North Florida Marine Science Symposium

Welcome to the 2020 North Florida Marine Science Symposium!

Join researchers, resource management agencies, and students for 11/2 days of cutting-edge marine science – right next to the sea! This year the symposium will be on the Atlantic coast at the UF Whitney Lab for Marine Bioscience, just south of St. Augustine, FL. The symposium will kick off with oral research presentations on Thursday afternoon, a gallery-style poster session and social on Thursday evening, a keynote address on Friday morning (see details below), continue with oral presentations throughout the day on Friday, and finish with a BBQ social and student award ceremony on Friday evening.

The poster session and keynote address are free and open to the public!

Registration for undergraduate Marine Science majors is free!

Dr. Kevin Lafferty of United States Geological Survey & University of California, Santa Barbara Marine Science Institute a will present the keynote address. 

Whitney Lab for Marine Bioscience in Mainland, Florida


Attendees at the North Florida Marine Science Symposium discuss the latest marine research during the poster session.



2020 North Florida Marine Science Symposium

January 23rd & 24th 2020

Call for Abstracts

Abstract deadline is Friday January 3rd, 2020
Abstracts can be emailed to

Final abstracts for oral and poster presentation are due January 3rd 2020 and can be emailed as a MS Word document to following the format template below. It is possible that we will have more request for oral presentations than we have space this year. If you request an oral presentation but we run out of spots, we will ask you to present a poster. Spaces will be filled in order of submission. Oral presentation will be 12 minutes with 3 minutes for questions. Posters should be 48” width x 36” height.

We hope to see you at the Whitney Lab.

Chairs: Christine Angelini (, Charlie Martin (, Andrew Altieri (

Abstract format please use TIMES NEW ROMAN

  • Presentation title – Use 12 point, bold. Capitalize only the first word and proper names.
  • Authors – Use 12 point. List author names with commas between. Underline the presenting author. If the authors have different affiliations, give a superscript number following each author name.
  • Affiliations – Use 10 point. If the authors have different affiliations, before the affiliation give a superscript number.
  • Corresponding author – Use 10 point. Name and email address
  • Abstract – Use 12 point. No more than 250 words
  • Presenting author status – Use 10 point. Undergraduate student or Graduate student or Non-student. Note that to be considered for student awards you must have Undergraduate or Graduate
  • Presentation type – Use 10 point. Oral or Poster



So a human (Homo sapiens) ate your lobster (Panulirus argus).

Robert Ahrens1, and Don Behringer1
1Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.
Corresponding author email: Robert Ahrens

Documented interaction between humans and lobster are common. We present an analysis of high speed video for a carapace crushing interaction between a human and lobster at a restaurant in the Florida Keys. Relative attack and avoidance trajectories suggest that lobsters adopt a ‘play dead’ strategy to avoid predation. This strategy proved suboptimal and likely results in high predation rates.

Presenting author status: Non-student
Presentation type: Oral


Register at
Early bird discount ends December 5, 2019.

Dr. Kevin Lafferty

Carl Linnaeus, is a Swedish botanist, zoologist, and physician who formalized binomial nomenclature, the modern system of naming organisms. He is known as the “father of modern taxonomy”. He is not our speaker. Our speaker, Kevin Lafferty, also shown here, has been to Sweden and has used binomial nomenclature in his work.

Lafferty, a U.S. Geological Survey employee, chose the marine biology field to avoid being transferred to the Midwest during a downsizing. He is also adjunct faculty at UC Santa Barbara, where he enrolled as a freshman in 1981, then did not leave, for reasons that should be obvious if you have been to Santa Barbara. Lafferty mostly studies marine food webs, particularly with respect to parasites and other charismatic species.

Coming Soon

Dr. Kevin Lafferty

United States Geological Survey & University of California, Santa Barbara Marine Science Institute