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Research Projects

Team Sea Stallions


 Sophia Madison

Scott Griffith

J’Dante Wiggins

Ethan Nelson

We have started our research project in the beginning of September. What we are doing is measuring plants being grown with two different fish species. The fish species are Koi and Channel Catfish. Unfortunately we had a slight late start recording the plant growth so we only have about a month’s worth of data.  We have planted a tomato plant in each container with each fish species. Currently the tomato plant growing by the Koi fish has 3 ripe tomatoes growing while the Catfish plant has not grown any.

Team Angel Fish

Aquaponics versus Potted Plants

Lisa Nguyn

Lorraine Loesch

LeAndra Dixon

Lillye Reilly

Ian Daulton

We are seeing which one grows better:  Aquaponics or potted plants. We are doing this to see if the koi fishś waste will grow plants better than regular water. For the plants we are doing cilantro. We have to make sure that the plants we get can survive in the aquaponics and if they like more or less sunlight. We are also seeing that if we put seeds in the aquaponics, will the seeds get water logged or not.  

Team Humu

Local Lionfish and Triggerfish Interactions





    Our project is on the local lionfish and triggerfish interactions on an underwater structure. Our purpose is to see if local triggerfish populations could help reduce lionfish populations by killing lionfish because triggerfish are notoriously territorial. We have a 75 gallon tank with a refugium filtration system to keep the triggerfish and lionfish in while we observe their interactions. We will try to simulate a structure in which lionfish and triggerfish live on. We will observe the physical signs of stress on the lionfish daily. The lionfish and triggerfish will be fed a mixture of live and dead bait fish caught locally. Our hypothesis is as follows; We believe that the triggerfish will “bully” the lionfish until it dies.

Team Speckled Trout

Lionfish Prey Selection On Various Reef Structure

Gina Rodriguez

Elyse Barker

Allison Blankenship

Marlis Herrick

Team Speckled Trout examined lionfish, a local invasive species, to determine feeding behavior and prey selection based on various reef structures. By dissecting the gut contents and performing DNA extraction and sequencing, the exact species ingested by the lionfish will be discovered. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR), as well as gel electrophoresis, were utilized in order to successfully accomplish this project.


What is the objective of this project? Why are you doing this?

The objective of this research project is to gain a better understanding of lionfish and how they impact the resident ecosystems in our areas. Not much research is being conducted to answer all of the questions raised regarding lionfish in our community.


Team Whalesharks

Phytoreemediation in Shoreline Grasses


Nate Winn

Madison Williams

Courtney Hattaway

Courtney Bokath

    The purpose of this science project is to determain which common shoreline grass absorbs the most levels of total nitrogen from water. By conducting this experiment, we can determain which shoreline grasswould be best to stop runoff from entering our waterways. We are using four different local grasses: Spartina bakeria, Sporabouls, Spartina patens, and Paspalum. To measure the amount of nitrogen we have four trays, one for each plant and one for a reference. We will use a lawn fertilizer that is phosphate free and dilute it by 100%. Each week we will test the water using our MSA total nitrogen protocol we will multiply by one hundred. The independent factor in this project is the plant we are testing and the dependent factor is the amount of total nitrogen. By conducting this we hope to find the best plant to use for cleaning up our bayou.



Team Lionfish

Manipulating parameters to show stress in Lionfish

Sienna Williams

Catelyn Charleston

Lily Casson

Matthew McIntire



The purpose of our assignment is to safely decrease the the numbers of Lionfish primarily in the Gulf of Mexico. Our project begins with a lionfish in a tank that has ideal parameters. From there, we choose a parameter to manipulate. We either increase it or decrease it until the lionfish shows signs of stress. Our independent variables are the tank parameters and include pH, temperature, and salinity. Our first parameter we are manipulating is pH. We will decrease it by gradually adding vinegar until the lionfish shows signs of distress. After the lionfish shows signs of stress, we take it out of the harmful environment and place it in one of ideal parameters to let it recuperate. When the lionfish is content, we begin with another parameter.