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FAU Harbor Branch Announces 2024 Ocean Science Lecture Series

For Pierce - Thursday December 28, 2023: Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute announced the lineup for its annual “John & Barbara Ferrera Ocean Science Lecture Series.” All lectures begin at 4 p.m. at FAU Harbor Branch, Johnson Marine Education Center Auditorium, 5600 U.S. 1 North, Fort Pierce.

The free public education events provide a forum for the community to learn about the most recent discoveries and innovations at FAU Harbor Branch directly from the scientists and engineers who make them.

“Our speakers are all experts in their fields and enjoy sharing their work with the public,” said Dennis Hanisak, Ph.D., research professor and director of education at FAU Harbor Branch. “They will share their diverse experiences on ocean science that help solve practical problems and make informed decisions for the better management of our ocean and coastal waters.”

The 2024 lecture series schedule is as follows:

  • Jan. 10: “The Quest for a Marine Sponge Cell Line: A Retrospective of Sponge Biotechnology at FAU Harbor Branch,” presented by Shirley Pomponi, Ph.D.
  • Jan. 17: “Clam Culture in a Changing Environment,” presented by Susan Laramore, Ph.D.
  • Jan. 24: “Stealing Sharks and Ravaging Rays? A Scientific Delve into Their Impacts on Florida Fisheries,” presented by Matt Ajemian, Ph.D.
  • Jan. 31: “A Bath Sponges Fable: Sponge Painting and the Lobster Season,” presented by Andia Chaves Fonnegra, Ph.D.
  • Feb. 7: “Coral Exploration, Conservation and Restoration,” presented by Joshua Voss, Ph.D.
  • Feb. 14: “Remembering Mark Littler and His Contributions to Marine Plants and Coral Reef Ecology,” presented by Brian LaPointe, Ph.D., and M. Dennis Hanisak, Ph.D.
  • Feb. 21: “Health and Disease in Bottlenose Dolphins Inhabiting the Indian River Lagoon,” presented by Annie Page, DVM, Ph.D.
  • Feb. 28: “Anti-Cancer Drug Discovery at FAU Harbor Branch,” presented by Esther Guzman, Ph.D.
  • March 6: “Celebrating the Queen Conch: A Journey of Restoration with Caribbean Communities,” presented by Megan Davis, Ph.D.
  • April 3: “FAU's New Environment School, ECOS: Building Bridges to Advance Research and Teaching,” presented by Colin Polsky, Ph.D.
  • May 1: “Fishers Know More Than You,” presented by Aaron Adams, Ph.D.

Attendance is free and open to the public; however advanced registration is required. This one-time registration provides a pass for the entire season.
To register or for more information, visit

About Florida Atlantic University: Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students across six campuses located along the southeast Florida coast. In recent years, the University has doubled its research expenditures and outpaced its peers in student achievement rates. Through the coexistence of access and excellence, FAU embodies an innovative model where traditional achievement gaps vanish. FAU is designated a Hispanic-serving institution, ranked as a top public university by U.S. News & World Report and a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. For more information, visit