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PI & Graduate Students

Dr. Donald C. Behringer

Dr. Donald C. Behringer

Associate Professor

AFFILIATIONS
University of Florida
School of Forest Resources and ConservationFisheries and Aquatic Sciences Program
Emerging Pathogens Institute
UF School of Natural Resources and the Environment (affiliated faculty)
UF College of Veterinary MedicineAquatic Animal Health Program (affiliated faculty)

EDUCATION
Ph.D. 2003 Old Dominion University, Ecological Sciences.
B.S. 1991 University of Florida, Zoology.
Download my CV

CONTACT
Phone: (352) 273-3634
Email: behringer@ufl.edu
Address: University of Florida, 7922 NW 71st Street, Gainesville, Florida 32653

Postdocs

Dr. Jamie Bojko

Dr. Jamie Bojko

Postdoctoral Associate

EDUCATION
Ph.D. University of Leeds
B.Sc. University of Leeds

CONTACT
Email: jamie.bojko@ufl.edu
Twitter: @Jamiebojko

RESEARCH INTERESTS
My research involves screening for and systematically identifying the symbionts of invertebrate hosts; primarily including Crustacea and Mollusca. I work mainly with Microsporidia, bacteria and viruses, and use histological, TEM, molecular diagnostic and metagenomic methods to better understand the microbiomes of invertebrate hosts.

Find my publications on Google Scholar and Researchgate.

Current Students

Dalton Goss

Dalton Goss

Masters Student

EDUCATION
B.S. University of Florida

CONTACT
Email: r.goss@ufl.edu

RESEARCH INTERESTS
I am pursuing a Masters in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences with my interests lying in elasmobranchs and coral reef ecology. I intern for the Florida Program for Shark Research at the Florida Museum of Natural History, studying sawfish encounters and documenting shark attack cases worldwide. My research project is currently undetermined, but will most likely involve analyzing sawfish encounters over time, with the goal of estimating worldwide population growth of the five extant sawfish species.

Abbey Scro

Abbey Scro

Masters Student

EDUCATION
B.S. Roger Williams University

CONTACT
Email: a.scro@ufl.edu

RESEARCH INTERESTS
I will be enrolled in the Master’s of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences program.  While my thesis is still undetermined, my interests lie within aquatic animal health and shellfish.  As an undergrad, I began to get involved in research, looking into blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) ecology.  I developed a traditional polymerase chain reaction (PCR) specific for winter flounder and ran that against macerated, unidentifiable stomach contents from blue crabs.  Following my undergraduate degree I started working in the Aquatic Diagnostic Laboratory at Roger Williams University as a technician.  There my work focused on molecular diagnostic techniques, specifically those dealing with disease common to the eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica).  I also focused on using quantitative multiplex PCR to detect pathogenic Vibrio sp. in oysters grown in Narragansett Bay, RI.

Amy Oxton

Amy Oxton

Masters Student

EDUCATION

CONTACT
Email:

RESEARCH INTERESTS

Laela Booshehri

Laela Booshehri

Masters Student

EDUCATION 
M.S. University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler
B.S. University of Texas at Dallas

CONTACT
Email: laela.booshehri@ufl.edu

RESEARCH INTERESTS
I am working towards a Masters in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences where my primary interests involve marine pathogens, particularly in deep-sea environments. My project will include a review of various potentially pathogenic microorganisms found amid benthic habitats including hydrothermal vents, trenches, and whale fall communities. The aim of the study is to assess the microbial diversity across habitats, as well as, form a picture of the community profiles among parasites, fungi, bacteria, and viral life in the deep-sea.

Liz Duermit Moreau

Liz Duermit Moreau

Doctoral Student

EDUCATION
M.S. College of Charleston
B.S. Michigan State University

CONTACT
Email: duermite@ufl.edu

RESEARCH INTERESTS
I am interested in disease ecology in fished crustaceans. For my dissertation research I will focus on identifying behavioral and life history characteristics of crustaceans that impact their susceptibility to disease-causing pathogens and parasites. I am further examining stone crab Menippe mercenaria and M. adina as model species of significant fishery and ecological importance. I will explore: 1) how potential hybridization between the species affects disease susceptibility, 2) how habitat degradation and food web changes related to cyanobacteria blooms affect pathogen communities, and 3) whether stone crabs exhibit general pathogen avoidance behaviors that serve to limit their exposure and susceptibility to pathogens.

Find my publications on Google Scholar and Researchgate.

Stephen Tracy

Stephen Tracy

Masters Student

EDUCATION

CONTACT
Email:

RESEARCH INTERESTS

Scott Jones

Scott Jones

Masters Student

EDUCATION

CONTACT
Email:

RESEARCH INTERESTS

Erica Ross

Erica Ross

Doctoral Student

EDUCATION
B.S. Boston University

CONTACT
Email: epross@ufl.edu

RESEARCH INTERESTS
My thesis focuses on the effects of disease on chemosensory communication in Caribbean spiny lobster (Panulirus argus) ecology. Panulirus argus virus 1 is the first naturally occurring pathogenic virus reported for lobsters and has striking effects on its ecology. My dissertation includes 1) investigating how environmental stressors effect disease avoidance, 2) identifying the chemical used by healthy animals to avoid disease 3) developing RNAscope in situ techniques to locate infected hemocytes in the antennal gland, and  4) looking at the specificity of PaV1 avoidance via White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV) challenge trials. 

Staff

Lucas Jennings

Lucas Jennings

Biological Scientist

CONTACT
Email: lucas.jennings@ufl.edu

BIO
I joined the Behringer lab in 2016 as a biological scientist to work on the BOEM dredge project.  I received a bachelors of science in marine biology from the University of South Florida and my Master’s degree from Florida Atlantic University.  I am a specialist in the morphological taxonomy of marine invertebrates.  My research interests are: phylogenetics and ecology of isopod crustaceans, phenotypic plasticity, marine invertebrate biodiversity, invertebrate ecology, and invertebrate evolution.

Jackie Hartman

Jackie Hartman

Marine Biological Technician

CONTACT
Email: jhartman1@ufl.edu

BIO
I joined the Behringer Lab in 2018 as a Marine Biological Technician to work on the BOEM dredge project. I received my Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. While receiving my B.S Degree I had the opportunity to become a project volunteer in the Benthic Ecology Lab to study coastal habitats food web structure through population and community approaches. I have also had the pleasure of studying abroad in Perth, Australia to study Tropical Marine Ecology while researching the distribution and abundance of the Giant Clam (Tridacna gigas) in marine sanctuary zones versus non-marine sanctuary zones in Exmouth, Australia.

Former Students

Devon Pharo

Devon Pharo

M.S. University of Florida 2018
Daniel Veras

Daniel Veras

M.S. University of Florida 2018
Megan Lamb

Megan Lamb

M.S. University of Florida 2018
Abigail Clark

Abigail Clark

Ph.D. University of Florida 2017
Nathan Berkebile

Nathan Berkebile

M.S. University of Florida 2017
Michael Dickson

Michael Dickson

M.S. University of Florida 2014
Danielle Puls

Danielle Puls

M.S. University of Florida 2015
Matthew Smukall

Matthew Smukall

M.S. University of Florida 2014
Elliot Hart

Elliot Hart

M.S. University of Florida 2014
Andrew Barbour

Andrew Barbour

Ph.D. University of Florida 2013
Joshua Anderson

Joshua Anderson

M.S. University of Florida 2011