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Marine Lab News and Announcements
1 Sep 2011
Marine Lab Associate Professor Jason Biggs has been awarded a two-year $196,000 grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation to examine how predators cope with prey biochemical defenses and how these systems parallel how we as humans remove everyday environmental chemicals (e.g., drugs, pollutants, toxins). The research will use a genomics approach to understand mechanisms of xenobiotic tolerance in the common herbivorous reef fish locally called sesyun (Siganus spinus). A better understanding of tropical fishes' mechanisms for coping with dietary toxins can contribute to resource-management efforts to minimize the public-health impacts of toxic algae (e.g., ciguatera poisoning and harmful algal blooms). For people on Guam and Micronesia that depend on the ocean for food, understanding why some natural products persist in marine food chains can be equivalent to understanding the size and/or safety of our most important resource.
12 August 2011
The Union of Concerned Scientists in partnership with the Ecological Society of America (ESA) honored five young scientists, including Marine Lab Masters Candidate Ann Marie Gawel for their contributions to the discipline of ecology that have extended beyond the realm of academia and into the broader communities of which they are a part. The award consists of a cash prize and a commemorative plaque given during the 96th annual conference of the ESA in Austin, Texas. At left, Ann receives her award from Dr. Doug Boucher, Director of the Tropical Forest and Climate Initiative, Union of Concerned Scientists. For her masters thesis, Ann is studying the community-ecological effects of herbivory by introduced ungulates on native forest structure in the Mariana Islands.
8 July 2011
Congratulations to Carmen Kautz, M.Sc., for successfully defending her thesis entitled "Cytochrome P4501A as a Biomarker of Marine Environmental Contamination in the Scribbled Rabbitfish (Siganus spinus)" (Jason Biggs, main advisor). Carmen has accepted a scholarship to continue her studies in the Ph.D. program in environmental toxicology at Texas Tech University, Lubbock.
11 June 2011
Marine Lab graduate students Roxy Diaz, Allison Miller, Rocky Miller and Travis Reynolds, with Associate Professor Laurie Raymundo, travel to the Philippines for two weeks to survey for coral disease on reefs around the Island of Cebu. The primary objective is to assess reef health in coral communities from marine protected areas and adjacent unprotected areas. The project is part of an effort by the Coral Disease Working Group (CDWG) of the Global Environment Facility-World Bank Coral Reef Targeted Research Program to understand the global decline in coral health.
7 June 2011
Congratulations to Marine Lab graduate student Shayna Jo Afaisen for winning the 2011 Miss Guam Universe Pageant. For her master's thesis, she is studying the statistical association between unique bilateral retinopathies and the prevalence of a mysterious complex of human neurodegenerative diseases endemic to Guam and related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis ("Lou Gehrig's disease") and Parkinson dementia. Shayna Jo will represent Guam at the Miss Universe pageant being held in Sao Paulo, Brazil in September.
26 May 2011
The Hon. John P. de Jongh, Jr., Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands, made a brief visit to the Marine Lab to discuss marine natural resource issues with our director. The Governor is on campus at the invitation of University President Dr. Robert Underwood to present a lecture entitled "Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands and America's Territories - Unique Challenges, Shared Successes" as part of the UOG Presidential Lecture Series tonight at 5:30 p.m., CLASS Lecture Hall. The lecture is free and open to the public.
7 April 2011
Congratulations to Rocky Miller, M.Sc., for successfully defending her thesis entitled "Partial characterization of growth anomalies affecting massive Porites corals on Guam" (Laurie Raymundo, main advisor). Rocky has accepted a part-time position at the Marine Lab as a Research Associate to continue her work on coral disease.
6 April 2011
Congratulations to Katherine Cure Chams, M.Sc., for successfully defending her thesis entitled "The Ecology of Lionfish in their Native Environment" (Jen McIlwain, main advisor). The picture at left shows Madame Lionfish during fieldwork in the Philippines. Katherine has accepted a full-time position as a coral-reef biologist and field Coordinator at the Oceanic Society Field Station, Blackbird Caye, Turneffe Atoll, Belize.
