IMES

Friday, February 24, 2017

Stephanie Guyotte, UR- Let the Dinoflagellate hunt begin


My methods are simple in theory but things are always easier said than done. I plan on sampling as far down on the eastern coast as i can, exact locations are still to be determined. The locations I will be choosing are going to have mangroves, algae and other vegetation present and coral offshore would be most favorable as this is the best habitat in which to find Gambierdiscus.
Example of ideal testing location (redwood mangroves)
To collect my specimen a bit on luck would have some algae floating by that I could just scoop up in a 50-100mL glass collection jar, but more likely a little light scraping of algae that is growing on a mangrove or other vegetation will do. At site location if possible; I would like to take salinity, pH, temp, and DO readings (all information will be recorded in my Rite in the Rain All-Weather Environmental Field Book No 55oF). After collecting the specimens, samples should be stored in a cool container but for no more than 24 hours to prevent decay. To view the specimens within the samples a wet mount, whole mount (w.m.) slide must be prepared (slide preparation methods found in Exploring Biology in the Laboratory). A slowing solution such as methyl cellulose may need to be added to slide if specimens are too lively, but no dye or stain is needed. Some trial and error will take place in the best way to prepare the solution on the slide.
Compound Microscope
Some methods call for putting the algae through a fine mess first then prepare slide, while other methods just prepare with algae and all. To view the slides a compound microscope with up to 100x objective will do just fine. Here is where things will get really fun; identification! In order to identify Gambierdiscus I will use a combination of an ebook from the Daytona State Library Identifying Marine Diatoms and Dinoflagellates, and other pictures. These sources of information will allow me to find distinct characteristics like plate structure and other morphological features that are used in indentation of Gambierdiscus.
 My scientific question is simply just to see if Gambierdiscus is present in our waters which it should not be, this is why I also want to try and get samples from further down south where the water is warmer and odds are greater to find Gambierdiscus.                  




Kelly-Ann, UR - Going Against The Flow

Sample Locations
     After researching several ways to test for nitrate in water, I have decided that using a nitrate selective probe will give me a level of accuracy acceptable for this project.  I will be testing water at three different locations on the St. Johns River: Ed Stone Park, Lake George, and Lake Monroe.  These sites are noted with red dots on the Sample Location map.  I had considered switching to the Tomoka River due to its manageable size for this project, however, I was unable to find the extensive historical data for the Tomoka River that is publicly available
for the St. Johns River.
     The materials I will need for this project include:

  • nitrate selective probe
  • calibration liquids
  • 3 opaque sample containers
  • small cooler with ice packs
  • gloves
  • 550F field notebook
    My method may change depending on the specific instructions for the probe that is available to me.  My experimental procedure tentatively is as follows:

  1. Begin at Lake George
  2. Record conditions
  3. Wearing gloves, dip the sample container and fill halfway
  4. Close sample container and shake
  5. Dump the water in the container away and downstream of the sample site
  6. Fill sample bottle most of the way
  7. Label the bottle and keep chilled
  8. Record any possible errors and other notes
  9. Repeat steps 2-8 at Ed Stone Park and Lake Monroe, in that order
  10. Refrigerate samples until ready to process
  11. Calibrate the probe with high and low standard solutions
  12. Clean probe with distilled water and blot dry
  13. Place the tip of the probe into the water sample and stir gently
  14. Hold the probe still and wait until meter reading remains stable
  15. Record data/any possible errors and repeat steps 12-15 with the remaining two samples
Weather permitting, I would like to do this procedure twice, once after the area has received rain, and once after it has been dry for at least a week.

Bibliography
Lagnado, J. (2000). Testing water quality.  Retrieved February 22, 2017, from http://www.scienceteacherprogram.org/envsci/Lagnado02/html

Garth UR - Unicorns or climate change, to bad they are both related....hmmmm?


