Florida Sea Grant demonstrated its commitment to solution-oriented research and exceptional extension, and its appreciation for the service of volunteer advisors with four awards at the inaugural Coastal Science Symposium on Wednesday, Oct. 17 at the University of Florida. Each award winner is pictured with Florida Sea Grant Director Karl Havens.
Dr. Mahmood Shivji of Nova Southern University received the Research to Application Award for his shark research. Shivji has developed a rapid and reliable method of DNA analysis to identify shark species from even the smallest bit of shark tissue — fins, carcasses, and other body parts. The method gives resource managers information they need on shark populations so they can monitor the commercial shark trade, and begin to develop comprehensive management strategies.
Dr. Arindam Chowdhury of Florida International University received the Research to Application Award for his hurricane research. Chowdhury uses a powerful Wall of Wind that can simulate Category 5 winds on homes. He develops retrofit hardware that can help reduce roof and property damage.
Florida Sea Grant seafood specialist Dr. Steve Otwell, University of Florida, received the Distinguished Extension Career Award. Otwell has served as professor in the Aquatic Food Products Program in the University of Florida for over 25 years conducting applied research and extension services addressing all aspects of seafood product quality and safety. He is the founder and National Coordinator for the Seafood HACCP Alliance for education and training based in the United States.
Robert Aylesworth, owner of Aylesworth Fish and Bait, received the Distinguished Program Advisor Award. In addition to serving as chair of the Florida Sea Grant advisory council, Aylesworth’s family has given more than $500,000 in scholarships through the Florida Sea Grant Aylesworth Scholarship.
The inaugural Florida Sea Grant Coastal Science Symposium gave Sea Grant extension faculty and researchers the opportunity to share program results from the last several years. A number of presentations were given throughout the day, followed by an academic poster session. To see more photos from the event, visit our Flickr photostream.