24 January 2011
Congratulations to Susanna Whitfield, M.Sc., for successfully defending her thesis entitled "Diffusion growth chambers for the isolation of novel sponge-associated bacteria" (Peter Schupp, main advisor). Susanna has accepted a full-time position as a microbiologist at the Maryland Department of Agriculture, Maryland, USA.
7 January 2011
Marine Lab scientist Alexander Kerr with co-authors A. Baird and T. Hughes (both James Cook University, Australia) present findings in the latest issue of Proceedings of the Royal Society. Using a comprehensive phylogeny and maximum likelihood methods, the authors reconstruct the evolution of sexual systems in corals to show that the dominant state of reproduction in most reef-building species, hermaphroditic annular spawning, has evolved via an unexpectedly complex series of shifts in reproductive types. Marine Lab Adjunct Research Associate Dave Burdick took the cover photo.
10 November 2010
Congratulations to Sparky Priest, M.Sc., for successfully defending his thesis entitled "Connectivity of Siganus spinus populations across the western Pacific" (Jen McIlwain, main advisor). Sparky has accepted a full-time position as a research technician in the Department of Marine Science and Engineering, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia.
10 October 2010
Marine Lab scientist Rob Rowan publishes a letter in the New York Times arguing the necessesity of an efficacy-driven (contra a market-driven) pharmaceutical industry. See also his 15 April 2010 letter to the New York Times regarding the unfair burden of a value-added tax on retirement benefits.
7 October 2010
Congratulations to Sheena Abellana, M.Sc., for successfully defending her thesis entitled "Post-settlement growth and spatial differences in the diet of Naso unicornis and Naso lituratus recruits around Guam" (Jen McIlwain, main advisor). Sheena is taking some well-earned time off with a holiday in Hawaii and then Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia!
16 Sep 2010
Associate Professor Alexander Kerr is part of a team of principal investigators (D. Janies, Ohio State, Lead Investigator) awarded a five-year grant of $3 million from the National Science Foundation for their collaborative project entitled "Assembling the Echinoderm Tree of Life". The goal of the research is to resolve the broad-scale relationships among extant and extinct forms of echinoderms using genomic and morphological data, as well as provide a phylogenetic platform to test hypotheses from paleobiology and developmental biology about the evolution of this group.
6 August 2010
Marine Lab Adjunct Research Associate Dave Burdick has set up a website documenting the diversity and beauty of Guam's marine life at www.guamreeflife.com. The site has nearly 10,000 photographs of over 1500 species of fishes and invertebrates from 130 sites around our island. The site is "dedicated to promoting awareness of Guam's marine biodiversity through free access to hundreds of images of reef life from Guam's nearshore waters, to informationabout the health of Guam's coral reefs, information about current reef conservation efforts, and ways you can help."
3 August 2010
The University of Guam Sea Grant Extension Program headed by Marine Lab Assistant Professor Jason Biggs receives a $92,000 grant from the National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA, for reviving, demonstrating and teaching pre-contact fishing techniques from the Mariana Islands. This approach is unique worldwide and promises to create fisheries that are sustainable, culturally relevant and refreshingly independent of a Western economy now experiencing rising costs of fuel and manufactured items. At left, a photograph of a traditonal Chamorro set net or tiken woven by Guam fishermen and traditional artisans Joe and Ray Viloria.
16 Jul 2010
Associate Professor Peter Schupp and co-authors, including two Marine Lab alumni Raphael Ritson-Williams and Valerie J. Paul, present findings in the latest issue of PLoS one. The report suggests that mass-spawning corals do not acquire, or are not colonized by, detectable numbers of bacteria until after larval settlement and development of the juvenile polyp. This in turn will lead to new understanding of how corals regulate their bacterial communities.
20 Jun 2010
Congratulations to recent Marine Lab graduate Ciemon Caballes for winning Best Presenter in the student competition at the Second Asia Pacific Coral Reef Symposium, Phuket, Thailand. His talk was entitled "The Role of Chemical Signals on the Feeding Behavior of the Crown-of-Thorns Seastar, Acanthaster planci". This conference also saw a keynote speech by Marine Lab Associate Professor Laurie Raymundo, entitled "Swine flu. Bird flu...And Now Coral flu? Why We Need to be Concerned."