Once upon a time our climates were more stable. The problem is global climate is proving to not be so stable any longer. Things are simply changing little bit, by little bit. As time goes on the world around us adapts, people adapt, clothing departments and merchandising stores adapt, animals and vegetation adapt. Although, you must wonder just exactly where, when and how adaptation may not represent such a feasible option.  When does mother nature say no and mankind has no other option but to bow?  

One question I would like to address is exactly how much are things changing. Our President and many others believe global warming is a mythical Unicorn, unseen, unknown and unanswered. So unfortunately, unlikely to be adequately addressed. No one wants to take the blame, how could one organization, individual or continent, possibly be responsible for the warming of an entire planet. To be honest I don’t believe there is or that pointing a finger will help bring whatever change may be needed.


Most of my research will require the compilation of historic climate research and the compilation of data, graphing, compiling and simply making sense of it all. I will pick between 1 and 4 locations and chart temperature and rainfall in these areas. The limitations I may have will be based on what resources I manage to gather. I would prefer to track at least 50 years of average temperatures and rainfall, as these factors are extremely important to wildlife, ecosystems and many other factors. Ranging from our personal wellbeing to the world which feeds, surrounds and humbles us. The website Weather underground has proven to be a good online resource although the data is limited until around 1980’s. I will also be making phone calls to national forests and state parks for potentially more accurate and specific research and data.

After compiling this data, I would like to show the facts, not point any fingers because what I believe is the most important is that people know them. I want people to know what this means for them and the environment which clothes, houses and feeds us. I will gather information and articles on current and past issues regarding this topic. Through this I will begin to compile a cohesive set of data to build an undeniable resume of blatant facts to lead us all to whatever destination the data may take us.

                                        

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Christian Vinciquerra UR, Lots of Energy from the Class and the Jetty

Mangrove Cove- Low Energy Zone
      Greeting, Friday the 17th was a great first day in the field besides the fact if was a little chilly, however, the day turned out to be beautiful. We met up with Chad from the previous week and headed to the first seining site. Mangrove Cove, is what our class is calling it, was a great low energy zone with a mangrove and beach shoreline. Chad led the whole class and jumped right into it with no hesitation. He briefed us quickly on what to anticipate. We unrolled the net and started measuring out the distances.  While we measured, Dr. Woodall and another student took measurements of the water parameters such as temp, salinity, pH, and dissolved oxygen.
Ponce Inlet-High Energy Zone
       Chad wore a wetsuit and walked the net into the water 73' while a student held the shoreline end. Together they walked 41' along the shore, stopped and began to do a quarter turn back onto the beach.  The overall elapsed time from start of the seine to finish was 7.06 minutes. Chad, in a blind of an eye pointed out a few species with code names and we began counting all together while some people tallied. Seven species and a total of 1,384 fish were caught. After counting, we used the dichotomous keys to identify the species of fish from their characteristics. We released all the fish then moved to site two which was a high energy zone on the jetty with no cover and all open shoreline. This time it was hard to hold the net and keeping the weights on the ground. Waves were crashing on the net, pushing and pulling it back an forth might have skewed our data there. Chad was 54' into the water and walked 50' along the shore before the turn, for a total elapsed time of 3.42 minutes. Only catching 21 of one species was a bummer, however, it really shows how species of fish really don't care for high energy zones compared to low energy zones.
      After all the data collection was completed, we added it to the data taken from the same locations
Graph of Mojorra caught in same location
over recent years.
from recent years. After looking over the data I noticed only one species of fish was caught every time this course seined at Mangrove Cove. Mojorra six out of six times here. As you can see from 2013 to April 2015 there was very few caught of ten or less. From October 2015 to February 2017 there has been over 65 caught each time. According is the graph, the population here had a massive increase. Unfortunately this isn't the case. All the times seined here were different, with different parameters and tides. If all the conditions were the same then we can possibly take an accurate estimate of the this species population in the area.
     I really enjoyed this field lab and gained some knowledge from it. I learned that a Mummichug uses its pelvic fins to basically walk on the ocean shore and the eyes are placed on the top of its head just like a Flounder to see the prey above. I also learned how to calculate Shannon Weiner Index as well as calculate the CPUE and CPUA. I also found there is a lot that may go wrong and give errors in your data collection. I believe it's best to not fight the errors rather than embrace them.

