Lindsay Huebner is a Biological Scientist in the Coral Program at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) in St. Petersburg, Florida. Lindsay grew up in landlocked San Antonio, Texas, but visits to the Texas Gulf Coast and family trips to the Caribbean early in her life focused her love of nature toward marine ecology. She went to the University of Notre Dame for her undergraduate degree and Auburn University for her Master of Science. Her thesis research focused on cleaner shrimp symbiotic relationships with both their host sea anemones and the fish that visit the shrimp for removal of ectoparasites; this research was conducted in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Also while at Auburn, Lindsay conducted research on associations of clown anemonefish with their host sea anemones in the Red Sea, off the coast of Aqaba, Jordan. After graduate school, Lindsay worked at the Florida Aquarium, where in addition to escorting guests through shark dives in the exhibits, she learned the value of public outreach to marine conservation.
In her current position at FWRI, Lindsay conducts coral and octocoral (soft coral) population and health surveys within long term reef monitoring programs at sites throughout the Florida Keys and Dry Tortugas. As part of those programs, Lindsay trains her fellow colleagues and collaborators throughout Florida on coral and octocoral species and condition identification. Lindsay also collaborates with scientists across the United States and other countries on researching stony coral tissue loss disease (SCTLD), the deadliest coral disease documented to date. She also has partnered with fish ecologists at FWRI to characterize the benthic and fish communities at West Florida Shelf ledge habitats, offshore from Tampa Bay. Through this work, Lindsay has been able to revisit her thesis research, as the cleaner shrimp she studied in the U.S. Virgin Islands also appear to be important members of the marine community in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. In addition to research, Lindsay serves as a Unit Diving Safety Officer for FWRI.
In their spare time, Lindsay and her husband Jim enjoy running, mountain biking, reading, and being entertained by the antics of their four rescue cats.
Opportunistic Octocorals? Yes! Soon you will know why and be able to dive differently with a trained eye. Her presentation will be on Oct 23. Register for her dive field project on Oct 24 here.