Su Sponaugle
Su Sponaugle

Department of Integrative Biology, Oregon State University

Plenary speaker, session 1 "Long-term ichthyoplankton data: insights and challenges

When she is not tending a small herd of Tibetan yak along the Oregon coast, Dr. Su Sponaugle studies the physical and biological processes leading to successful population replenishment of nearshore fishes. Su is a Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology at Oregon State University and co-leads the Plankton Ecology Lab at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, Oregon. Inspired to pursue marine science while growing up in Thailand, Su has retained her love of tropical oceans by focusing much of her research on coral reef fishes.

Prior to OSU Su was a professor and departmental chair at the University of Miami and served 10 years as the Editor of the Bulletin of Marine Science. Su has mentored or served on the committees of over 40 graduate students, with upwards of 60 undergraduates participating in research in her lab.

Learn more about Su
Su Sponaugle Planktonlab | Su Sponaugle on GoogleScholar |

[Marine fish ecology, Early life history, Reef fish ecology, Population connectivity]

Andrew Rhyne

Associate Professor of Marine Biology

Roger Williams University, Bristol, RI

Plenary speaker theme session 3 “Marine ornamental aquaculture enables discovery in larval fish biology


Dr. Andrew L. Rhyne has invested his career in understanding marine ornamental aquaria: the biology of aquarium fishes, as well as the industry driven by human fascination for these creatures. He has worked to advance the field of marine ornamental aquaculture, developing methods for breeding and rearing popular species in aquaria. Andy’s body of work illuminates life histories, husbandry and larval rearing requirements of aquarium fishes. He has pioneered methods for culturing calanoid copepods and this has greatly increased the success of hobbyists and researchers with small tropical marine fish larvae. He has reared dozens of marine fishes, many for the first time. Notably, his lab reared the first triggerfish (the Queen Triggerfish) as part of a joint program with the New England Aquarium as part of a program aimed at expanding the number of captive bred species on display in public aquaria. Through this innovative program, Dr. Rhyne and colleagues developed a larval rearing system specifically designed public aquariums, supplying systems and training to over 20 institutions. These systems have produced 1000’s of fishes for display, reared onsite at public aquariums. Andy proactively teaches others the skills that he has developed to support the development of marine ornamental aquaculture.

He is currently an Associate Professor of Marine Biology at Roger Williams University in Bristol, RI where he has helped to develop an undergraduate major/minor in aquaculture and aquarium science. At Roger Williams University, he manages an active undergraduate research laboratory focused on the aquarium trade and aquaculture, oversees the husbandry and life-support systems at the Environmental Education Center of the Audubon Society of Rhode Island, a small public aquarium, and also maintains a partnership with the New England Aquarium to develop rearing methods for aquarium species. Dr. Rhyne has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and is the recipient of numerous awards. Most recently he won a Grand Prize in the Wildlife Crime Technology Challenge.

Dr. Rhyne received his B.S. from the University of North Carolina Wilmington, and his M.S. and Ph.D. from the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, FL, working with his mentor the late Dr. Junda Lin. He and his wife Libby along with their twins Darwin and Amelia live in Rhode Island.

Learn more about Andrew
Andrew Rhyne RWU profile | Andrew Rhyne on GoogleScholar |

[Aquaculture, Aquariums, & Larval Ecology]

Peter Buston
Boston University
Department of Biology

Plenary speaker, session 4 "Sensory biology and behavior of fish larvae

Professor Peter Buston has broad interests in questions at the frontiers of behavioral ecology, population ecology, and evolutionary biology in the marine environment. His research on social evolution tries to understand why do some individuals forgo their own reproduction and behave cooperatively in fish societies? This question has challenged evolutionary biologists ever since Darwin pointed out the difficulties that these behaviors posed for his theory of natural selection.

His lab is also active in understanding the probability of larval exchange, or connectivity, between populations in marine metapopulations? This question has been a focus for marine ecologists, because the answer holds the key to understanding metapopulation dynamics and designing networks of marine reserves.

Learn more about Pete
Buston Lab | Peter Buston on GoogleScholar |

[Evolutionary Ecology, Animal Behavior, Behavioral Ecology, Social Evolution, Population Ecology, Population Connectivity]