Global Research at the OC
researchmapSince formation inception in 1966, Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center has a long history of conducting high quality ocean research in a variety of topics and disciplines. Initially concentrating primarily on physical oceanography, today the Oceanographic Center faculty, researchers, staff, and students pursue studies and investigations in a variety of oceanographic fields including marine biology, geology, ecology, and physics of the marine realm. Research remains at the forefront of the Center's many initiatives.
The Center's faculty and staff are academics, professors, researchers, and teacher/mentors for their students. Their work is published in the peer-reviewed literature. Much research is extramurally funded through grants, cooperative agreements, contracts, and awards from federal, state, and local governments, from NGO’s, and from private organizations and foundations.

Regions of interest include not only Florida's coastal waters and the continental shelf/slope waters of the southeastern United States, but also the waters of the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Antarctic, Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans.

Use the map below to explore where we conduct research
Topics of Research


Scientists at the Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center are world leaders in a variety or research topics, ranging from the deep oceans to estuarine systems. We focus on comprehensive, broad ranging research to advance knowledge in the marine sciences.

Some important research focus areas include:

Select a topic below to learn more about the research.


Coral Reef Restoration, Assessment & Monitoring
Coral reef ecology with an emphasis on restoration, assessment, and monitoring. Research includes investigating the ecology, restoration, and conservation of staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis) populations. The lab has a strong resource management focus and works closely with local, state, and federal agency resource managers.
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Stony Corals
Research Focus: Sclerochronology is study of the time dependent growth of the coral skeleton for reconstruction of past environmental and climate histories of the ocean.
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GIS and Remote Sensing
Research Focus: The lab undertakes projects based around the theme of using remote sensing to monitor coral reef systems.
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Deep Sea Biology
Research Focus: Visual physiology of deep-sea animals; zooplankton ecology, with emphasis on effects of downwelling light on their daytime distribution patterns and vertical migrations.
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GIS & Spatial Ecology
Research Focus: Utilization of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as a tool to study the ecology, distribution, and spatial arrangement of benthic (sea bottom) coastal and ocean habitats and marine organisms to provide maps and other spatial information for enhancement of knowledge, conservation, and resource management.
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Oceanic Ecology
Research Focus: My research focuses on the quantitative ecology and structure of marine ecosystems. I am interested in the biotic (e.g., trophic interactions, resource partitioning) and abiotic (environmental) processes that shape marine community structure, and how these phenomena vary over space and time. I apply a combination of organismal and theoretical biology to further our ecosystem-based understanding of marine communities.
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Research Focus: Ichthyology involves the general field of fish biology. Research here covers both basic and applied aspects of the diverse fields of anatomy, physiology, ecology, and natural history of many fish with emphasis on those of coral reefs.
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Invasive Species Modeling
Research Focus: Understanding the process of marine invasions by exotic species, focusing on the spread mechanics which drive invasion events.
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Research Focus: Scientific classification, evolutionary relationships, and ecology of marine invertebrates.
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Scleractian Coral Biology
Research Focus: Research focuses on scleractinian coral biology, conservation, and restoration, with emphasis on experimental evaluation of the impacts of climate change, ocean acidification, and land-based sources of pollution on coral biology and ecology. Application of histological and ultrastructural analytical techniques to examine the influence of anthropogenic environmental factors on multiple aspects of coral physiology and health, providing key information for the prediction and management of future coral condition and growth. The land-based coral nursery provides scientists with multiple coral species for research and experimentation, and houses a genetically diverse living stock collection of corals for reef restoration.
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Microbiology & Genetics
Research Focus: Applying and advancing modern biotechnology and genomic (complete hereditary material) sciences for a better understanding of marine organisms and their functions.
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Larval Ecology Lab
Research Focus: My research aims to increase our understanding of the environmental factors that are hampering the recovery rates of coral populations and to study how recovery rates can be bolstered by management actions. My research integrates experimentation and mathematical modeling approaches to predict current and future dispersal patterns of coral species. Specifically, I aim to elucidate how larval development dynamics of marine invertebrates determine important ecological processes, such as dispersal, recruitment and connectivity among populations and to predict how and to what extent climate change may alter these patterns.
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Physical Oceanography
Research Focus: Solution-oriented basic and applied research in ocean dynamics, thermodynamics, and air-sea interactions in collaboration with oceanographic organizations in US, Germany, Canada, and South Korea. The lab is involved in explorations involving new generation of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites, three dimensional sonar technology, and high-resolution numerical models.
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Conservation Biology & Genetics
Research Focus: Conservation Biology is an interdisciplinary science that applies field and genetic research methods to the understanding, conservation, and management of marine species.
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Fisheries Lab
Research Focus: Fisheries science is the discipline of managing and understanding the harvesting of aquatic species, including finfish. It is a multidisciplinary field, which draws on aspects of oceanography, ecology, engineering, ichthyology, socio-economics, and management to provide an integrated picture of fisheries and their effects on the environment. Fisheries research at the Oceanographic Center has historically focused on the commercially and recreationally important coastal and pelagic fishes, including billfish, tunas, and swordfish. More recently, the fisheries laboratory has engaged in alternative fishing gear outreach programs in Turkey, Morocco, and the Gulf of Mexico.
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Coral Reef Ecology
Research Focus: Benthic Ecology, Coral Reef Ecology, Nutrient Dynamics, Science Communication
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