L-R: Nin Gan, Kaipo Davin (back), Florybeth La Valle, Dr. Florence Thomas, Sherril Leon Soon, Jenny Fung
Florence Thomas, Associate Researcher
Ph.D. 1992, Integrative Biology, University of California at Berkeley
M.S. 1987, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Brown University
B.S. 1985, Biology, University of Washington
Curriculum vitae | email@example.com
My research integrates physical, chemical, biological processes to examine many aspects of coastal ecology. My research is basically focused in four interconnected areas: 1) understanding how environmental variation at the scales of organisms affects the ecology of coral reef and macroalgae communities, 2) linking the physical aspects of the environment with organism responses through the application of engineering and physical models, 3) understanding how environmental characteristics influence the reproductive ecology of marine invertebrates, and 4) understanding how human induced changes in coastal systems impact near-shore coastal communities.
Sherril Leon Soon, Ph.D. candidate
B.S. 2006, Environmental Science at Florida A&M University
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Originally from Trinidad and Tobago, I have for a long time had an interest in marine sciences and environmental preservation. I was fortunate to able to combine the two while completing my undergraduate program in Environmental Science at Florida A & M University. Now that I am at the University of Hawai’i, I hope to continue along that path and direct my research such that I can contribute towards a better understanding of coastal ecosystem structure and function and thus also to the development of better management practices.
Jennifer Fung, Masters candidate
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My research interests focus on the effects of urbanization on near-shore environments. Specifically, I study how the fertilization success of the native Hawaiian collector urchin, Tripneustes gratilla, can be used as a biologically relevant indicator of water quality.
Water quality is a major concern for coastal areas, particularly near shallow water coral reefs, which thrive under oligotrophic conditions. Over the past few decades, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii has undergone numerous disturbances due to urbanization, which have contributed to a shift from a coral dominated to an algal dominated system. T.gratilla was a major grazer in the bay, until its population drastically declined within the past couple decades. Therefore fertilization success of this species not only identifies differences in water quality throughout the bay, but also sheds light on the potential for this species to repopulate the bay in the future.
Florybeth La Valle, Ph.D. candidate
B.S. 2009, Iona College
Curriculum vitae | firstname.lastname@example.org
I am interested in how urbanization and development affect coastal dynamics. Specifically, I am interested in bottom-up processes such as the effects of nutrient loading on algal assemblages on coral reefs.
Developed coastal areas are shown to increase nutrient concentrations in both surface and groundwater because of leakage at wastewater treatment facilities and excess use of agricultural fertilizers. Nutrient loading from surface runoff has been linked to increased anoxic events, changes in benthic fauna, and increased macroalgal biomass in coastal ecosystems. This is of particular concern on the population dense islands of Hawaii. Hence, I hope to take advantage of Honolulu’s rapidly developing coastal zone to study these processes.
Hawai'i Institute of Marine Biology
Himb at Coconut Island
Florence I. M. Thomas Ph.D
Hawai'i Institute of Marine Biology
phone: 808 236-7418
fax: 808 737-0501