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Coral Reef Ecosystem Science

  • 2017

    Mission 2 - Barrel Sponge Research
    Principal Investigator: Joseph R. Pawlik, Ph.D., UNCW
    Dates: 1-10 June 2017

    Dr. Pawlick has been monitoring barrel sponges at Conch Reef since 1997. A major finding of this work has shown that although corals have steadily declined, barrel sponges have more than doubled. In June 2017 the group collected sponge tissue samples for genetic microbial analysis, investigated the role of sponges in cycling of carbon and nutrients on coral reefs, and deployed and tested the novel 3-D modeling imagery technique for quantifying the biomass of benthic organisms using GoPro video.

  • 2016

    Mission 5 - Impacts of Sharks on Coral Reef Ecosystems
    Principal Investigator: Michael Heithaus & Kevin Boswell, FIU
    Saturation: September 7-14
    Total Days: 8

    Download PDF for more on Mission 5

  • 2014

    Mission 1 - Mission 31
    Principal Investigator: Fabien Cousteau
    Saturation: June 1 - July 2
    Total Days: 31

  • 2013

    Mission 2 - Predation and herbivory in coral reef environments
    Principal Investigator: Deron Burkepile, FIU
    Saturation: November 19-24
    Total Days: 6

  • 2012

    Sponges on Florida Coral Reefs: Demographics and Impacts on Water Quality
    Principal Investigator: Dr. Joseph Pawlik, UNCW
    Co-Principal Investigator: Dr. Christopher Finelli, UNCW
    Training: May 12 - 15
    Saturation: May 16 - 25

    Celebrating 50 Years of Living Beneath the Sea 
    Principal Investigator: Dr. Mark Patterson,
    Training: July 9 - 13
    Saturation: July 14 - 21

  • 2011

    Sponges on Florida Coral Reefs: Demographics and Impacts on Water Quality (2011)
    Principal Investigator: Dr. Joseph Pawlik, UNCW
    Co-Principal Investigator: Dr. Christopher Finelli, UNCW
    Training: June 6 — 10
    Saturation: June 14 — 23

    Coral Reef Landscape Responses to Ocean Acidification
    Principal Investigator: Marc Slattery, University of Mississippi
    Training: July 5 — 8
    Saturation: July 12 — 21

    Ocean Acidification: Controls on Reef pH
    Principal Investigator: Dr. Chris Martens, UNC Chapel Hill
    Co-Principal Investigator: Dr. Niels Lindquist, UNC Chapel Hill
    Training: Aug 1 — Aug 5
    Saturation: Aug 9 — 18

    Manipulating Herbivore Diversity to Restore Coral Reefs
    Principal Investigator: Dr. Mark Hay, Georgia Institute of Technology
    Training: September 6 — 9
    Saturation: September 13 — 22

  • 2010

    Aquarius Coral Restoration/Resilience Experiments (ACRRE)
    Principal Investigator: Dr. Margaret Miller, NOAA Fisheries
    Training: June 7 — 11
    Mission: June 15 — 24

    Acidification Project
    Principal Investigator: Dr. Chris Martens, UNC Chapel Hill
    Co-Principal Investigator: Dr.Niels Lindquist, UNC Chapel Hill
    Training: July 6 — 9
    Mission: July 13 — 22

    Sponges on Florida Coral Reefs: Demographics and Impacts on Water Quality (2010)
    Principal Investigator: Dr. Joseph Pawlik, UNCW
    Co-Principal Investigator: Dr. Christopher Finelli, UNCW
    Training: August 9 — 13
    Mission: August 17 — 26

    Aquarius 2010: If Reefs Could Talk
    Principal Investigator: James Lindholm, NOAA National Marine Sanctuary Program
    Training: October 4 — 8
    Mission: October 12 — 21

    Manipulating Herbivore Diversity to Restore Coral Reefs
    Principal Investigator: Dr. Mark Hay, Institute of Technology, Georgia
    Training: November 1 — 5
    Mission: November 9 — 18

  • 2009
    Manipulating Herbivore Diversity to Restore Coral Reefs
    Principal Investigator: Dr. Mark Hay, Georgia Institute of Technology
    Training: November 2 — 6
    Mission: November 10 — 19
  • 2008