Carly, UR - Ping, ping, ping!

Hey guys, how's it going?  We had a super fun lab this past week out in the field for the first time this semester that left me inspired to get to work!  I've been bouncing around ideas all week on methods for my independent research project (IRP).
First thing I did this week was figure out what kind of shark species I'd like to record and which ones.  I'm going to start out with 20 sharks, all from 4 different species and modify as needed.  

With this next part, best way I can explain my thoughts are through pictures (hence my artist background).
Current SST
Let's start with Cisco, who pinged earlier today at 6:33pm from the Ocearch website and then a screenshot from Windytv website (with the sea surface temperature(SST) overlay).  From there I took both images into my favorite program, Photoshop.  I overlayed both, cut out the blue that Ocearch had for the ocean and wa-la! you can now see the SST where this guy pinged.   I did this for both the SST an hour after Cisco pinged (22 C) and the current average for February(18 C).

Average SST
I came about doing this because on Windytv I can search a latitude and longitude, but when a shark pings on Ocearch, there is no given latitude or longitude.
I did message Ocearch to find out if there was any way to get that information and they responded "Currently there is no way to get longitude and latitude on the Shark Tracker."

My current method I plan on is recording the current SST if available along with the average SST of each of these shark's pings.  A source of error will definitely be my estimation for the area, which is why I believe the average might bring me closer results overall, but we shall see as I start collecting data.

I'll be checking in with my sharks a couple times a week and see where it leads and see if I need to check more or less often.


I will leave you all with fun bit about Ocearch, their twitter accounts.  Some of the sharks have parody accounts and will tweet when they ping, fun facts, encouraging messages, along with tweeting at each other.
Cisco tweeted while I was writing this!


Fins and Grins -;()
Carly 

Monica Barrick, UR- Feel the Power

My scientific question remains the same as I research more on my topic. I will be observing the correlation between the angle of solar panels and how it effects the power output. I will have three solar panels, all at different angles. There are many websites to find out at what angle the solar panel should be for best performance. I will testing the "best" angle and two others. It is very simple to find the "best" angle. For winter, add 15 degrees (summer you would subtract 15) to your latitude (my latitude is approximately 29 degrees) so 29+15=44. One of my angles will be 44 degrees. The other two I have chosen randomly. The second solar panel will be at 90 degrees and the third one will be at 0 degrees. I put a picture a protractor to show my angles. 

Angle of solar panel 1- 44 degrees
Angle of solar panel 2- 90 degrees
Angle of solar panel 3- 0 degrees
I am still trying to learn how to measure the solar cell power output, but I have narrowed it down to these materials/simple method that will be modified.


MATERIALS

Multimeter 

  • 3 solar panels (there are many different ones, will specify when I get there)
  • Something to prop up the panels
  • Protractor (to angle solar panels at correct angle)
  • Negative and positive wires (for each separate solar panel)
  • Multimeter (measures amps/volts)
  • Feild notebook-550F/Pencil



METHODS

The first thing I will do is to test my solar panels to make sure the are in working order.
After the test is complete, which is just making sure the amps/volts get to a certain number (depending on panel) I pick the best place to set them up at in my backyard. I do not want any shadows that could mess up my data. I will use my protractor to put them at the correct angles. Now I believe it is as simple as putting the multimeter to the wires accordingly (positive to positive, negative to negative), measuring the the amps and the volts in order to get the watts. 
(Volts X Amps =Watts)
Example of how I will log my data

The tricky part will be figuring out what time I can be testing the performance. (I want to keep it at the same time but my schedule might not allow me to) So I may just take the average of each week and get my numbers that way. Can't wait to get this project started!