7 Jun 2010
Students of holothuroid systematics from around the world will converge this summer on the University of Guam's Marine Laboratory to study the latest in integrative taxonomy. The workshop, sponsored by the U.S. National Science Foundation and organised by Gustav Paulay (University of Florida) and Marine Lab's Alexander Kerr, will take advantage of the combined expertise of mentors from the Aspidochirote Working Group, an easily accessable and diverse Indo-Pacific coral-reef holothuroid fauna, the online literature resources developed as part of this project, as well as the well-equipped facilities at the Marine Lab. Participants hail from Belgium, Colombia, France, Guam, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Philippines, Micronesia and the continental U.S.
5 Jun 2010
The Marine Lab welcomes its newest and tiniest member, Ashley Kealani, who was born today on Guam to Assistant Professors Laura Biggs and her husband Jason. This is the proud parents first F1. At left, is Dad's first photo of his amazing new daughter who is enjoying a well-earned rest in her mother's arms on her zeroth birth-day after all that commotion earlier this morning. Buenas noches, neni girl....
5 May 2010
It is with a sad heart that we must report the passing of former Marine Lab student Bill Robson who died unexpectedly at his home in San Diego recently at the age of 39. While at the Lab, Bill was perhaps best remembered not only for his quiet and warm personality, but for his original artwork on what has become the iconic Marine Lab t-shirt. In later years, he also became a respected big-wave rider in southern California. Creative, adventurous and thoughtful, a waterman and artist, Bill found himself amongst kindred spirits at the Marine Lab, and he will be missed. Our hearts go out to his wife and parents during this difficult time.
6 April 2010
Congratulations to Sun Kim, M.Sc., for successfully defending his thesis entitled "Molecular systematics of the tropical sea cucumbers Bohadschia (Holothuriidae: Holothuroidea)" (Alex Kerr, main advisor). Sun has accepted a full-time position as a biologist at the Korean Oceanographic Research and Development Institute, Seoul, Korea.
16 March 2010
Congratulations to Alyssa Marshell, M.Sc., for successfully defending her thesis entitled "Population dynamics of two species of Naso (Teleostei: Acanthuridae), with an emphasis on movement patterns, population estimates and distribution and abundance" (Jen McIlwain, main advisor). Alyssa has accepted a full scholarship to further her studies in coral-reef ecology as a PhD student in the School of Biological Sciences, University of Queensland, Australia under the supervision of Dr. Peter Mumby.
5 March 2010
Associate Professor Alexander Kerr was awarded a two-year grant of $121,000 from U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration Coral Reef Initiative to study the population structures of Guam's holothuroids (Echinodermata). The funding will permit assessment of the management and conservation status of these often commercially valuable reef organisms as they come under the increasing threat of overexploitation.
11 February 2010
This week Marine Lab Masters candidate Mark Priest and visiting PhD candidate from the University of Western Australia (UWA) Steve Lindfield, embarked on a two-week cruise aboard the NOAA research vessel Oscar Elton Sette. Their trip is part of a collaboration between Marine Lab scientists Drs Jennifer McIlwain and Andrew Halford, the NOAA Pacific Island Fisheries Center and Dr Euan Harvey (UWA) to conduct a fisheries independent assessment of Galvez Bank and Rota, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas. Steve and Mark will deploy baited remote video stations to quantify relative abundance of targeted reef fish species occurring below 30 m. These data will complement fish diversity and biomass estimates collected by the NOAA CRED team using diver surveys at shallower depths. Follow the lads' adventures at Fish 250.
15 January 2010
Marine Lab faculty meet with staff members of the Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, U.S. House of Representatives, to discuss marine policy issues affecting Guam and the Mariana Islands. Visiting members included Mr. Randall Ackerman (Department of Defense Fellow, Office of Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo), Ms. Bonnie Bruce (House Minority Professional Staff), and Mr. Jed Bullock (Legislative Staff).
17 December 2009
Congratulations to Jong Rojas, M.Sc., for successfully defending his thesis entitled "Reef rehabilitation through transplantation of Porites rus and macroalgal weeding" (Laurie Raymundo, main advisor). Jong has accepted a position as a marine biologist at the Coastal Conservation and Education Foundation, Cebu City, Philippines.
