Congratulations to the 2017 Carl and Marcella Matthaei Scholars
The Carl and Marcella Matthaei Ecological Scholarship Fund at the Whitney Laboratory provides support for University of Florida scientists-in-training to have access to the Matanzas River Basin, where we can engage in its biodiversity, ecology and conservation. The Matanzas River Basin is a dynamic regional ecosystem, and the Whitney Lab’s campus is strategically located with access to numerous and diverse habitats along the Florida coast. We thank those who have contributed to the Matthaei Ecological Scholarship Fund and would like to introduce you to the 2017 summer scholars. Through generous donation to the endowed fund, we were able to offer two scholars the opportunity to spend the summer working on diverse projects in the Matanzas River Basin.
UF recent master’s graduate Areej Habib joins us from the Department of Biomedical Engineering and has done research in signal processing and will be working with Dr. James Liao this summer to help develop an acoustic sampling technique to identify fish species based on their vocalizations. What has been missing in the Matanzas River Basin is real-time knowledge of how fishes interact and move through the local environment. These movement patterns reveal critical information that is essential for effective conservation management, and the Liao lab will be working with Ms. Habib to lay the groundwork for this assessment.
UF sophomore Emily Sharkey, a Marine Sciences Major at the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, will be documenting diversity of marine invertebrates prior to and after the opening of the Summer Haven River in the Matanzas River Basin, and will interface with the larval DNA barcoding project here at Whitney Lab. This will take advantage of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to assess the opening of the river and improve the general knowledge of the area habitat. Ms. Sharkey will be working with Dr. Todd Osborne and Jose Nunez over the summer and collaborating with the DNA barcoding project in concert with Dr. Francois Michonneau in the Martindale Lab.