Principal investigator

Dr Alastair Harborne (email)

I am originally from the UK, and after graduating I worked for Coral Cay Conservation. I then completed my PhD within the Marine Spatial Ecology Lab at the University of Exeter, and subsequently became a NERC Independent Research Fellow. I then moved to the University of Queensland, Australia and was an ARC DECRA Research Fellow. I became an Assistant Professor at Florida International University in 2016, and started the Tropical Fish Ecology Lab.

CV

Post-doctoral researchers

Dr Robby Fidler (email)

I am a marine biologist and conservationist, with a focus on coral reef and fisheries management.  I completed my undergraduate studies at the University of Virginia and my graduate work at the Florida Institute of Technology, where I also served as a U.S. Student Fulbright Fellow in the Philippines. Broadly, my research examines the impact of marine protected areas (MPAs) on biodiversity and fisheries in coral reef ecosystems, primarily in Southeast Asia.  I am particularly interested in understanding how MPAs alter fish community structure, population demographics, and life-history evolution, and how these shifts may affect larger metapopulations. At FIU, I am utilizing a range of data to investigate the ecological and social factors that underlie the successes and failures of community-based resource management efforts aimed at preserving coral reefs in Indonesia. 

Rachel Zuercher (email) (website)

I am an interdisciplinary marine scientist interested in social-ecological connectivity in coastal fisheries. In my position at FIU, I am working to model and map fishing impact in the Florida Keys. I’m using both environmental and socio-economic data sources to better understand spatial patterns in fishing impact, and to explore how this metric of impact can be used to estimate reef fish biomass. I am passionate about research that contributes to our ability to manage fisheries sustainability for ecosystems, fish, and the people that rely on them. Prior to my graduate work at the University of California Santa Cruz, I was a resource manager in the CNMI and a Peace Corps Volunteer working on community-level conservation efforts in Fiji.

Post-graduate students

Drew Butkowski (PhD student) (email)

I am originally from North Carolina, and completed my undergraduate studies in marine science and biology at the University of Miami. My time at the University of Miami helped foster my enthusiasm for marine research and reef fish ecology. After graduating, I worked as a research assistant at the Central Caribbean Marine Institute in Little Cayman, Cayman Islands. While working in Little Cayman, I primarily studied the reproduction and movement ecology of invasive lionfish. I have also been engaged in several other coral reef related research projects with topics including benthic monitoring, reef herbivory, and larval ecology. Now that I am beginning my PhD at FIU, I hope to continue using technology to explore the ways in which tropical fishes move and utilize marine habitats, and ultimately to inform coral reef fisheries management.

Lanie Esch (PhD student) (email)

I am originally from Michigan, and completed my undergraduate studies in Marine Science at Coastal Carolina University. During this time, I was able to grow my passion for tropical reefs by conducting research on species richness and diversity of fringing reefs in Jamaica. After graduating, I worked for the Cape Eleuthera Institute in the Bahamas as a research technician. My project looked at the experimental relocation of juvenile green sea turtles in order to investigate foraging site fidelity, and I also collected data on a project evaluating seagrass biomass around the island. My research interests now focus on the ecological trade-offs of tropical reef fish. As a PhD student in TFEL, I aim to investigate how the structural complexity of coral reefs influences the interaction between predator and prey reef fish.

David Kochan (PhD student) (email)

I am from Virginia, and obtained my Bachelor’s in Biology in 2015 from Virginia Commonwealth University. My research experience includes chemical ecology of macroalgae and hard coral on fringing reefs in Fiji, trout stream connectivity and restoration in West Virginia, living shoreline, salt marsh ecology and ecosystem services in coastal North Carolina, and recreational angler surveys in rivers in Virginia. I am interested in the effects of coral reef degradation and resulting non-consumptive effects on herbivory, and the role of habitat connectivity on reef fish settlement and community structure. I also hope to introduce aspects of ecosystem services valuation into my research, utilizing my first undergraduate degree in Economics from the College of William and Mary.

Shalimar Moreno (MSc student) (email)

Growing up in South Florida I’ve always had an appreciation for nature and the diverse wildlife I was surrounded by. I graduated at the end of 2016 with a BS in Environmental Studies and Marine Biology from FIU. I then interned at the Coral Restoration Foundation (CRF) to grow endangered coral species to actively restore the Florida Reef Tract. At CRF I monitored restoration success after the impact of Hurricane Irma as well as disease outbreak while working more in the Communications and Development departments. After, I returned to FIU where I currently work as the Environmental Coordinator within CASE with a focus on education and outreach. I am now pursuing an MS as part of the TFEL where my interests lie in marine conservation focusing on marine protected areas, coral reefs and fisheries.

PhD committee memberships (FIU)

Carissa Gervasi (email) (website)

Major supervisor: Dr Jennifer Rehage

Peter Flood (email)

Major supervisor: Prof. Joel Trexler

Courtney Knauer (email)

Major supervisor: Prof. Mike Heithaus

Sarah Luongo (email) (website)

Major supervisor: Dr Yannis Papastamatiou

Alex Shenton (email)

Major supervisor: Dr Yuying Zhang

Brendan Talwar (email)

Major supervisor: Prof. Mike Heithaus

Allison White (email) (website)

Major supervisor: Dr Kevin Boswell

Matt Woodstock (email) (website)

Major supervisor: Dr Yuying Zhang

Dr Alain Duran (defended spring 2018)

Major supervisor: Dr Deron Burkepile

Dr Mark Barton (defended summer 2018)

Major supervisor: Dr Kevin Boswell

Co-supervised PhD students (non-FIU)

Marie Seraphim (email)

Lead supervisor: Dr Kath Sloman, University of the West of Scotland

Thesis: "Factors affecting the establishment of fish assemblages on restored coral reefs"

Anna Bakker (email)

Lead supervisor: Prof. Sam Purkis, University of Miami

Dr Rob Yarlett (defended fall 2018)

Lead supervisor: Prof. Chris Perry, University of Exeter

Lab alumni

Dr Matthew Mitchell (Post-doctoral researcher) (email)

© 2016 by A. Harborne.
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Florida International University,

Biscayne Bay Campus, 3000 NE 151 Street,

North Miami, Florida 33181, USA

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