Casie UR- Down and Dirty for Science



Over the weekend, I went on an expedition to locate the invasive plant known as Eichornia crassipes or more commonly known as the Water Hyacinth. I drove to Blue Springs State Park where the Water Hyacinth grows rapidly.  I was expecting to see hugs swaths of the plant in the St. Johns Rivers but there were none visible. I obviously thought my eyes were deceiving me because several park rangers told me where I could find them. I located the plant specialist that the park employs and he gave me a more specific direction to hunt in. After rolling up my pants and putting on my water socks I trudged into the muck, being very wary of alligators. After several episodes of being sucked in knee deep by the muck I finally came upon the Hyacinth.  They were hidden in clusters of plants known as Spatter Dot and Penny Wort. This was curious as I was informed that I would see an abundant amount of the Hyacinth, but because the temperature of the river is not as warm as it would be in the summer the plant does not grown as abundantly.
After doing some research and going on my own personal exploration I believe I have narrowed my focus and my Scientific Question.
I have learned over the last several weeks that this weed has an affinity for Heavy Metals, it is a natural filtration system and can be used to filter out heavy metals and dyes. I have also learned that this weed will out compete other indigenous plants, choke out the water ways and can cause oxygen depletion.
My new scientific question is this, “Do the water Hyacinths grow more abundantly in areas where there is higher heavy metal concentration?”

 Methods and Materials: 
My plain of action is to concentrate on two areas where there is a higher population of the Water Hyacinth and one area where there is little to none. I will then preform water quality tests to test for high concentrations of copper in the specific area that I choose. I am curious to see if there is a correlation. 

Steve Cofone, UR - It's as easy as catching fish!

Hello everyone,
Today were going to discuss materials and methods we are going to use on our Independent Research Project(IRP). Our set up, as well as online and library resources.
I contacted Maia McGuire, PhD UF/IFAS Extension Florida Sea Grant Agent, she is a wealth of knowledge in this area and gave me a couple great directions to head in.

My materials will be fairly easy:

Environmental Field Book, No 550F- Record all data and specifics. Pencil. Sharpie.

 Fishing licence, fishing pole/Med action, bait (shrimp, worms, squid, mullet)(turkey leg for crab),  tackle box/various tackle(scale/tape measure...).

GPS- My phone, to map each position fished/ Also camera to document.

Fish Identification guide/Dichotomous key.

Cooler, Ice, Freezer bag.

Lab and associated equipment to properly dissect and analyze microscopically, the intestinal track of the bottom feeding species that I catch. 10% KOH solution.

Steve, excited to fish!
My methods/set-up consists of:

Planning where the best spots to fish are/and where I might find microplastics in the water, what times/tides, and what days. How long will I fish for? Will I limit the catch by quanity?

Here is some great data on water samples in my area, Flagler County, SeaGrant project

Log all pertinent data in field book, Date/Time, Tide, Moon Phase, GPS data, Temp, Conditions.

Actually fish- As we all know, fishing by no means is an exact science, this IRP is based on the ability to catch some of the species, Channel Catfish and/or Crabs. Assuming I am able to catch the species, I will immediately identify, record the weight, length (tip of nose to the top of the tail fin/crab, girth of body at widest point) and sex. I will then preserve the whole fish on ice in a freezer bag, marking the sample bag with a sharpie, I will number the species caught and will correspond with the appropriate data in my field book.
Image result for anatomy drawings  of Ictalurus punctatus
Identification aid



(1) Anthropogenic debris in seafood:  Plastic debris and fibers from textiles in fish and bivalves sold for human consumption. 