6 October 2009
Associate Professor Laurie Raymundo and co-authors present findings in the latest issue of PLoS one. The report shows that fish farms are a probable source of pathogens of corals. The data highlight a need for improved aquaculture practices that can achieve both sustainable industry goals and long-term coral reef survival. Access the article here.
29 September 2009
Marine Lab scientists Laurie Raymundo, Andrew Halford and Alexander Kerr (with A. Maypa, University of Hawaii) show that healthy coral reefs possess a functionally diverse fish community and a low incidence of coral disease. The authors' paper, appearing today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that reefs with reduced fishing pressure incur less coral disease than those whose diversity has been reduced by overfishing. This suggests that marine protected areas can serve as a novel management tool for increasing coral health.
26 September 2009
The Marine Lab welcomes its newest and cutest member, Luna Isa, who was born today in Ipan, Guam to Else Demeulenaere, her husband Assistant Professor Tom Schils and their sons Bas and Ekko. Heidi Demeulenaere & Ine Schils are the Belgian godmothers; Rhonda Carlson Rekdahll is the Guamanian godmother.
25 September 2009
Congratulations to Ciemon Caballes, M.Sc., for successfully defending his thesis entitled "Role of chemical signals on the feeding behavior of crown-of-thorns seastar Acanthaster planci (Linnaeus, 1758)" (Peter Schupp, main advisor). Ciemon has accepted a position as a Research Associate at the Marine Lab to continue his studies of A. planci behaviour and chemical ecology.
9 July 2009
The Western Pacific Fisheries Council has highlighted the need to reconcile the ascription of scientific and Chamorro nomenclatures of local fishes. Therefore, the Marine Lab has prepared a draft report for public input. The 50-page report provides the most comprehensive list of Chamorro fish names to date with 272 names collected by consulting numerous Chamorro fishermen from Guam, Rota, Tinian and Saipan, as well as historical records in English, French, German and Spanish spanning the last four centuries. The Marine Lab welcomes public input on this document from fishermen and other native speakers. For a copy contact Alexander Kerr.
16 July 2009
The Hon. Datuk Maximus Johnity Ongkili, Minister of Science, Technology & Innovation, Government of Malaysia, and Prof. Dr. Nor Aieni Binti Haji Mokhtar Undersecretary/Director, National Oceanography Directorate, Ministry of Science, Technology & Innovation, Government of Malaysia visited to discuss partnerships with the Marine Lab. Following the reception, Marine Lab faculty provided brief presentations to the ministers on our marine research.
16 June 2009
Assistant Professor Laurie Raymundo accepted an appointment as an adjunct faculty member at the School of Biological Sciences, University of Queensland, Australia. Laurie is currently working with U.Q. faculty to understand the causes and spread of disease of corals, as well as the role that marine protected areas play in preserving reef health.
6 May 2009
Congratulations to Kathryn Chop, M.Sc., for successfully defending her thesis entitled "Lek-like behavior of the parrotfish Chlorurus sordidus (Labridae: Scarinae), on a resident spawning aggregation site at Guam, Mariana Islands" (Terry Donaldson, main advisor). Kathryn has accepted a position as a biologist at PCR Environmental, Inc., Guam, USA.
20 March 2009
The Marine Lab welcomes its newest members, Paul and Philip (far left and left, respectively), who were born on a sunny Friday morning in Germany to ML Affiliate Assistant Professor Claudia Kohlert and ML Director Peter Schupp. Congratulations to the twins, and to their happy parents, on the boys' big day.
21 January 2009
A new Marine Lab report is out, summarizing progress over the last four years since our rennaissance as a fully staffed unit. From the section on the unit's history: "In 1970, the University of Guam’s Marine Laboratory, at its founding, became one of the first research units in the world specialising in the study of coral reefs. The Marine Lab, in no small measure, became instantly significant simply by virtue of its existence in a poorly explored region of the biosphere...." Access a copy of this report, from our Special Report series at our Products page.
15 January 2009
Assistant Professor Jenny McIlwain and Research Associate Brett Taylor were awarded a two-year grant of $217,000 from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service entitled "Movement patterns, recruitment, and spawning frequency of Lethrinus harak in relation to Guam's marine preserves". The funding will permit assessment of the biology, and the effectiveness of marine protected areas in protecting stocks, of this species.
