Lab Alumni

 

 

Michael Novotny (M.S., 2018)
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Position/Major: 
M.S. Marine Biology

Education: 
2018 M.S Marine Biology, Nova Southeastern University
2012 B.S. Dual Major: Biology and Marine Science, with a minor in Chemistry, University of Tampa, FL

Thesis: The Assemblage Structure and Trophic Ecology of a Deep-Pelagic Fish Family (Platytroctidae) in the Gulf of Mexico

Research Interests: 
I am interested in understanding the structure of marine ecosystems and how the biotic and abiotic processes shape these communities.  I am particularly attracted to food web ecology and trophic linkages of an ecosystem.  For my thesis, I will be looking at the food web dynamics of the major species found in the bathypelagic zone of the northern Gulf of Mexico.

Achievements/Awards:
Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GOMRI) Scholar (2016)

 


Nina Pruzinsky
(M.S., 2018)
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Position/Major:
Lab Manager/Research Associate
, DEEPEND Consortium

Education:
2018 M.S. Marine Biology, Nova Southeastern University
2015 B.S. Environmental Science with minors in Marine Science and Spanish, University of Delaware

Thesis: Identification and spatiotemporal dynamics of tuna (Family: Scombridae; Tribe: Thunnini) early life stages in the oceanic Gulf of Mexico

Research Interests:
I am interested in researching poorly-studied species/communities because my goal is to provide information to the public and conservation/management efforts to help maintain populations and overall large ecosystems. For my thesis, I examined the identification, faunal composition, and spatiotemporal distributions of larval and juvenile tunas (Family: Scombridae) in the northern Gulf of Mexico (GoM) from 2010 to 2017. Since the Gulf of Mexico is a major spawning area for tuna, it is crucial to investigate the population dynamics of their early life stages in the area affected by the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

During my thesis, I developed a synthesis of the morphological characteristics used to identify the taxonomically challenging larval and juvenile tuna life stages. My thesis also increased the existing knowledge on the identification of juvenile tunas by identifying further resolution of species-specific body ratios of this life stage. Species-specific environmental preferences (e.g., salinity, chorophyll a, etc.) and seasonality were identified as the main drivers of tuna spatial distributions across the epipelagic GoM. Before starting at NSU, I interned in Dr. Mark Warner’s Algal Physiology Research Lab at the University of Delaware where I studied the growth patterns of various coral symbiodinium.

Currently, I am the Lab Manager in Dr. Sutton’s Oceanic Ecology Lab at NSU. I am continuing to work with the DEEPEND Consortium, investigating both tuna early life stages and deep-sea organisms. I helped Dr. Sutton lead DEEPEND’s DP06 research cruise in July (GoM, 2018) and a DEEP SEARCH cruise in September (Atlantic Ocean, 2018). I also manage the DEEPEND and NOAA NRDA ONSAP databases, manage sample collection/processing/storage, write and collate cruise reports, and participate in outreach/education activities. I am also mentoring the lab’s graduate students and volunteers.

Achievements/Awards:
Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GOMRI) Scholar (2017)
Research Grant from the Southern Florida Chapter of the Explorers Club, Inc. (2017)
American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists (ASIH) Graduate Student Travel Grant (2017)
NSU Pan Student Government Association Professional Development Grant (2017)

 

 

Matthew Woodstock (M.S., 2018)
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Position: 
PhD. Candidate/Teaching Assistant, Florida International University

Education:
2018 M.S. Marine Biology, Nova Southeastern University
2015 B.S. Ecology, Evolution and Behavioral Biology, Beloit College

Thesis: Trophic Ecology and Parasitism of a Mesopelagic Fish Assemblage

Research Interests:
I am interested in the trophic relationships of deep-sea organisms and how populations interact to create a community. I am especially interested in the diel vertical migrations of many deep-sea fishes that allow them to be transporters from the surface water to the deep. My thesis project connected the parasite fauna of select fish species (migrators and non-migrators) to their stomach contents. Previously, I worked for the Coastal Marine Education and Research Academy where we tagged sharks and rays in an effort to understand more about the size and age structure of elasmobranch populations near Tarpon Springs, Florida.