    Aquarius Coral Restoration / Resilience Experiments (ACRRE)
    Principal Investigator: Dr. Margaret Miller, NOAA Fisheries
    Training: June 2 — 6
    Mission: June 9 — 18

    Role of Sponges in Nitrogen Cycling and Total Respiration in Coral-Reef Ecosystems
    Principal Investigator: Dr.Niels Lindquist, UNC Chapel Hill
    Co-Principal Investigator: Dr. Chris Martens, UNC Chapel Hill
    Training: September 8 — 12
    Mission: September 16 — 25

    Ocean acidification in the coral reef ecosystem: Measuring pH change from the surface to seafloor
    Principal Investigator: Dr. Chris Martens, UNC Chapel Hill
    Co-Principal Investigator: Dr.Niels Lindquist, UNC Chapel Hill
    Training: October 6 — 10
    Mission: October 14 — 23

  • 2007

    Mission 6 — If Reefs Could Talk
    Principal Investigator: Kate Thompson, National Marine Sanctuary Program
    Training: September 10 — 14
    Mission: September 17 — 25

    Mission 7—Role of Sponges in Nitrogen Cycling and Total Respiration in Coral-Reef Ecosystems
    Principal Investigator: Niels Lindquist, UNC Chapel Hill
    Training: October 8 — 12
    Mission: October 15 — 24

  • 2005

    Mission 3 — The role of Hydrodynamics in Determining Nutrient Fluxes to Conch Reef
    Principal Investigator: Dr. Stephen Monismith
    Training: July 5 — 8, 11
    Mission: July 12 — 21

    Mission 4 — Sponge production and recycling of new nitrogen in coral reef
    Principal Investigator: Dr. Chris Martens, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    Mission: August 15 - 24

    Mission 6 — Movement Behavior of Fishes: The Role of Scale and No–take Protection in the Conch Reef SPA/RO
    Principal Investigator: Dr. James Lindholm, PIER
    Training: October 31 — November 4
    Mission: November 7 — 18

  • 2004
    Mission 2 - A Multiscale Investigation of Physical/Biological Coupling on the Florida Keys Reef Tract
    Principal Investigator: Dr. James Leichter, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
    Training: June 7-11
    Mission: June 14-23

    Mission 4 — Sponge Production and Recycling of New Nitrogen in Coral Reef Ecosystems.
    Principal Investigator: Dr. Chris Martens, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    Training: August 2-6
    Mission: August 9-18

    Mission 5 — The physiological ecology of symbiotic dinoflagellates across a depth gradient: Understanding the influence of physical and biological factors on photosynthetic processes and population distribution
    Principal Investigator: Dr. Mark Warner, University of Delaware
    Training: September 7-11
    Mission: September 13-22

    Mission 7 — Herbivore Resistance to Seaweed Defenses and the Effects on Reef Community Structure
    Principal Investigator: Dr. Mark Hay, Georgia Institute of Technology
    Training: November 1-5
    Mission: November 8-17
  • 2003
    Mission 1 — A Study of Population Dynamics of Scleractinians on Conch Reef: A Demographic and Population Genetics Approach
    Principal Investigator: Mary Alice Coffroth, SUNY-Buffalo
    Training: May 12-16
    Mission: May 19-28

    Mission 3 — Flow Modulated Metabolism: Connection with Coral Bleaching and Reef Oxygen Crises?
    Principal Investigator: Dr. Mark Patterson, College of William and Mary
    Training: July 7-11
    Mission: July 14-23

    Mission 4 — Responses of Benthic Macroalgae to High Frequency Upwelling on the Florida Reef Tract
    Principal Investigator: Dr. James Leichter, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
    Training: August 4-8
    Mission: August 11-20

    Mission 5 — Biogeochemical Control on The Stable Carbon and Nitrogen Isotopic Composition of Marine Sponges Along Natural Environmental Gradients
    Principal Investigator: Dr. Chris Martens, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    Training: September 8-12
    Mission: September 15-24

    Mission 7 — Herbivore Resistance to Seaweed Defenses and The Effects on Reef Community Structure
    Principal Investigator: Dr. Mark Hay, Georgia Institute of Technology
    Training: November 3-7
    Mission: November 10-19
  • 2002

    Mission 2 - A Study of Population Dynamics of Scleractinians on Conch Reef: A Demographic and Population Genetics Approach
    Principal Investigator: Mary Alice Coffroth
    Saturation: April 15-24, 2002
    Total Days: 10

