climate Resilience Survey by FAU’s Center for Environmental Studies and the Business and Economics Polling Initiative quarterly statewide survey shows that 89 percent of respondents believe climate change is happening, up from 86 percent in January and 88 percent in October 2019.

Read more

World’s Most Complete Health Analysis of Nesting Sea Turtles Conducted in Florida

The most comprehensive health assessment for a green turtle rookery in the world to date is providing critical insights into various aspects of physiology, biology, and herpesvirus epidemiology of this nesting population. Findings are hopeful for this population of green sea turtles in southeastern Florida, offer important data on the profile of health for future comparative investigations, and suggest that viruses are endemically stable in this nesting population.

Read more

Could These ‘Salt-loving’ Edible Sea Vegetables be the New Kale?

Skip the salt! Three species of sea vegetables could just be the new kale with the added benefit of a salty flavor. The 10-week study was designed to determine the optimal growing conditions for these sea vegetables that could soon be a great addition to salads, soups, pasta, rice and other dishes in the continental U.S. These nutritious plants for human consumption do not require fresh water and instead are grown in salt water.

Read more

Good Night? Satellite Data Uncovers Dolphins on the Move at Nighttime

More than 1,000 bottlenose dolphins live in Florida’s Indian River Lagoon year-round. Although extensively studied, what they do at nighttime is still a mystery. Using satellite telemetry, scientists provide the first documentation that these dolphins have a larger range that encompasses more habitats than previously thought. They regularly leave the brackish waters of the estuarine system and, not only travel into the ocean, but swim substantial distances – up to 20 kilometers – up freshwater rivers, creeks, and canals.

Read more

Can’t Touch This! Video Shows Blacktip Sharks Use Shallow Water to Flee Huge Predators

Aerial drone footage provides the first evidence of adult blacktip sharks using shallow waters as a refuge from a huge predator – the great hammerhead. Before this study, documentation of adult sharks swimming in shallower waters to avoid predation did not exist. Unmanned aerial vehicles enable scientists to unobtrusively observe behaviors in the wild, providing insight into seldom-seen predator-prey interactions. When it comes to sharks, this “hammerhead” time video proves you “can’t touch this.”

Read more

Facebook Study Reveals COVID-19 Compliance and Coping Behaviors of Floridians

The study provides empirical evidence for various aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as important information about associated social, emotional and behavioral factors. Results could assist policy makers on effective decision-making. In addition, depending on the length and time of social isolation, it may become appropriate to explore the influence of COVID-19 on depression, anxiety and stress.

Read more