Research

Current and Ongoing Work

Microplastics

Lead Researchers Alex Tompkins and James Prongay are researching microplastic levels in bivalves in Southern Rhode Island. This project is focused on finding out what level of primary and secondary level microplastics have been ingested by these bivalves. Additionally, it looks to see what effects the bioaccumulation of these microplastics might have on creatures higher on the food chain, including humans. 

As a secondary goal, this project intends to create a data bank of images identifying microplastic occurrences in organic tissue. This data can be used to help identify microplastics in new samples.

In the current phase of this project, Alex and James are developing a filter system designed to take microplastics out of living bivalves. This project intends to provide safe, microplastic free seafood to people all over the world.

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View Our Future Research

Coral Regrowth

This project will concentrate fully on restoring the coral reefs in Florida by growing several species in the lab and out-planting them on the reef. By doing several tests on the species on physiological and epigenetic level the research should show which have higher survivability under different environmental stressors. Therefore if several diverse species that have been tested are out-planted on the reefs, the hope is they will help increase natural diversity while giving the reef higher odds to survive climate change. Along with testing of individual species and their survivability with stressors such as pH changes or disease, the research will be keeping an overall semi-consistent survey of the reefs overall status over time.

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Policy Effects

This project intends to look at the correlation between the policies governments enact around coral reefs and the real world effects of these policies. This project will also include surveys of local populations with the intent of learning what policies they follow and which ones they don't. The intent of this project is to make best practice recommendations to countries with at risk reefs.