13 January 2009
Research Associate Andrew Halford and co-authors present findings in the journal Global Change Biology. The report shows that isolated reef systems are unexpectedly resilient to disturbance from bleaching, even when exacerbated by cyclones. The resilience appears due to habitat heterogeneity and a refuge in depth.
12 December 2008
Congratulations to Brett Taylor, M.Sc., for successfully defending his thesis entitled "The effects of protected area management on the population biology and reproduction of Lethrinus harak from the inshore waters of Guam" (Jenny McIlwain, main advisor). Brett has accepted a full scholarship to further his studies in coral-reef ecology as a PhD student in the Department of Marine and Tropical Biology, James Cook University, Australia, under the advisement of Prof. Gary Russ.
9 December 2008
Congratulations to Lisa Chau, M.Sc., for successfully defending her thesis entitled "Will Symbiodinium Populations in Pocillopora verrucosa Change with Temperature?" (Chris Lobban, main advisor). Lisa is now enjoying working with a consortium of independent web designers and developers in Baguio, Philippines.
1 October 2008
Assistant Professor Terry Donaldson was awarded a two-year grant of $140,000 from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service entitled "Determination of reef fish spawning aggregation sites on Guam. Phase II." The grant is part of a multi-year project to characterize spawning aggregations of reef fishes around Guam. The project seeks to understand the spatial and temporal dynamics of reef-fish spawning aggregations and to test hypotheses regarding site characteristics, spawning aggregation behavior and ecology. The study will then provide recommendations to local fish and wildlife agencies about the conservation and management of spawning aggregations.
22 September 2008
Assistant Professor Jason Biggs was interviewed for the History Channel documentary series Evolved!, in an episode entitled "Venoms" that examines the evolution and ecology of venoms, slated to appear this November (check local listings for times). Jason studies the ecology, physiology, genetics and pharmaceutical potential of neogastropod venoms, especially those in cone snails (Conus spp.), presently showing the most promise medically.
27 August 2008
Assistant Professor Tom Schils, Associate Professor Peter Schupp and Research Associate Andrew Halford were awarded a $200,000 contract by the U.S. Navy to conduct an environmental assessment of algae, macroinvertebrates, corals and fishes in coral-rich areas of Apra, Guam. Apra Harbor is one of the most diverse reef environments in the Mariana Archipelago.
23 July 2008
Associate Professor Peter Schupp and co-authors present findings in the July issue of PLoS one. The report is the first to show that marine biofilms persist, and that the organisms which produce and live in them avoid predation, via a chemical defense. Access the article here.
7 July 2008
Associate Professor Laurie Raymundo is senior editor and co-author of a new book on the etiology and management of coral diseases, Coral Disease Handbook: Guidelines for Assessment, Monitoring & Management. The book summarizes the most recently developed methods for studying the ecology, and mitigating the damage, of coral diseases. Accompanying the book is a set of identification cards for identifying diseases and syndromes known globally. Obtain a copy at www.gefcoral.org. See other books by Marine Lab personnel HERE.
30 April 2008
Congratulations to Marine Lab Masters candidates on receiving travel awards from learned societies hosting conferences this summer. Susanna Whitfield will use her award to present work at the biennial meeting of the International Society of Microbial Ecology in Cairns, Australia. Brett Taylor, Jong Rojas and Ciemon Caballes will present at the quadrenniel 11th International Coral Reef Symposium in Ft Lauderdale, Florida.
25 April 2008
Associate Professor Laurie Raymundo has been appointed as an adjunct faculty member of the Section of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University.
21 April 2008
Welcome to Marine Lab Marine Technician II Joe Cummings. Joe will be captaining our vessels as part of the Marine Lab's recent significant upswing in extramurally funded marine operations. A native of Guam, Joe has been fishing, diving and plying local waters since childhood, experience that the Marine Lab is now fortunate to benefit from.
14 March 2008
Assistant Professor Jason Biggs was recently recognised on the floor of the 110th United States Congress by Guam's Congresswoman, the Hon. Madeline Z. Bordallo, in an address beginning, "Madam Speaker, I rise today to recognize the dedication and commitment of Dr. Jason Biggs to our community of Guam." The complete address can be found in the Congressional Record, the official record of the proceedings of the U.S. Congress.