My current focus is to develop an ecosystem model of the mesopelagic Gulf of Mexico in order to connect the lower trophic levels (e.g., primary producers) to higher trophic levels (e.g., fishes and squids). This model will be useful to predict responses to the mesopelagic ecosystem in the event of future human-caused disturbances similar to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and can be utilized to develop hypotheses in order to understand more about the deep sea

Achievements/Awards:
2018 Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography Student of the Year
NSU Pan Student Government Association Professional Development Grant (2017)
NSU Oceanographic Center Fishing Tournament Scholarship (2016)

Publications:
Woodstock MS, Blanar CA, Sutton TT (in prep). Diet regulates internal parasites: the relationship between prey items and parasites in a mesopelagic fish assemblage.

Woodstock MS, Sutton TT, Blanar CA (in prep). The parasite fauna of a low-latitude mesopelagic fish assemblage.

Woodstock MS, Moore JA, Fenolio D (in prep). Larsonia pterophylla (Cnidaria, Anthomedusae, Pandeidae) parasitic on Paraconger sp. (Anguilliformes: Congridae) and Callenchelyini sp. in the Gulf of Mexico, new host records and a range extension.

 
 

Kendall Lord (M.S., 2016)
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Position: 
7th Grade Science Teacher at Azalea Middle School

Education:
2016 M.S. Marine Biology and Coastal Zone Management, Nova Southeastern University
2012 B.S. Marine Biology, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA

Capstone: A History of Research in the Bathypelagic Realm, Earth’s Largest Habitat

Research Interests:
My research focuses on acquiring a better understanding of deep-water pelagic ecosystems with an emphasis on the bathypelagic realm. This is Earth’s largest habitat yet it is the least explored or understood. My previous experiences include a dive team internship at the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center in addition to working as a junior research assistant with the IUCN Marine Biodiversity Unit for Global Marine Species Assessment based at Old Dominion University.

 
 

Alex Marks (M.S., 2016)
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Position: 
Research Technician in the Aquatic Ecology and Fisheries Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

Education:
2016 M.S. Marine Biology, Nova Southeastern University
2013 B.S. Dual Major: Zoology and Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Thesis: Reproductive ecology of dragonfishes (Family: Stomiidae) in the Gulf of Mexico

Research Interests:
My research interests are centered on the reproduction of fishes, especially on understudied species such as those found in the deep sea. My thesis focuses on the reproductive ecology of the Stomiidae, or dragonfishes, a large taxon of predatory fishes that primarily inhabit the mesopelagic zone. My thesis used a visual, macroscopic approach as well as microscopic, histological approach of the gonad. Using these methods, I collected data on the size at first reproduction, sex ratio, maturity stage of the gonad, hermaphroditism, and production rate of the 12 dominant species collected in the Gulf. These data are essential for ecosystem-based modeling of global deep-pelagic ecosystems, which contain the overwhelming majority of earth’s fish biomass.

Since graduating from the Oceanic Ecology Lab, I have accepted a 6-month position with the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay as a Research Technician in the Aquatic Ecology and Fisheries Lab. In my role, I am involved with a variety of ongoing lab projects, including monitoring water quality of Green Bay tributaries, stream fish species diversity, otolith microchemistry of larval lake whitefish, and reproductive ecology of fluvial ecotypes of lake whitefish. This species is now returning to the area, after having been extirpated since the late 1800s. I am also involved with our lake sturgeon project, which seeks to assess their recruitment and determine environmental variables that are associated with the onset of larval drift. Our work on these ancient fish was recently featured on the local news. http://fox11online.com/news/local/sturgeon-spawning-underway-on-fox-river-in-de-pere

