July Program

Our presentation for the July 11th, 2018 program will be by one of our scholarship recipients from last year Doors open at 6:30 PM at which time the Library, Raf e Table and Sand Flea Market start business. The main program commences at 7 PM.

Title: Using a functional group approach to monitor invertebrate diversity in red macroalgal mats, Deering Estate, Biscayne Bay.

Synopsis: In shallow coastal systems, macroalgae is fundamental as both an indicator of environmental conditions and a contributor to habitat complexity. Biscayne Bay, localized close to a metropolitan area in south Florida, is undergoing heavy management and restoration activities outlined by the Coastal Everglades Restoration Project (CERP). Among the effects of CERP-planned activities and water

management, the bay is impacted by freshwater ‘pulses’ that can cause periodic changes in salinity, and subsequently, macroalgae community composition. However, the invertebrate epifauna that inhabit macroalgae are very little studied. The vast diversity of invertebrates that live in macroalgae also poses a challenge as to how they should be classi ed. These invertebrates would not only be sorted at an appropriate taxonomic scale, but should also answer ecological questions effectively. While this research is an opportunity to survey the diversity of invertebrates that reside in red macroalgal mats, I also propose a functional group approach to classify and monitor these invertebrate epifaunal groups. We want to investigate whether changes in salinity can change species composition and distribution of macroalgae and their associated invertebrate epifauna.

Biography: Lowell Andrew Iporac is a Ph.D Student at Florida International University’s (FIU) Biology Doctoral Program. Lowell obtained his B.A. in Biology from California State University, San Bernardino, where he completed four different undergraduate projects. Among those four research projects, it was an internship at Shannon Point Marine Center, Washington State that sparked his interest in marine biology. Upon transitioning to FIU, he joined the Marine Macroalgae Research Lab (MMRL) with Dr. Ligia Collado-Vides in 2016. His dissertation focuses on marine plant-animal interactions, and strives to understand the characteristics of macroalgae and invertebrates that drive these interspecies interactions. When not reading scienti c literature or conducting bench work, Lowell likes to snorkel at the beach and walk along botanical gardens.