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February

Scientists have long believed that lobster-like crustaceans first appeared on plant Earth about 360 million years ago. But FIU marine scientist Heather Bracken-Grissom contends the ancestor of our favorite mealtime decapod actually may have started roaming the planet at least 12 million years earlier.

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There is no shortage of tomfoolery in the daily lives of sea turtles. Challenging a feisty crab. Chance encounters with stingrays. Playdates with their closest friends. And fighting siblings to keep them out of their personal spaces. FIU researchers Mike Heithaus and Jordan Thomson are offering an inside peek into the daily lives of sea and loggerhead turtles in Shark Bay, Australia.

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April

Spring 2014 edition of the Florida Coastal Everglades Long Term Ecological Research (FCE LTER) Newsletter “News from the Sloughs”

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May

Marine Science graduate students Andy Schantz and Adam Zenone will be among the research crew during Fabien Cousteau's "Mission 31" at Aquarius Reef Base.

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June

Mike Heithaus has been named interim dean of the FIU College of Arts & Sciences, effective July 1.

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July

Most students spend their summers working odd jobs or catching up on much-needed rest, but a group of doctoral students in the FIU Marine Sciences Program recently took part in a research cruise along Florida’s west coast. Going out 100 miles into the Gulf of Mexico, the eight students were exposed to a variety of genetic sampling and acoustic tools and techniques used to evaluate biodiversity and distributional patterns of marine invertebrates and fishes.

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August

An unprecedented marine heat wave that swept the Southeast Indian Ocean in 2011 has given FIU scientists a glimpse into the future of climate change.

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Located in the sub-tropics and with more than 30 faculty members working in the region, FIU is ideally situated for the study of biodiversity and conservation of the tropics — from the mountains to the forests to the oceans. The School of Environment, Arts and Society (SEAS) unites this research to promote a better understanding of tropical conservation, create opportunities for ground-breaking biomedical discoveries and develop sustainable production methods to address global food shortages.

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The loss of sharks could contribute to the destruction of one of the planet’s most under-appreciated sources of carbon storage — seagrasses. While sharks are often sensationalized as voracious predators, it’s their actual prey that poses a risk to seagrasses, according to FIU researchers.

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Mike Heithaus, newly named interim dean of the FIU College of Arts & Sciences, has devoted his career to studying one of the world’s most intriguing predators — sharks. His ecological work focuses on the influence of predator-prey interactions on community dynamics in marine systems. On the eve of Discovery Channel’s annual Shark Week, which begins Sunday, FIU’s premier shark enthusiast shares five things you may not know about the oceans’ most feared and largely misunderstood predators.

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