Paola Espitia-Hecht

Paola Espitia-Hecht

Graduate Research Assistant
Department of Marine and Environmental Sciences
(954) 262-3700




Major Professor

Dr. Dave Gilliam

Area(s) of Research

I am currently working on a restoration project that involves the transplantation of the bent sea rod (Eunicea flexuosa) octocoral. Octocorals are a prominent feature of coral reefs and are commonly dislodged or fragmented by ship groundings and lines, cables, and anchor chains dragged along the seafloor during coastal improvement projects. Transplantation of octocorals to impacted areas benefits recruitment, accelerates recovery, and increases habitat complexity. The first part of my study tests the success of a cost and time effective transplantation method. The second part of my study examines whether E. flexuosa transplants are fecund and whether time of transplantation (spring vs. winter) plays a role in transplant fecundity.


None at this time