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Posted by Evelyn S. Gonzalez × 06/29/2017 at 9:06 am Nestled in the Florida Keys Marine Sanctuary, 10 tree-like structures made of PVC pipes rise up from the ocean floor. They are adorned with plastic cards that hang from fiberglass branches. The cards house growing pieces of endangered coral. An odd sight to see, this group of makeshift trees could help solve one of the greatest environmental problems facing the world’s oceans today — the loss of coral reefs.

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Jorge Moreno from Dr. Heather Bracken-Grissom's Crustacean Genomics Lab receives NSF Grant.

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Scientists have discovered what they believe to be a new species of hammerhead shark, prompting concerns about the species’ vulnerability and whether conservation practices in place today are widespread enough to protect them.

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Using drones, a team of researchers from FIU recently completed a survey of sharks and rays in a shallow coral lagoon along the island of Moorea in French Polynesia. The project could be a game-changer for scientists and conservation agencies that often rely on fisheries, diver surveys or baited cameras deployed in the water for population estimates.

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Alligators are one of the Florida Everglades’ most famous predators. They sit at the top of the food chain and influence the world around them by how they hunt and what they eat. But FIU biologist Bradley Strickland believes they also impact the ecosystem from the bottom of the food chain up.

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FIU scientists examined dolphins from the lower Florida Keys, Everglades National Park and Florida Bay, looking for mercury and organic pollutants in their skin and blubber. Not only did they find high mercury levels in the coastal Everglades dolphins, but they found the highest levels of concentration ever recorded. Potential sources of mercury are both natural and from man-made sources. The finding raises concerns about potential impacts on the health of local populations.

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Four FIU students will have the chance to participate in a groundbreaking research and education expedition into the Arctic’s Northwest Passage in the summer of 2017.

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In an effort to understand the diets of plant-loving fish, FIU Ph.D. student Jessica Sanchez and marine sciences professor Joel Trexler delved into the world of herbivory in freshwater ecosystems. They wanted to develop a research framework for other scientists to follow in studies on the evolution of these diets. Their efforts resulted in a scientific paper that was published in a recent issue of Ecosphere. It was the 800th scientific paper published by research faculty in FIU’s Southeast Envir

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Long before cameras started rolling on the disaster thriller, researchers at FIU’s School of Environment, Arts and Society have been focused on uncovering the far-reaching environmental damage done to the Gulf of Mexico from the oil spill. Their goal is to inform future ecological assessment efforts to better monitor and understand changing conditions.

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Florida’s lobster season kicks off Aug. 6 and, once again, commercial fisheries are trying to get their hands on these savory critters. FIU marine scientist Heather Bracken-Grissom offers insight on one of the state’s most iconic and economically lucrative marine animals.

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