13 March 2008
The Marine Lab hosts the first talk in a year-long, monthly series of public lectures held in celebration of the International Year of the Reef, 2008. Organised by Marine Lab Manager Susanne Wilkins, the series will host informative talks on reef biodiversity, conservation and policy, with an emphasis on the scientific and management issues of Micronesia.
11 February 2008
Assistant Professor Alexander Kerr has accepted an appointment as an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University.
5 January 2008
The Marine Lab welcomes new faculty member Assistant Professor Jason Biggs. Jason joins us from the Department of Biology, University of Utah, where he was a U.S. National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellow studying the pharmacological potential of venomous molluscs.
5 January 2008
Assistant Professor Jenny McIlwain (with Kevin Rhodes, University of Hawaii) was awarded a two-year grant of $115,000 from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service entitled "Assessing patterns of movement and life-history traits of the orangespine unicorn fish (Naso lituratus) in relation to marine preserves on Guam". The funding will permit assessment of the biology, and the effectiveness of marine protected areas in protecting stocks, of this species.
3 January 2008
Extension Agent IV Barry Smith received a one-year award of $140,000 from SWCA Environmental Consulting, Honolulu Hawaii to monitor the coral-reef associated biota of Orote Point, Guam. The funding will permit a baseline assessment of the abundance distribution of corals, algae, fishes and invertebrates of the fringing reefs.
3 December 2007
Assistant Professors Tom Schils and Alexander Kerr were awarded (with L Raulerson, CNAS) a two-year grant of $100,000 from the National Science Foundation entitled "Improvements to the GUAM Herbarium." The grant will provide funding to rennovate the university's Herbarium and digitise its collections, including the extensive holdings of marine plants.
29 November 2007
The Marine Lab welcomes its newest and youngest member, Ekko, who was born today in Ipan to Else Demeulenaere, her husband Assistant Professor Tom Schils and their son Bas. At left, little Ekko falls fast asleep while pumping his fists in victory over a second straight day of post partum milestones. Shhhh... Guten noct, klien Ekko.
27 November 2007
Congratulations to Nola Meyer, M.Sc., for successfully defending her thesis entitled "Fish Assemblages of Soft-Coral Communities" (Jenny McIlwain, main advisor). Nola has accepted a position as a scientist in an environmental science laboratory, Lafayette, Louisiana.
1 October 2007
Assistant Professor Terry Donaldson was awarded a two-year grant of $112,000 from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service entitled "Determination of reef fish spawning aggregation sites on Guam. Phase I." The grant is part of a multi-year project to characterize spawning aggregations of reef fishes around Guam. The project seeks to understand the spatial and temporal dynamics of reef-fish spawning aggregations and to test hypotheses regarding site characteristics, spawning aggregation behavior and ecology. The study will then provide recommendations to local fish and wildlife agencies about the conservation and management of spawning aggregations.
8 August 2007
Congratulations to recent Marine Lab graduate Lee Goldman, M.Sc., on winning the Best Poster Award at the the Asia-Pacific Aquaculture Conference 2007 in Ha Noi, Viet Nam for his presentation of work done while a student at the Marine Lab, entitled "Evaluation of live versus artificial food on growth of the coral Pocillopora damicornis."
26 July 2007
Graduate students Michelle Hoffman and Kris Netchy with Assistant Professor Alex Kerr survey the reefs around the western Caroline Island of Yap. At least four new species of holothuroids were discovered, including a tiger-striped Actinopyga. Technical support will be provided by the Yap State government, who have requested that Marine Lab assist with a survey of holothuroids around the main island, which has recently become exploited by foreign interests for their invertebrate resources.
24 July 2007
Congratulations to Robert Tomasetti, M.Sc., for successfully defending his thesis entitled "Global Biogeography of Marine Algae" (Tom Schils, main advisor). Robert has accepted a position as a marine biologist at the Banyan Tree Marine Laboratory, Vabbinfaru, Republic of Maldives.
