KML Science Seminar Wed pm Feb 1st


How Low Can You Go: Restoration and coral holobiont composition across depths on Conch Reef
Postdoc Dr. Anthony Bellantuono & PhD candidates Dan Merselis & Katherine Dougan, members of the IMaGeS Lab at Florida International University (FIU) headed by Dr. Mauricio Rodriguez-Lanetty, have been collaborating since 2015 with NASA NEEMO astronauts to explore coral symbiont diversity in the vicinity of FIU Medina Aquarius, the world’s only undersea research lab. 

A diver outside of the Aquarius underwater habitat
Last summer’s work involved establishing experimental coral restoration nurseries at deep and shallow reefs accessible from the habitat. This team of FIU scientists worked closely with NASA NEEMO astronauts on coral identification and sampling to simulate protocols for future a Mars mission, while testing hypotheses designed to better understand the coral symbiosis for restoration. Come join us at KML to learn about this exciting project.

Come join us at KML to learn about this exciting project.
KML Classroom
Wed Feb 1st 
6:00-7:00pm
For more on the IMaGeS Lab website: IMaGeS Lab 
(Laboratory of Integrative Marine Genomics and Symbiosis

or follow them at:


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Welcome Josh Farmer to KML

The Keys Marine Lab is excited to announce the arrival of our newest staff biologist, Joshua Farmer. Josh has his Bachelors of Science in Marine Biology from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. After graduation he worked as Research Assistant for Dr. Alina Szmant and Dr. Robert Whitehead from UNCW, on their Coral In-Situ Metabolism and Energetics (CISME) Project.  Josh is also a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer and worked as Dive Instructor on the East Coast and in the Caribbean.

Please help us welcome Josh to the KML team.
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Science Seminar at KML


“Coral Restoration in the Florida Keys”
Ken Nedimyer – president of Coral Restoration Foundation
Progress and updates on CRF's efforts to restore corals, especially the endangered Staghorn and Elkhorn corals, to reefs in the Florida Keys 
 Come join us Jan 4
Wed. 6:00-7:00pm
KML Classroom

~Future Topics ~
Feb 1: NASA NEEMO Mission at FIU Aquarius underwater habitat
March 1: Dave Vaughn - Mote Marine Lab
April 5: Maria Cooksey (FWC/FWRI) FKNMS boater distribution
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New microscope camera for KML

Thanks to proceeds from the sale of KML t-shirts, hats, and Tervis tumblers, we now have a new microscope camera! Moticam X2 with wifi capabilities. Here are some photographs taken recently of our purple sea plume babies (Antillegoria bipinnata) - 39 days old

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Purple sea plume spawning at KML

Day 1:  New coral planulae emerge on the mother sea plume colony (November 23, 2016)



Dr. Mary Alice Coffroth (SUNY Buffalo) and her team from the BURR Lab (Buffalo Undersea Reef Research) captured the purple sea plume (Antillegorgia bipinnata) spawning event at KML. These corals spawned 1 week before the November new in  moon KML's new seawater well system.
Day 10: Planulae settling on tiles, mouth parts developing (photo by DJ Valent)

Day 15: New recruits! Planulae metamorphosed and settled on pre-conditioned ceramic tiles, polyp tentacles beginning to develop. Baby corals were inoculated with photosynthetic algae (Symbiodinium) harvested from the mother colony.
Day 21: Tentacles extended. These are octocorals (soft coral) so they have 8 tentacles on each polyp which capture small particles (zooplankton) from the water. Purple calcareous spicules (sclerites) are beginning to form in the base of the polyp, protecting the baby coral from predation.

Day 21: Brownish tinge in tentacles 6 days after inoculation, is evidence of the uptake of Symbiodinium which photosynthetically provides nutrients to the growing coral.

Day 23: More purple sclerites and brown algal symbionts visible

Day 31 

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