This abstract talks about the results that were found in 2015, It states that, anthropogenic debris was extracted from the digestive tracts of fish and whole shellfish using a 10% KOH** solution and quantified under a dissecting microscope. In Indonesia, anthropogenic debris was found in 28% of individual fish and in 55% of all species. Similarly, in the USA, anthropogenic debris was found in 25% of individual fish and in 67% of all species. Anthropogenic debris was also found in 33% of individual shellfish sampled. All of the anthropogenic debris recovered from fish in Indonesia was plastic, whereas anthropogenic debris recovered from fish in the USA was primarily fibers. 
**  10% KOH is 10% Potassium Hydroxide Solution

So the numbers, to me,  say that there is a solid chance that I will find something if  I catch enough species.
I have also found an article on "Benchmark protocol", I will return next week with more information on this as I dive into it!

Bibliography
(1) Rochman, C.M., A. Tahir, S.L. Williams, D.V. Baxa, R. Lam, J.T. Miller, F.-C. Teh, S. Werorlangi and S.J. Teh. 2015. Anthropogenic debris in seafood: Plastic debris and fibers from textiles in fish and bivalves sold for human consumption. Sci. Rep. 5, 14340; doi: 10.1038/srep14340.


Dylan Radford UR, Just Keep Swimming!

Site 1 Sein net

My Graph!

Hello class! The lab that we all participated in on Friday was my very first lab experiment that I have ever conducted at DSC and it was a blast! Besides it being a little cold in the morning the day turned out to be a beautiful one. I think one of the more interesting things about the lab was the sein net and how Chad was able to use the net with the help of a few other students to catch the fish. Like I have said in my previous posts, I don't have a fishing background so this was a very new type of fishing for me that actually worked! Not going to lie, I didn't think we were going to catch any fish but at the first site in just about 7 minutes we were able to catch 1,384 fish of different species and 35 blue crabs. I was amazed how many we caught and how chad was able to identify them when we were counting. My favorite part of the lab was sitting down on the benches and doing all of the calculations together because I started to understand the importance of doing these kind of tests and what kind of information you can take from it. Not to mention I have lived in Daytona all my life and had never been to that part of the marine science center and it is pretty cool. After all of the experiments, we were asked to create a graph that compares our information from site 1 of 2017 to the information from site 1 of a different year. I decided that I would compare the CPUE¹ from 2016 and 2017. The reason I chose to compare our information to the information of the 2016 class was to see the difference in the abundance of fish in that area of the two years. After creating my graph I was able to tell that the CPUE¹ (standardized for the area sampled) for 2017 at the Mangrove site was 0.2541 more than the CPUE¹ of 2016 from the same place. This graph also basically says that the fish in the given area were more abundant than the previous year. This is awesome because we had a lot more success than the last class to conduct the experiment.
     I am glad that I decided to take this lab because I have never had an experience like that and it has really amplified my interests in the Natural science field. I cant wait to conduct more experiments so I can explore other things that I may not know I would have interests in. I also believe that we have a great class that works together and gets things done as a team so it can only get more fun from here!


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The scientific plan of action!

You can't see one, but of course with many we can see evidence of them. Diatoms I'm talking about.

So now I need to formulate my scientific question, which will determine the purpose, methods and materials, which will determine effectiveness. I'll be dragging a cone sieve behind a boat to gather the diatoms in two different locations. The northernmost sample will be the Tomoka River at the State
Tomoka River near State Park
Park. Here the water is brackish, which is fresh water from tributaries draining into the saltier Tomoka River. The Tomoka also joins two ocean inlets, Matanzzas Inlet and Ponce Inlet north and south respectively.
The southern sample source will be near Oak Hill, the northern end of the Indian River. It is more saline as it is closer to Ponce Inlet, and has less fresh water tributaries emptying into it.
northern Indian River near Ponce Inlet

So my question: How will the samples be different regarding salinity and source. I realize this is broad at the moment but you have to start somewhere.

My methods and materials: for materials I'll use the same seine cone for each, more details to follow. My method: sample for salinity at the start and end of sample area. (If I sample in the middle my sieve will drop or float and my samples will drift away) The sample area has to be large enough to get a representative area meaning time length behind the boat. The cone has to be drug far enough from the boat so the source will not be too disturbed by the propeller and wake.
DSC student Samantha from 2015 blog photo! found while googling info on diatoms!

