In the middle of the night on June 24, a 12-story condominium in Surfside, Florida, collapsed. As of July 9, the death toll was up to 78, with 62 people still classified as missing. While there is currently no explanation…
The free online series of short videos are designed to provide basic, jargon-free scientific information on harmful algal blooms: what they are; where they live and grow; and causes, impacts, and potential mitigation of blooms. The series is directed toward resource managers and decision-makers as well as the general public.
Scientists have discovered dramatic changes in the chemistry and composition of Sargassum, floating brown seaweed, transforming this vibrant living organism into a toxic “dead zone.” Results suggest that increased nitrogen availability from natural and anthropogenic sources, including sewage, is supporting blooms of Sargassum and turning a critical nursery habitat into harmful algal blooms with catastrophic impacts on coastal ecosystems, economies, and human health. Globally, harmful algal blooms are related to increased nutrient pollution.
Scientists have confirmed the species and origin of a colony of wild African vervet monkeys that landed in Dania Beach more than 70 years ago. They escaped from the Dania Chimpanzee Farm in 1948 and settled in a thick mangrove forest near the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in South Florida. The facility acted as a zoo and also provided primates imported from Africa as research subjects in the development of the polio vaccine and other medical research.
In support of National Hurricane Preparedness Week, the Gulf of Mexico Alliance encourages all Gulf Coast residents to get ready for the upcoming hurricane season. Individuals, families, and communities all have a role to play in reducing their risk from hurricanes and other natural disasters.
Scientists from Argonne National Laboratory, Northwestern University and the University of Florida report a breakthrough involving a material called borophane, a sheet of boron and hydrogen a mere two atoms in thickness.
A research partnership formed just last year by Memorial Healthcare System and Florida Atlantic University is already being recognized for quality care, results, and advances in research, and that’s great news for patients fighting cancer in South Florida. The alliance between Memorial’s Cancer Institute and FAU (MCIFAU) has been recognized by the state’s Department of Health as a “Florida Cancer Center of Excellence.” It becomes just the fifth in the state, out of more than 80 competitors, to earn the designation.
Building on the success of the “Embrace the Gulf” 2020 campaign, the Gulf of Mexico Alliance is continuing the initiative this year with a new focus on improving the health of the Gulf. This year’s goal is to turn awareness into action through easy steps that make a difference in coastal communities, habitats, and wildlife.
Despite many occurrences of red tide and blue green algae in Florida waters, the understanding of the health effects of exposure to these blooms is limited. Researchers will evaluate short- and long-term health effects of exposure to harmful algal blooms (HABS) in Florida to capture key areas of human exposure and a wide demographic population profile. They also will evaluate the potential effect of exposure to COVID-19 on susceptibility to HABs and health outcomes in this study population.
It was raining iguanas on a sunny morning. Biologist James Stroud’s phone started buzzing early on Jan. 22. A friend who was bicycling to work past the white sands and palm tree edges of Key Biscayne, an island town south of Miami, sent Stroud a picture of a 2-foot-long lizard splayed out on its back. With its feet in the air, the iguana took up most of the sidewalk.
Scientists recently got a unique glimpse into the “Green Banana” Blue Hole thanks to gutsy divers and a 500-pound autonomous, benthic lander. Together with hand-picked, elite scuba divers, the research team is unraveling the structure and behavior of these marine environments by examining geochemistry, hydrodynamics, and biology. Findings from this exploration also may have important implications for phytoplankton in the Gulf of Mexico, including blooms of the Florida Red-tide species Karenia brevis.
FAU’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute has landed an $11,179,001 four-year contract from the U.S. Office of Naval Research to develop a next-generation, high-intake, compact, bathyphotometer sensor for natural oceanic bioluminescence assessments. Bioluminescent creatures are found throughout marine habitats and their “glowing” energy released from chemical reactions is used to warn or evade predators, lure or detect prey and communicate with the same species. Research surrounding bioluminescence will soon serve as an important tool to protect U.S. coastlines.
