Ocean Life Seminar Series

The Ocean Life seminar series brings renowned researchers and academics to the Keys to educate, entertain, and inspire audiences of all ages. Hosted by the Coastlines and Oceans Division and the Friends of the Key Largo Cultural Center, the series features interdisciplinary experts from FIU and the Keys.

The series is free and open to the public. For in-person events, the seminars are hosted at the Murray E. Nelson Government and Cultural Center in Key Largo, 102050 Overseas Hwy. MM 102. All events begin at 6:30 p.m. with a happy hour from 6:30 to 7:00 before the lecture. For virtual events, the seminars are hosted on Zoom.


  • 2020

    Dr. Mireya Mayor
    Date: March 5, 2020
    View Dr. Mireya Mayor event

    A New Magnitude of Macroalgal Blooms: Causes, Impacts and Challenges
     Feb. 7, 2020
    Speaker: Dr. Ligia Collado-Vides
    Watch A New Magnitude of Macroalgal Blooms recording

  • 2019

    It's Complicated: Protecting the Florida Keys Marine Ecosystem
    Date: Nov. 21, 2019
    Speaker: Sarah Fangman

    Underwater Acoustics: Marine Mammals, Seismic, and Sonar
    Date: Oct. 24, 2019
    Speaker: Dr. Douglas Wartzok

    Mapping coral reef fisheries on the Florida Reef Tract
    Date: Sept. 26, 2019
    Speaker: Dr. Rachel Zeurcher

    Hot off the Press! The new Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Foundation: Enhancing conservation in the Florida Keys
    Date: Aug. 22, 2019
    Speaker: Lad Akins

    Jewels on the Reef: The Hawksbill Turtles of Florida
    Date: May 23, 2019
    Speaker: Lawrence Wood, PhD

    Light, Color, and Vision in the Underwater World
    Date: April 25, 2019
    Speaker: Lorian Schweikert, PhD

    "Fishing" for Toxins: Using Fish as a Model System to Explore Algal Toxins in Florida Waters
    Date: March 28, 2019
    Speaker: John Berry, PhD

    Saving Seagrass to Save the World
    Date: Feb 21, 2019
    Speaker: Jim Fourqurean, PhD

  • 2018

    Can We Keep Pace With Rising Seas? Saltwater Intrusion and Carbon Loss from Coastal Wetland Ecosystems
    Date: May 25, 2018
    Speaker: John Stephen Kominoski, Ph.D. | Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences and Southeast Environmental Research Center at Florida International University

    Impact of Fisheries on Global Marine Mammal Populations: Are Extinctions Now Inevitable?
    Date: April 20, 2018
    Speaker: Jeremy Kiszka, Ph.D. | Department of Biological Sciences at Florida International University

    Past, Present and Future of Bonefish & Tarpon Trust's Florida Keys Initiative
    Date: March 16, 2018
    Speaker: Ross Boucek, Ph.D. | Bonefish & Tarpon Trust, Florida Keys Initiative

    Future for Coral Reef Restoration: A Time of Ecological Crisis Requiring All Solutions to be Considered
    Date: February 16, 2018
    Speaker: Mauricio Rodriguez-Lanetty, Ph.D. | Associate Professor and Director of Quantifying Biology in the Classroom (QBIC) Program, Department of Biological Sciences at Florida International University, 

    Climate Change in Coastal Environments: Linking Responses Across Multiple Scales
    Date: January 19, 2018
    Speaker: Justin Campbell, Ph.D. | Biologist for the Chemical Ecology Program, Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce

  • 2017

    Elbow Reef: Key Largo's Ship Trap
    Date: June 16, 2017
    Speaker: Matthew Lawrence | Archaeologist, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

    The Effects of Environmental Change on Coral Reef Fishes
    Date: May 19, 2017
    Speaker: Alastair Harborne, Ph.D.

    A Last Stand: Ecology and Conservation of the Smalltooth Sawfish in Southern Florida
    Date: April 21, 2017
    Speaker: Yannis P. Papastamatiou, Ph.D.

    Sea Level Rise, Everglades Restoration and the Health of Our Coastal Waters
    Date: March 17, 2017
    Speaker: Stephen Davis, Ph.D.

    An Introduction to Florida Bay Ecology and the Seagrass Die-off Story
    Date: February 17, 2017
    Speaker: Thomas A. Frankovich, Ph.D.

    Progress in Revealing the Tree of Life
    Date: January 20, 2017
    Speaker: Tim Collins, Ph.D.

  • 2016

    Algae Crisis: From Toledo, Ohio to Martin County, Florida. Lessons We Should Be Learning
    Date: November 18, 2016
    Speaker: Kathleen Rein, Ph.D.

