Scott Cowan - Invasions Ecology Lab

Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, FL

As an intern last summer, I participated in the National Fouling Survey being conducted by the Marine Invasions Laboratory under Dr. Greg Ruiz.  The purpose of this project is to determine the extent of invasion events throughout US coastal waters, and to establish a national database of benthic invertebrates.  This database will act as a catalog of both native and invasive species, be used to identify future invasion events, and to determine their ecological impact. 

For my personal project, I examined the role lunar periodicity plays in the recruitment of benthic invertebrates in Willoughby Bay, Virginia.  My results suggest that environmental factors, such as water temperature, may play a larger role than lunar/tidal influence in the recruitment of several invertebrate species.

My experience as an intern at SERC was incredibly rewarding.  During my internship I traveled to several of our study sites, including sites in Florida, Virginia, and New Hampshire.  The skills I learned during this time will be invaluable during my pursuit of a graduate degree. Since completing my internship, I have been hired on by the Marine Invasions Lab to conduct spatial and temporal fouling surveys in Tampa Bay.  I highly recommend interning at SERC for anyone interested in scientific research.

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