    Mission 4 - Global Climate Change & Coral Recruitment: The Interactive Effects of Temperature and Ontogeny on the Biology of Porites Astreoides Larvae
    Principal Investigator: Pete Edmunds
    Saturation: June 10-19
    Total Days: 10

    Mission 6 - Reef Fish Census and Tagging Studies Related to Marine Protected Areas in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS)
    Principal Investigator: Billy Causey, FKNMS
    Saturation: August 19-28
    Total Days: 10

    Mission 8 - Flow Modulated Metabolism: Connection with Coral Bleaching and Reef Oxygen Crises?
    Principal Investigator: Mark Patterson
    Saturation: November 11-20
    Total Days: 10

  • 2001

    Mission 1 - Ecology of Deep-Water Reef Sponges
    Principal Investigator: Joe Pawlik, University of North Carolina at Wilmington
    Saturation: May 21-27
    Total Days: 7

    Mission 2 - Near-Bottom Nutrient Fluxes on the Florida Keys Reef Tract
    Principal Investigator: Jim Leichter
    Saturation: June 18-27
    Total Days: 10

    Mission 3 - Biology of Stomatopod Crustaceans
    Principal Investigator: Roy Caldwell
    Saturation: July 16-25
    Total Days: 10

    Mission 4 - Understanding the Physiology and Ecological Impact of the Brown Alga Dictyota on Coral Reefs in the Florida Keys
    Principal Investigator: Kevin Beach
    Saturation: August13-22
    Total Days: 10

    Mission 5 - Coral Monitoring and Evaluation of Advanced Diving Techniques to Support National Marine Sanctuary Programs
    Principal Investigator: Billy Causey, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
    Saturation: September 11-19
    Total Days: 9

    Mission 7 - Understanding Fish Movement and Their Behavior in Marine Protected Areas
    Principal Investigator: Greg Stone, New England Aquarium
    Saturation: November 12-18
    Total Days: 7

  • 2000

    Mission 2 - Ecology of deep-water reef sponges
    Principal Investigator: Joe Pawlik, University of North Carolina at Wilmington
    Saturation: May 15-24
    Total Days: 10

    Mission 3 - Near-Bottom Nutrient Fluxes on the Florida Keys Reef Tract
    Principal Investigator: Jim Leichter
    Saturation: June 12-21
    Total Days: 10

    Mission 4 - Effects of Water Flow and Prey Behavior on Coral Feeding
    Principal Investigator: Ken Sebens
    Saturation: July 10-19
    Total Days: 10

    Mission 5 - Rapid Response Projects in the South Atlantic Bight, Gulf of Mexico and Florida Keys
    Principal Investigators: Steve Gittings & Steven Miller
    Saturation: August 14-23
    Total Days: 10

    Mission 6 - Physiological Ecology, Growth and Reproductive Biology of Halimeda Across a Gradient Depth
    Principal Investigator: Celia Smith
    Saturation: September 11-20
    Total Days: 10

    Mission 8 - Multiscale Measurements of Hydrodynamics and Nutrient Transfer Over Coral Reefs
    Principal Investigator: Chris Finelli
    Saturation: November 6-15
    Total Days: 10

  • 1999

    Mission 1 - Mass Transfer in Corals: Effects of Turbulent Flow
    Principal Investigator: Dave Wethey
    Saturation: June 14-23
    Total Days: 10

    Mission 3 - Light on and Above Coral Reefs Imaging, Signaling, and Effects of Stress
    Principal Investigator: Tom Cronin
    Saturation: August 9-18
    Total Days: 10

    Mission 4 - Habitat Specific Differences in Sponge Growth: The Role of Scope for Growth and Phenotypic Plasticity
    Principal Investigator: Mark Patterson
    Saturation: October 11-14
    Total Days: 4

    Mission 5 - Physiological Ecology, Growth and Reproductive Biology of Halimeda Across a Depth Gradient
    Principal Investigator: Celia Smith
    Saturation: November 8-17
    Total Days: 10

  • 1998

    Mission 2 - Deep-Water Coral Reef Monitoring at Conch Reef
    Principal Investigator: Steve Gittings
    Saturation: August 4-10
    Total Days: 7