    Crocker Reef Buoy #16: Coral Reef Restoration and Monitoring
    Date: October 21, 2016
    Speaker: Lisa Symons

    Rising Above: The Science of Sea Level Rise and What It Means for Us
    Date: May 20, 2016
    Speaker: Tiffany Troxler, Ph.D.

    The Epigenetics Revolution Reaches the Ocean
    Date: April 15, 2016
    Speaker: Jose M. Eirin-Lopez, Ph.D.

    Sea Turtles and Man: A Review of the Endangered Status of Sea Turtles
    Date: March 18, 2016
    Speakers: Sandi Williams and Allison Estape

    Florida International University's new Institute for Water and Environment (InWE): Research, education and outreach that is relevant
    Date: February 19, 2016
    Speaker: Todd Crowl, Ph.D.

    Exploration as a Discipline: An Overview of the University of Miami's Exploration Science Program
    Date: January 15, 2016
    Speaker: Keene Haywood, Ph.D.

  • 2015

    Roseate Spoonbills in Florida Bay: Pink Canaries in a Coal Mine
    November 6, 2015
    Speaker: Jerome J. Lorenz, Ph.D.

    The Trouble with Exotic Mangroves
    October 9, 2015
    Speaker: Dennis J. Giardina

    Inspiring the Next Generation of Ocean Conservationists
    September 18, 2015
    Speaker: Patxi Pastor

    To Live and Work Beneath the Sea: Aquarius
    May 15, 2015
    Tom Potts

    Aquaponics: Sustainable Agriculture in the Florida Keys
    April 17, 2015
    Speaker: Bill Irwin, Ph.D.

    Law of the Sea: Energy, Overfishing, and Pollution
    March 20, 2015
    Speaker: Ryan Stoa, J.D.

    Literature of the Seas: Energy Commodities and Conservation
    February 20, 2015
    Speaker: Heidi Scott, Ph.D.

    The Florida Keys National Marine Sancture
    January 16, 2015
    Speaker: Sean Morton

  • 2014

    Invasive Lionfish: Management Successes and Challenges
    Date: December 5, 2014
    Speaker: Lad Akins

    Understanding the History and Future of Sea Levels
    Date: October 10, 2014
    Speaker: William Anderson, Ph.D.

    Keys Canals: Your Backyard Swimming Pool
    September 19, 2014
    Henry O. Briceño, Ph.D.

    Ocean drones: Developing advanced tools for marine research
    Date: April 18, 2014
    Speaker: Dr. Kevin Boswell

    Last Train to Paradise
    Date: March 21, 2014
    Speaker: Dr. Les Standiford

    A Thousand Furlongs: Shakespeare and the Sea
    Date: February 21, 2014
    Speaker: Dr. James Sutton

    What does it take to prevent extinction of a rare orchid species?
    Date: January 17, 2014
    Speaker: Dr. Hong Liu

  • 2013

    Fish Meat: Choose Your Farm Wisely Screening
    Date: November 15, 2013
    Speaker: Sarah Curry featuring Michael Gillespie, Fish Navy Films

    Deep Sea Mysteries: Monster Larva
    Date: October 25, 2013
    Speaker: Dr. Heather Bracken-Grissom

    A Brief History of Diving in the Keys
    Date: September 27, 2013
    Speaker: Thomas Lockyear

  • 2012

    Expecting the Unexpected: Paradox in an Upside-Down Estuary
    Date: November 16, 2012
    Speaker: Dr. Evelyn Gaiser

    Aquarius 2013 and Beyond
    Date: October 12, 2012
    Speaker: Dr. Mark Patterson

    Striking a Balance: Coral Reefs and Human Systems
    Date: July 20, 2012
    Speaker: Dr. Deron Burkepile

    World Oceans Day: The Life and Times of Top Predators
    Date: June 8, 2012
    Speaker: Dr. Mike Heithaus

    Restoring the Florida Everglades
    Date: May 18, 2012
    Speaker: Dr. Joel Trexler

    FOUND: The Sea Turtle Lost Years
    Date: April 20, 2012
    Speaker: Dr. Kate Mansfield

    Spawn-taneous: Coral Spawning in the Florida Keys
    Date: March 16, 2012
    Speaker: Lauri MacLaughlin

    The Grass is Always Greener: Seagrass Ecology in South Florida
    Date: February 17, 2012
    Speaker: Dr. Jim Fourqurean

    Yes We Can: Growing Coral, Replanting Reefs, Making a Difference
    Date: January 6, 2012
    Speaker: Ken Nedimyer