Climate Change, Sea Grass and the Future of Manatees in Biscayne Bay

Manatee Manatee

Climate Change, Sea Grass and the Future of Manatees in Biscayne Bay


Dr. Ruben van Hooidonk and Dr. Tiago Carrilho Biló

Dr. Ruben van Hooidonk is a Dutch biologist that has been at CIMAS/AOML since 2010, he obtained his MSc at Utrecht University in the Netherlands and he got his PhD at Purdue University in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. His work is concentrated on climate change effects on marine ecosystems, mostly coral reefs. Dr. Tiago Carrilho Bilo is a Brazilian oceanographer that has been at CIMAS/AOML since 2022. He obtained his MSc at University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and he got his PhD at University of Miami in Meteorology and Physical Oceanography. His research is concentrated on deep ocean circulation and sea water physical properties.


This project can be done remotely, in person at Atlantic Oceanographic & Meteorological Laboratory (Virginia Key), or a combination.

Brief description:

Submerged aquatic vegetation, such as seagrasses, compose important ecosystems that harbor countless species worldwide. For example, seagrass meadows cover a significant portion of the ocean bottom offshore South Florida's coast, known as Biscayne Bay, which serves as a habitat for manatees. We invite students interested in climate change and marine ecology to apply for a 10-week summer project to learn the basics of scientific research by studying the relationship between the water temperature changes and potential impacts on the ecology of seagrass and manatees in Biscayne Bay. The project will consist of the following:

1. Guided literature review to introduce the subjects of this study.
2. Analysis of past and projected temperatures of Biscayne Bay.
3. Writing a scientific report combining the learned knowledge, performed analyses, and study conclusions.