Achievements/Awards: 
Title V Fellow

 
Katie Bowen (M.S., 2015)
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Education:
2015 M.S. Marine Biology, Nova Southeastern University
2010 M.Ed. Secondary Education: Curriculum and Instruction, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania
2006 B.S. Dual Major: Marine Science/Biology and Biology/Organismal/Ecology, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania
 

Thesis: Connectivity of Coastal and Oceanic Ecosystems: Pelagic Habitat Use by Juvenile Reef Fishes in the Gulf of Mexico

Research Interests:
My thesis focused on juvenile reef fishes that were collected in the pelagic habitat of the northern Gulf of Mexico using a 10-m2 MOCNESS midwater trawl during a 3-month (late spring/early summer) sampling series conducted in 2011.  The assemblage structure, abundance, biomass, horizontal and vertical distribution of juvenile reef fishes were described. Also, my interests include the biota of the deep sea, ocean conservation and restoration, as well as fisheries research.

Publications:

Sutton, T., A. Cook, T. Frank, H. Judkins, M. Youngbluth, J. Moore, M. Vecchione, M. Nizinski, L. Malarky, E. Burdett, C. Fine, and K. Bowen (2015) Oceanic micronekton, nekton and gelatinous macroplankton of the northern Gulf of Mexico from 0-1500 m depth: faunal composition, abundance, vertical distribution, and new records of occurrence. NOAA Technical Report, Office of Response and Restoration.

 

Lacey Malarky (M.S., 2015)
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Position: 
Analyst, Illegal Fishing & Seafood Fraud, Oceana

Education:
2015 M.S. Marine Biology, Nova Southeastern University
2009 B.A. Marine Biology, Rollins College, Winter Park, FL

Thesis: Faunal composition and distribution of pelagic larval and juvenile flatfishes (Teleostei: Pleuronectiformes) in the northern Gulf of Mexico: connectivity between coastal and oceanic epipelagic ecosystems

Research Interests:
My thesis project focused on the faunal composition and spatial distribution of pelagic larval and juvenile flatfishes in the offshore northern Gulf of Mexico. While adult flatfishes are generally found in coastal areas, their larvae develop in offshore surface waters, and are a consistent component of the oceanic ichthyofauna in the region.  My overall research interest lies in ocean conservation and fisheries research and management.

Publications:

Sutton, T., A. Cook, T. Frank, H. Judkins, M. Youngbluth, J. Moore, M. Vecchione, M. Nizinski, L. Malarky, E. Burdett, C. Fine, and K. Bowen (2015) Oceanic micronekton, nekton and gelatinous macroplankton of the northern Gulf of Mexico from 0-1500 m depth: faunal composition, abundance, vertical distribution, and new records of occurrence. NOAA Technical Report, Office of Response and Restoration.

Fautin D.G., L. Malarky, J. Soberón (2013) Latitudinal diversity of sea anemones (Cnidaria: Actiniaria). Biological Bulletin 224:2 89-98. 

 

Jennifer Putland (Ph.D., 2007)

Education:
2011 Postdoc, Harbor Branch Oceanography Initiation
2006-2007 Ph.D. Oceanography, Florida State University

Selected Publications:
Putland, J. N., B. Mortazavi, R.L. Iverson, and S.W. Wise (2014) Phytoplankton biomass and composition in a river-dominated estuary during two summers of contrasting river discharge. Estuaries and coasts 37(3): 664-679.

Putland, J. and T.T. Sutton (2011) Survey of larval Euphausia superba lipid content along the western Antarctic Peninsula during late autumn 2006. Polar Science 5(3): 383-389.

Putland, J. and  T.T. Sutton (2010) Microzooplankton grazing and productivity in the central and southern sector of the Indian River Lagoon, Florida. Florida Scientist 73(3/4): 236.

Putland, J. N., B.E.H.Z.A.D. Mortazavi, and R.L. Iverson (2009) Changes in Phytoplankton and Bacterioplankton Biomass and Rate Processes in Apalachicola Bay, Florida, in Response to Reduction in River Discharge. Gulf of Mexico Science 27(2): 109-122.