The water is less turbulent the further from the boat. A standard ski rope is around 75 feet. I guess I'll have to see what is available. The length of time could be 10 minutes. It's all coming together!

Alex, UR- Here Fishy Fishy!

The start of our fish seining

Good afternoon!
I will be talking to you all today about our exciting trip to Ponce Inlet and about the graph that I chose to make.
Okay, so on Friday we went up to Ponce Inlet to do our fish seining, we started at the Mangrove location and we begin measuring out where the net would go. We then, slowly walked out the net and brought it back to the beach with as many fish as we could catch. We did run into a small problem, the ground was uneven in some spots so we may have lost some fish underneath the net. We ended up catching 1,419 I believe, 7 different species of fish!! It took about an hour to count them all up and saved most of them. :)
After we counted all of the fish, we headed over to site 2, which was more in the Inlet and higher traffic area. Dr. Woodall and I took water samples while the others put out the net. Here, we had waves crashing the beach while we brought the net in which was a source of error and could've let some fish escape. We ended up only getting 1 fish species here and a few crabs, site 1 definitely had more activity than site 2.

I enjoy being out in the field and physically getting to experience everything rather than just talking about it or reading it. I think it helps me better understand the graphs and exactly what we are looking at too. For my graph I decided to go with the different fish diversities over the years. All I did was add our information from our field trip to Ponce Inlet to my other graph from the previous week. As you can see below, the fish diversity was much higher in the Inlet in 2013 & 2014 than it was for us this year.

video 
My graph with our added data from 2017

Friday, February 17, 2017

Carly, UR - Fin-tastic news everyone!

(If you can't tell by now, I really love puns)

Happy Valentine's day week everyone!  Hope you were able to share some time with loved ones or some time for yourself!  Now, let's get something that I love: making a decision!

Last week I was deciding between a few ideas, after said blog I discussed with Dr. Woodall what direction I should head, and finally decided on something to research.

Is there a correlation between sharks and sea surface temperatures (SST)?

That is a simplified version of what I'll be independently researching.  It will be done online with the lovely Ocearch (shark tagging masters) and Windytv (sea surface temperature map).  Check out Ocearch tagging a shark, Miss Costa, to the right. -->

Something I am still deciding is how many species I want to focus on, and from that, how many individuals from each.  The reason I'll need a few individuals is because the tags they have only "ping" when they surface, which won't happen all the time, so the more individuals the better the data.


I've done some research seeing if anything like this has been done in the past, and I'm really not finding a whole lot.  Primarily what I'm seeing is sea surface temperature being one calculation recorded among 10 other factors with one specific species, and usually in one particular area. For example, in 2014 there was a study done on whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) and their largely unknown reproductive ecology.  The focus was their habitat use at darwin island, galapagos marine reserve.  There was a negative correlation between the SST and the whale shark presence (1).

In fact, there are several articles on the whale shark, but not many other species.  Looks like I have some work to do.

Fins and grins,
Carly Magnus

1. Acuña-Marrero D, Jiménez J, Smith F, et al. Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus) Seasonal Presence, Residence Time and Habitat Use at Darwin Island, Galapagos Marine Reserve. Klimley AP, ed. PLoS ONE. 2014;9(12):e115946. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0115946.

Garth, UR - So, is Global Warming just another episode of the Twlight Zone?