In a commentary, researchers demonstrate the stark differences in public health strategies from two democratic republics: South Korea and the United States, which have led to alarming differences in cases and deaths from COVID-19. After adjusting for the 6.5 fold differences in populations, the U.S. has suffered 47 times more cases and 79 times more deaths than South Korea.
Researchers will study areas that include counties in south and central Florida and the Panhandle, which are still recovering from Hurricanes Michael and Irma, and which saw an influx of displaced individuals from Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. They will examine resilience of individuals and households, including their coping and adaptive capacities during a busy hurricane season in the midst of pandemic. The research will advance knowledge on several topics related to housing, health and hazards.
Lisa Gwynn, D.O., M.B.A., associate professor of clinical pediatrics and public health sciences at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, has been named president of the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (FCAAP). Dr. Gwynn’s two-year appointment, effective Sept. 6, was voted on by FCAAP members across Florida.
Researchers are developing a comprehensive sensing and information visualization package that will augment Florida’s existing monitoring programs for Lake Okeechobee, the second largest lake within the contiguous U.S. It will expand water, sediment, and biological measurements using innovative harmful algal bloom detection and environmental characterization technologies to allow pinpointing problem areas prior to or early on when harmful algal blooms are emerging in Lake Okeechobee. These harmful blooms are annual occurrences due to favorable environmental conditions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
GCOOS and NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) are funding two new studies designed to uncover the full costs of harmful algal blooms (HABs) across numerous sectors — from tourism and seafood to industries where impacts are less visible, such as healthcare and construction.
New Brunswick, N.J. (April 21, 2020) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick experts William J. Bamka and Michelle Infante-Casella are available for interviews on food shortages and disruptions in the food supply chain during the COVID-19 pandemic. Both work in the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment…
Floridians from all major political parties believe climate change is real and are concerned about its impact on future generations in the state, according to the second Florida Climate Resilience Survey.
Acquiring a better understanding for how objects drift in the ocean has importance for many uses, but most models lack a systematic approach. One new effort looks to provide a clearer alternative. Researchers have released the results from an experiment aimed at tracking different objects as they drift in the Florida Current. Using satellite data, the group developed a new model for how objects drift. They discuss their work in this week’s Physics of Fluids.
Researchers identify the top states as having the largest victim monetary losses and number of victims, and their report shows online crime trends in the last four years before 2019 (2015 to 2018) for the six top states with the highest internet crime activity.
Soils releasing carbon as gas lead to challenges on valuable farmland
Cover crops may increase sustainability of carambola groves
FAU and GSU have partnered on a program to assist children and families affected by addiction. They have received a $2.64 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for a program aimed at improving outcomes of Georgia’s children and families and strengthening the partnership between the Division of Family and Children Services and family treatment courts.
The goals of this project are to help communities guide future mitigation projects as well as to assist local communities in moving up in the Community Rating System (CRS) of the National Flood Insurance Program.
Florida International University and MITRE, a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to research and development in the public interest, have entered into a strategic partnership to work on the most significant challenges facing the nation. The partnership will involve joint efforts to promote innovation to benefit the government and the public; enhance economic development in South Florida; and enhance FIU student talent development and preparation in key areas driving 21st century innovation and job creation.
Scientists located in Fort Lauderdale and Gainesville at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences are conducting research into specific diseases depleting tree canopies throughout the state. The Florida Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) has announced it is awarding grants in the amount of $320,000 to two scientists for their continued research designed to save the tree canopy.
In south Florida, growers and nurseries of tropical plants, vegetables and crops turn to such experts at the Tropical Research and Education Center (TREC) of University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). At the heart of the center that is celebrating its 90th anniversary with a gala fund raising event at the Coral Gables Country Club on October 26 is the Plant Diagnostic Clinic, established to preserve the health of a unique tropical plant industry.
A new study published in the peer-review journal PLoS ONE shows that citizen science volunteers using a relatively low-cost tool can help increase the size and accuracy of a red tide monitoring network to better protect public health from the impacts of toxic algae in the Gulf of Mexico.