 

Kyle Bartow (Ph.D., 2010)
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Position: 
Associate Professor
Indian River State College

Education:
2010 Ph.D. Integrative Biology, Florida Atlantic University
2005 B.S. Dual Major: Biology and Marine Science, University of Miami

Thesis: Taxonomy and Ecology of the Deep-Pelagic Fish Family Melamphaidae with Emphasis on Interactions with a Midocean Ridge System

Research Interests:
As long as I can remember, I have been intrigued by life in the darkness of the deep ocean. I was given the opportunity to study a family of deep-sea fishes for my dissertation research which lives in the deep sea without the aid of bioluminescence. Specimens for this research were collected along the northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge, which could represent a unique interaction of these traditionally pelagic fishes with the benthic environment. My research focused on attempting to reconcile the number of species within the family while also learning more about the ecology of this poorly studied family of fishes. One of the intriguing findings of the research was that melamphaid from the study area had a diet that was comprised mostly of gelatinous larvacean prey. Gelatinous prey have traditionally been seen as lacking enough nutrients to sustain larger fish species, but this research showed that a biomass dominant species of fish could be successful with a diet containing primarily gelatinous prey. Since graduating, I have become a professor at Indian River State College where I teach a wide range of classes and help prepare our bachelors students for a career in the sciences through planning and carrying out their own undergraduate research projects.


Jennifer Bartow 
(M.S., 2008)
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Education:
2008 M.S. Biological Science, Florida Atlantic University
2004 B.S. Dual Major: Biology and Marine Science, University of Tampa

Thesis: Trophic ecology of the slender snipe eel, Nemichthys scolopaceus (Anguilliformes: Nemichthyidae)

Research Interests:
I was always interested in the sea, and the animals of the deep were particularly intriguing. My thesis focused on the diet and composition of a large assembly of deep-sea slender snipe eels off the coast of the Georges Bank.  The common belief of deep sea organisms is that prey is scarce and predators should therefore be fairly opportunistic.  My research, on the other hand, showed that these eels were actually very discriminatory in their feeding, selecting mainly euphausiids and large decapod crustaceans.  Upon graduation, I have since moved into the education field, as a high school science teacher, and am hopefully cultivating a love of the sea in the next generation.

Publications:
Feagans-Bartow, J.N. and T.T. Sutton (2014) Ecology of the oceanic rim: pelagic eels as key ecosystem components. Marine Ecology Progress Series 502: 257-266.

 

Megan Geidner (M.S., 2008)

Education:
2008 M.S., Florida Atlantic University 


Thesis: Spatial and trophic ecology of the sawtooth eel, Serrivomer beanii, a biomass-dominant bathypelagic fish over the northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

 

Andrey Suntsov (Ph.D., 2003)

Education:
2007 Postdoc, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution

2003 Ph.D. Zoology, Marine Biology, Biogeography, Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Moscow
1997 M.S., Virginia Institute of Marine Science
1993 B.S. Moscow State University

Publications:
Suntsov, A. and R. Domokos (2013) Vertically migrating micronekton and macrozooplankton communities around Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers 71: 113-129.

Suntsov, A., J.A. Koslow, and W. Watson (2012) The spatial structure of coastal ichthyoplankton assemblages off central and southern California. California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations Reports 53: 153-170.

 

Phillips, A. J., R.D. Brodeur and A.V. Suntsov (2009) Micronekton community structure in the epipelagic zone of the northern California Current upwelling system. Progress in Oceanography 80(1): 74-92.

Suntsov, A. V. and R.D. Brodeur (2008) Trophic ecology of three dominant myctophid species in the northern California Current region. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 373: 81-96.

Suntsov, A. V. (2007) Brotulotaenia (Teleostei: Ophidiiformes) larval development revisited: an apparently new type of mimetic resemblance in the epipelagic ocean. The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 14: 177-186.