24 July 2007
Congratulations to Marine Lab MSc candidate Lisa Chau for being awarded an NSF-sponsored internship at the Summer Training Academy for Research in the Sciences (STARS) held at the University of California at San Diego. Lisa was one of only 30 students selected nationwide to study at the eight-week program. The academy provides research experience and preparation for the challenges of a doctoral program in biology.
5 May 2007
Marine Lab Research Associate Andrew Halford and Assistant Professor Jenny McIlwain were awarded a three-year grant of $312,000 from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service entitled "Connectivity of Reef-Fish Populations within the Mariana Islands and Greater Micronesian Region." The funding will permit assessment of the population structure of Siganus spp., important information when developing management strategies for these heavily fished species.
19 April 2007
Associate Professor Peter Schupp was awarded a four-year grant of $410,000 from the National Institutes of Health entitled "New Approaches to Sponge-Microbial Symbioses." The grant will permit the use of new techniques to isolate and investigate new compounds of potential pharmacological significance from microbes living on sponges.
13 March 2007
The Marine Lab hosts the public during the University of Guam's Charter Day, 13 March, from 9 AM to 3 PM. Visit the Marine Lab and experience the touch tank, view static displays, posters, and videos.
27 February 2007
Welcome, participants of the Central Pacific Coral Disease Workshop: Protocols for Assessment, Monitoring and Outbreak Investigation. Participants in this NOAA-sponsored workshop will come from around the tropical Pacific to discuss new methods of investigating disease threats to reef corals. Guest speakers include, Andy Bruckner (NOAA, Wash., D. C.) and Cheryl Woodley (Coral Disease and Health Consortium, Hollings Marine Laboratory). For more information, contact the workshop organizer, Assistant Professor Laurie Raymundo and see links for participants here.
13 February 2007
Congratulations to Lee Goldman, M.Sc. for a successful defense of his thesis "Effects of interspecific competition on the growth and morphology of cultured Acropora pulchra and Porites cylindrica" (Laurie Raymundo, main advisor). Lee, with his wife Jasmine and their daughter Lorelai, are now owners and operators of S.E. Asia Kayak Tours Palawan.
12 January 2007
Assistant Professors Terry Donaldson and Tom Schils are teaching a new graduate course Advances in Biogeography.
15 December 2006
A new website, Systema Aspidochirotidae by Assistant Professor Alex Kerr will document the systematics of coral-reef sea cucumbers. This group of organisms is experiencing intense overfishing on many reefs worldwide, yet, for their size, they remain some of the most poorly known animals on the planet. The site is part of an NSF-sponsored project (with former Marine Lab faculty member Gustav Paulay, Univ. Florida) to produce monographic revisions of poorly known groups and to train students in taxonomy and phylogenetics.
6 September 2006
Assistant Professor Terry Donaldson is co-author of a new book documenting the destruction wrought by the live reef-fish food trade. From the publisher's review: "The picture that emerges from this book is extremely worrying: the LRFF trade has caused degradation of the resources on which the trade depends, and hence has to move farther and farther from the main market centers in order to continue to supply them. The book provides scientific evidence for the need to curb and manage the capture of wild live reef food fish, and proposes ways to help entrepreneurs and fishers reform the trade based on limiting fish capture and hatchery rearing the fish." Learn more at the publisher's website. Check out other books by Marine Lab personnel HERE.
5 April 2006
The Marine Lab is featured in the University of Guam Magazine: "The Marine Lab annually pulls in grants totaling more than one million dollars for projects ranging from environmental impact studies, to studying marine organisms for possible pharmaceutical development, to creating elementary curriculum called Reef in a Box so school children learn early on to value and appreciate coral reefs. Marine Lab faculty members work with scientists at other universities around the world on a variety of projects that include the common goal of conserving, monitoring, and managing marine resources" Read more....
19 April 2006
Assistant Professor Peter Schupp was awarded a three-year grant of $193,000 from the National Institutes of Health entitled "Cultivation of microorganisms from marine invertebrates and screening of extracts and pure compounds for possible anti-cancer activities." This funding will be used to assess the culturability of microbes of potential pharmacological significance.
