Marine Science

Marine Science

Senior Theses 2006

Christopher R. Maupin (2006). Calibration of a Reproducible High-Resolution Sr/Ca Thermometer in the Atlantic Branching Coral, Acropora cervicornis
Faculty Advisor: David Hastings


Branching corals, such as Acropora, are relatively unexplored in their potential as paleoclimate proxies of tropical climate variability in the Atlantic Ocean. Acropora cervicornis persisted throughout much of the late Holocene in southern Florida, and A. cervicornis branches are a common sedimentary feature in the Florida Keys. This coral exhibits a growth rate that would allow high-resolution (subseasonal) reconstructions using mm-scale sampling techniques. This study calibrates the Sr/Ca - seawater temperature in A. cervicornis and demonstrates the reproducibility of the geochemical signal between two branches grown over the same months on Grecian Rocks in the Florida Keys during 2004. Mean Sr/Ca values (9.498 ± 0.010 and 9.516 ± 0.013 mmol/mol) for the branches sampled, as well as the respective variances, are statistically indistinguishable. The calibration sensitivity found here is low relative to other Acropora calibrations, possibly due to changing seawater chemistry during coral growth.

Student Research

Given the close proximity to the Gulf of Mexico and subtropical climate, the Tampa Bay region has a high concentration of marine research and academic institutions. Because of many local connections in the Tampa Bay area, a large number of opportunities are available to our students through government and private marine agencies and laboratories, public aquaria, marine conservation institutions, environmental consulting firms, and commercial aquaculture firms.

$1Mil Renovation Project

GMSL patio

The National Science Foundation awarded Eckerd College $870,720 to renovate research spaces within the Galbraith Marine Science Laboratory during the summer of 2011. Eckerd contributions to the project bring the total renovation budget to over $1 million. Learn more.