FGCU continuously monitors the latest information from health officials and shares
details on the Coronavirus Updates website. Get details including helpful FAQs. Students,
faculty and staff, remember to complete the FGCU Daily Health Screening App every
day before coming to campus (239-590-1206 for technical and other support related
to the Screening).
Dr. Parsons (PI) is a Professor of Marine Science at FGCU with a background in phytoplankton
ecology. He has been involved in ciguatera and coral reef research since 1999, with
particular interest in studying how Gambierdiscus interacts with other epiphytic organisms and how it responds to changing environmental
conditions. In CiguaHAB, the primary duties of Parsons include:
Overall project coordination and interaction with ECOHAB program managers
Field sampling and surveys at Tier 1 site (Florida Keys)
Field sampling and surveys at Tier 2 site (Bahamas)
Dr. Anderson (co-PI) is a Senior Scientist in the Biology Department of the Woods
Hole Oceanographic Institution. He has been studying harmful algal blooms for over
three decades. Anderson's research utilizes approaches ranging from molecular and
cellular studies of toxin genetics and regulation to the large-scale oceanography
and ecology of the blooms. He has worked on ciguatera, as well as several other HAB
poisoning syndromes, and has been the lead PI on three large regional, multi-investigator
projects. In CiguaHAB, the primary duties of Anderson include:
Assistance with project coordination
Planning and coordination of field sampling and surveys at the St. Thomas Tier 1 site
Collaboration on DNA sequencing efforts
Planning and coordination of physiological experiments on cultures
Dr. Erdner (co-PI) is an Assistant Professor of Marine Science at the University of
Texas Marine Science Institute. Her general area of expertise is the molecular physiology
and ecology of phytoplankton; for the past decade her work has focused on toxic dinoflagellates.
She is studying the connectivity of Gambierdiscus populations to understand how geographically disjunct populations are related, if
there is ongoing exchange between areas, and if the range of this species is expanding.
Her primary duties in CiguaHAB include:
Development of microsatellite markers for Gambierdiscus spp.
Coordinating Tier 2 field sampling at Flower Gardens Banks National Marine Sanctuary
Establishing cultured Gambierdiscus isolates from FGBNMS and oil platforms
Dr. Richlen (co-PI) is a Research Associate in the Anderson lab at WHOI. Her background
includes research on the ecology and physiology of dinoflagellates associated with
ciguatera, as well as work on the taxonomy and molecular biology of Gambierdiscus. In CiguaHAB, the primary duties of Richlen include:
Diversity and taxonomy of Gambierdiscus spp. at Tier 1 and Tier 2 sites
Population genetics and spatial connectivity of Gambierdiscus in the GCR.
Dr. Robertson (co-PI) is a Research Assistant Professor of Ecotoxicology & Biotechnology
in the Department of Marine Sciences at the University of South Alabama with a background
in biochemistry, pharmacology, and natural products chemistry. She has been involved
in HAB research for the last 12 years with a specific interest in trophic transfer
and mechanisms of toxicity, bio-conversion, and bio-accumulation, including molecular
mechanisms of resistance in fish and shellfish. Robertson's primary duties include
Coordinate field sampling and surveys at Tier 2 sites in the Gulf of Mexico (off the
coast of AL, MS, LA) with the assistance of co-PI Kiene
Cell isolations and enumeration of dinoflagellates from field samples collected from
Tier 2 sites in the northern Gulf of Mexico.
Cytotoxicity screening of dinoflagellate cultures, field isolates and fish collected
from all Tier 1 and Tier 2 locations throughout the study period
Confirmatory toxin analysis and chemical profiling by LC-MS/MS
Dr. Smith (co-PI) is a Research Assistant Professor at UVI with a background in coral
reef ecology. He has been coordinator of the the US Virgin Islands Territorial Coral
Reef Monitoring Program since 2005, which incorporated ciguatera research in 2007.
He is interested in the bio-physical triggers of Gambierdiscus abundance and toxicity with the coral reef and specializes in the spatio-temporal
dynamics of coral and macroalgal demographics. The primary duties of Smith in CiguaHAB include:
Coordination of field sampling and data outputs for the four primary field sites in
Model parameter assimilation and output evaluation