    Mission 3 - Carbon Budgets, Growth and Sexual Reproduction by Halimeda Across a Depth Gradient
    Principal Investigator: Celia Smith
    Saturation: August 25-28
    Total Days: 4

  • 1996

    Mission 2 - Comparative Taphonomy of Life, Death and Fossil Caribbean Coral Assemblages, Key Largo, Florida
    Principal Investigator: Been Greenstein
    Saturation: May 20-29
    Total Days: 10

  • 1995

    Mission 1 - The Effects of Sponges on Water Column Process: Implications for the Management of Coral Reefs
    Principal Investigator: Mark Patterson
    Saturation: May 25-31
    Total Days: 7

    Mission 2 - The Photic Ecology of Coral Reef Environments and the Impact of Human Activity Upon It.
    Principal Investigator: Tom Cronin
    Saturation: June 19-28
    Total Days: 10

    Mission 3 - Spatial Heterogeneity and Coral Recruitment: Ecological Implications and Physiological Adaptations
    Principal Investigator: Pete Edmunds
    Saturation: July 18-26
    Total Days: 9

    Mission 4 - Spatial and Temporal Variability in On-Shore Flux: Pulsed Delivery of Nutrients, Plankton and Larvae to Conch Reef by Internal Waves
    Principal Investigator: Mark Denny
    Saturation: August 15-23
    Total Days: 9

    Mission 5 - Suboxic/Anoxic Diagenesis in Reef Frameworks and Resulting Nutrient Fluxes
    Principal Investigator: Frank Sansone
    Saturation: November 11-17
    Total Days: 7

  • 1994

    Mission 1 - Environmental/Biological Correlates of Differential Susceptibility to Annual Bleaching with Porites astroides
    Principal Investigators: Jaap / Steven Miller
    Saturation: April 19-28
    Total Days: 10

    Mission 2 - Comparative Taphonomy of Life, Death and Fossil Caribbean Coral Assemblages, Key Largo, Florida
    Principal Investigator: Ben Greenstein
    Saturation: May 19-28
    Total Days: 10

    Mission 3 - Effects of Flow Velocity, Zooplankton Abundance, and Piscivory on the Feeding Rates of Planktivorous Fish
    Principal Investigator: Laurie Sanderson
    Saturation: June 18-27
    Total Days: 10

    Mission 4 - Survivorship and Chemical Defenses in Larvae and Juvenile Sponges: Effects of Fishes and Mesopredators
    Principal Investigator: Niels Lindquist / Joe Pawlik, University of North Carolina at Wilmington
    Saturation: July 23-August 1
    Total Days: 10

    Depth Dependent Effects of Ultraviolet Radiation on the Productivity and Action Spectra of the Hermatypic Coral, Montastrea annularis
    Principal Investigator: Mike Lesser
    Saturation: August 19-28
    Total Days: 10

    Effects of Water Movements on Corals: Particle Capture, Prey Behavior, and Growth Rate
    Principal Investigator: Ken Sebens
    Saturation: September 17-26
    Total Days: 10

    The Ecological Significance of Vegetative Fragmentation by 'Halimeda': Mechanisms Along a Depth Gradient
    Principal Investigator: Celia Smith
    Saturation: October 16-25
    Total Days: 10

    Effects of Internal Waves at Conch Reef: Pulsed Temperature and Nutrient Variability, and Metabolic Response in a Hermatypic Coral
    Principal Investigator: Denny
    Saturation: November 12-15
    Total Days: 4

  • 1993

    Mission 2 - Effects of Water Movements on Corals: Particle Capture, Prey Behavior, and Growth Rate
    Principal Investigator: Ken Sebens
    Saturation: September 20-29
    Total Days: 10

    Mission 3 - Dynamics of Fertilization in Tropical Reef Fishes
    Principal Investigator: Chris Peterson
    Saturation: October 13-22
    Total Days: 10

    Mission 4 - Patterns of Coral Recruitment and Juvenile Mortality with Depth on Conch Reef/Geological and Groundwater Monitoring Studies
    Principal Investigator: Robbie Smith / Gene Shinn
    Saturation: November 3-7
    Total Days: 5

    Mission 5 - Effects of Internal Waves at Conch Reef on Temperature and Nutrient Variability in Several Reef Micro Habitats
    Principal Investigator: Denny
    Saturation: November 17-22
    Total Days: 5