Sturgeon Trackers - School of Forest Resources & Conservation ...

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Sturgeon Trackers - School of Forest Resources & Conservation ...

The following UF/IFASfaculty and staff areavailable to answerquestions or providetechnical support foraquaculture, fisheriesand aquatic sciences,and pond management.Fisheries andAquatic SciencesGainesvilleFrank ChapmanReproductive Biology352/392-9617 ext 247fac@gnv.ifas.ufl.eduChuck CichraPond Management &Fish Biology352/392-9617 ext 249fish@gnv.ifas.ufl.eduRuth Francis-FloydFish Health/Aquaculture352/392-9617 ext 229rff@gnv.ifas.ufl.eduRuth Ellen BowenFish Health352/392-9617 ext 230Allen RiggsFish Health Management352/392-9617 ext 235acriggs@mail.ifas.ufl.eduSam MitchellAquacultureDemonstrationFarmBlountstownDebbie Britt PouderFood & Bait Aquaculture850/674-3184dcb@gnv.ifas.ufl.eduTropicalAquacultureLaboratoryRuskinEric CurtisFish Health813/671-5230 ext 106ewc@mail.ifas.ufl.eduCraig WatsonResearch Coordinator813/671-5230 ext 107caw@gnv.ifas.ufl.eduRoy YanongFish Health/Aquaculture813/671-5230 ext 104rpy@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu2Carlos MartinezOrnamental Fish813/671-5230 ext 109cvmartinez@mail.ifas.ufl.eduCenter for Aquatic& Invasive PlantsKen LangelandAquatic Plants352/392-9614kal@gnv.ifas.ufl.eduFood & ResourceEconomicsChuck AdamsMarine Economics352/392-1826 ext 223adams@fred.ifas.ufl.eduDavid ZimetFreshwater Economics850/875-7125djz@gnv.ifas.ufl.eduAgricultural &BiologicalEngineeringRay BucklinAquaculture Engineering352/392-7728bucklin@agen.ufl.eduCounty ExtensionFacultyJohn BrennemanPolk/Hillsborough Counties941/533-0765jsbn@gnv.ifas.ufl.eduMax GriggsEscambia County850/475-5230megs@gnv.ifas.ufl.eduBill MahanFranklin County850/653-9337wtm@gnv.ifas.ufl.eduLeslie SturmerShellfish AquacultureMulti-County352/543-5057LNST@gnv.ifas.ufl.eduDon SweatPasco County813/553-3399dsweat@seas.marine.usf.eduStudent Involvement at UFUndergradate and graduate students are an important part of the teaching,research, and extension programs at the University of Florida. Student involvementis highlighted in each issue of WaterWorks.Beth discusses her research with her facultyadvisor Dr. Ed Phlips.Joe RichardBeth Sargent, a nativeof New England, hasspent the last sevenyears working on undergraduateand graduatedegrees here at UF.She received a Bachelorof Science degreein Wildlife Ecology andConservation in 1998,and will earn her MSdegree later this year.During her undergraduatecareer, Bethdeveloped a keen interestin aquatic systems.In the fall of 1998, shestarted her master’sdegree under the directionof Dr. Ed Phlips andDr. Anson Moye, dealingwith the issue ofmercury contaminationand bioaccumulation inaquatic systems, includingthe Everglades.Mercury is a majorhealth issue and concernbecause of its negativehealth effects on humansand other organisms.While studies in thepast have focused onmercury in fish andwildlife and even zooplankton,few studieshad focused on algae,specifically periphytonor algal mats that arecharacteristic of manyaquatic systems.“The micro-ecosystemof periphyton is amajor player in primaryproductivity of the complexEverglades system.However, little is knownabout how its structureand function affectmercury uptake,” saidSargent.Because periphytonis complex in composition,most researchershave found it difficult todetermine what factorsaffect mercury uptakeand its bioaccumulationinto the plant tissue.The goal of Beth’sstudy was to chooserepresentative algaespecies from the matsand grow them in the labto learn about their physiologyunder differentconditions, primarily underlow and relatively highphosphorus levels.By understanding theeffects of varying phosphoruslevels on the differentspecies of algae, thephysiological responses ofthe algae can then be relatedto their rate ofmercury uptake.Understanding howand at what rate thecells take up mercurycan help researchersand managers developa better understandingof how mercury functionsin an aquatic systemand how it is transportedthrough the foodweb to such high levels.Data from Beth’swork and from othermercury projects acrossthe country will beused to develop amodel for predictingwhich areas are moreprone to higher levelsof mercury and howthose areas can thenbe managed.“My project providesthe groundwork forunderstanding whathappens to mercury atthe bottom of the foodweb and how it getsthere,” said Sargent.“Hopefully it can beapplied to managementin the Evergladesand elsewhere.”Beth is currentlycompleting her thesisand seeking a job in theaquatic sciences field.

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