13 March 2006
The Marine Lab celebrated its 35th anniversary with an open house and ceremony. In addition to current Marine Lab faculty, those in attendance included the Hon. Felix P. Comacho, Governor of Guam, The Speaker and other members of the 28th Guam Legislature, the Marine Lab's first director Dr. Robert S. Jones and faculty emeriti Drs. Lucius G. Eldredge, James A. Marsh, Jr., Richard H. Randall, and Roy T. Tsuda. A slideshow of the event can be found HERE.
15 March 2006
Assistant Professor Tom Schils has been awarded a three-year grant of $333,000 from the Fonds voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek – Vlaanderen (Research Foundation – Flanders), Belgium, entitled "Spatiotemporal variation in benthic macroalgal communities of the Arabian Sea".
1 March 2006
The Marine Lab welcomes two new faculty members: Jenny Mcilwain was an assistant professor at Sultan Qaboos University, Oman and Tom Schils joins us from Ghent University, Belgium where he was a postdoctoral fellow.
2 February 2006
Congratulations to affiliated faculty member Bob Richmond (University of Hawai'i at Manoa) who was selected as a Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation for his work on coral reefs carried out as a faculty member of the Marine Lab. See the award announcement.
20 January 2006
The Marine Lab hosts the Workshop on Introduced Marine Species, an NOAA-sponsored meeting to increase awareness of the importance of marine invasive species. In attendance were Dr. Lu Eldredge (Department of Invertebrates, Bernice P. Bishop Museum), Dr. Roy Tsuda (Department of Botany, Bernice P. Bishop Museum) and Dr. Steven L. Coles (Hawaiian Biological Survey, Bernice P. Bishop Museum).
2 January 2006
Two new important technical reports are now available on Guam's coastal resources which will prove invaluable to area resource managers, researchers, educators, students, fishermen and recreational users of our island's waters:
24 November 2005
Congratulations to Chie Takase, M.Sc., for successfully defending her thesis entitled "The toxic effect of two different herbicides, Irgarol 1051 and Roundup (Glyphosphate) on Leptastrea purpurea (scleractinian coral) planulae" (Peter Schupp, main advisor). Chie has accepted a position as a consultant at an environmental consulting firm, Tokyo, Japan.
18 September 2005
Assistant Professor Alexander Kerr was awarded (with G Paulay, University of Florida) a five-year grant of $750,000 from the National Science Foundation entitled "Sea Cucumbers on Coral Reefs: Systematics of Aspidochirotid Holothurians." The primary objective of the grant is to uncover the diversity of coral-reef sea cucumbers while training students in modern systematics.
1 September 2005
The Marine Lab welcomes two new faculty members: Terry Donaldson was an adjunct assistant professor here at the Marine Lab and Alex Kerr was a postdoctoral fellow at James Cook University, Australia.
24 April 2005
Congratulations to Jay Gutierrez, M.Sc., for successfully defending his thesis entitled "The effectiveness of a marine reserve on the density and diversity of reef fishes in Guam" (Terry Donaldson, main advisor). Jay has accepted a position as supervisor of the fishieries section, Division of Aquatic and Wildlife Resources, Department of Agriculture, Government of Guam.
24 February 2005
Congratulations to Taena Rongo, M.Sc., for successfully defending his thesis entitled "Coral community change along a sediment gradient in Fouha Bay, Guam" (Bob Richmond, main advisor). Taena has accepted a scholarship to study for a PhD in Zoology, University of Florida.
21 August 2004
Associate Professor Rob Rowan presents findings in the 12 August issue of Nature. The report shows that some corals can avoid potentially fatal bleaching by hosting genotypes of symbiotic algae adapted to warmer water. This suggests that recombination of symbiont genotypes could be a mechanism by which corals adapt to global warming. For a summary of this work, see press coverage in The Scientist, Science News and BioEd Online.
15 June 2004
The Marine Lab welcomes new faculty member Laurie Raymundo who joins us from Silliman University in the Philippines, where she was an assistant professor of marine biology.
24 October 2004
Congratulations to Wendy Mendiola, M.Sc., for successfully defending her thesis entitled "The effect of the oil dispersant, Corexit 9527, on reproduction of the spawning coral, Acropora surculosa, and on larval settlement and metamorphosis of the brooding coral, Pocillopora damicornis" (Bob Richmond, main advisor).
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