             So, global warming does exist? Hmm, Well… native Alaskans seem to be arguing, much less. Alaska Meltdown, the frontlines of climate change: Is the article I have chosen to depict key points of environmental and temperature shift occurring throughout our globe. What happens when we turn up the heat?
             So, good question and how exactly is this connected? Global warming in turn is responsible for global climate change, which is simply the increase of temperature throughout the world. One aspect of this I believe is important, is the effect that warming temperatures have on our environment. What does this mean and how does this affect us?
            Alaska is a pivotal point, for a stark contrast to those non-believers. If seeing is believing, then Alaska has found their god. In this case enlightenment in an unfortunate occurrence.
                       Located on a barrier island just outside Bering Land Bridge National Preserve

Global temperature has increased on average about 1 degree Centigrade. Apparently, in the Artic temperatures during winter has risen as much as 7 degrees to 9 degrees Fahrenheit in some locations. Icepack is retreating affecting Inupiat villagers hunting grounds and as solar radiation builds, new ground is exposed and permafrost retreats. Hot spots are created melting even larger areas as time passes. Cariboo migration patterns are beginning to shift, forests are beginning to appear where arctic tundra once was and polar bear hunting grounds are beginning to dwindle as ice retreats. Even the oil industries in this area are losing headway as winters cold embrace, warms giving them once a 200-day exploration, to a now 100-day exploration time period.
Most of rising sea levels are directly created from thermal expansion. Apparently as much as 10 percent can be attributed to melting glaciers, much of which is from Alaska.
One fact I would like to build upon is the cyclical affect temperature and weather has on our world. As the weather, wind and temperature change so does the landscape which was molded by its inevitable consistency. So, what happens when that changes?

                                                             Food for thought…..


Sherwonit, Bill. "Alaskan meltdown: on the frontlines of climate change: Alaska and the national              park sites in our northern-most state are showing dramatic signs of global climate change. Melting permafrost and glaciers, eroding coastlines, and insect invasions all point to warming temperature trends." National Parks, Summer 2004, p. 24+. Academic OneFile, db06.linccweb.org/login?url=http://go.galegroup.com.db06.linccweb.org/ps/i.do?p=AONE

Stephanie Guyotte, UR- Fishy business



Gambierdiscus dinoflagellates ( from google)
Gambierdiscus dinoflagellates (from google)
After searching our Daytona State library one article titled "Epidemiology of Ciguatera in Florida" stood out. In this article the authors discuss their methods and results of searching out ciguatera cases in Florida. Their methods included sending out surveys to fishermen and people who could have had possible cases of ciguatera poisoning. From the study they gathered the following information from the people who could have had ciguatera; county of residence, age, gender, race and ethnicity, origin of fish, and case notes on fish meal. Then asked if they experienced any of the following symptoms during their bout with possible food poisoning (I say food poisoning because people commonly think that they only have food poisoning when it could really be ciguatera poisoning); “Have you ever experienced vomiting and/or diarrhea combined with numbness around the mouth or hands, or weakness in the legs, or reversal of hot and cold sensations after eating saltwater fish?” (and other questions).  From this they were able to categorize the ciguatera Vs. the food poisoning cases and where the fish may have come from and what type of fish it was. The article also mentions the link between Gambierdiscus dinoflagellates and how growth rates might be expected as water temperatures increase. While this article takes a different scientific approach of a survey then what I plan on doing with a collect and sample method, this article proves that the Gambierdiscus dinoflagellates are in Florida (and provides ample amounts of information). So now its up to me to try and find them!

Most common three fish types consumed in ciguatera outbreaks reported to FDOH by ethnicity

Type of fishConfirmed outbreaks* (FDOH reports)Likely and possible cases (fishermen survey)
Hispanic n (%)Non-Hispanic n (%)Hispanic n (%)Non-Hispanic n (%)
Barracuda29 (76)3 (7)10 (24)19 (9)
Grouper4 (11)26 (58)6 (14)70 (34)
Amberjack07 (16)4 (10)12 (6)
Other5 (13)9 (20)22 (52)102 (50)
P value< 0.00010.007

Reference:    
Radke, E. G., Reich, A., & Morris, J. G. (2015). Epidemiology of Ciguatera in Florida. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 93(2), 425–432. http://doi.org/10.4269/ajtmh.14-0400