Growing up among dry chapparal and coastal sage scrub hills of San Bernardino, California, Lowell Iporac developed a keen interest in the unique ecosystems surrounding him, sparked by a Bioassessment field assignment he took while in high school. Lowell pursued his bachelor’s degree in Biology locally from California State University, San Bernardino, but it was during those years where he got accepted to a seagrass ecology research internship in the Pacific Northwest that changed his entire trajectory of his career path.
After receiving his B.A., he made the cross-country trip over for his Ph.D., where he currently works under the Marine Macroalgae Research Lab at Florida International University in Miami, Florida. Lowell is interested in the characteristics of marine macrophytes (seagrasses and macroalgae) that make them suitable biogenic habitat for small invertebrate epifauna. He studies these interactions in shallow coastal systems, including seagrass beds, mangrove prop roots, and swash zones of sandy beaches.
Lowell is also the Communications Manager of the International Sargassum Network (SargNet) Listserv and is chief program manager of the “Sargassum Watch” citizen science program run on the Epicollect5 app. Lowell gradually realized the importance of integrating community engagement to scientific endeavors, and sharpening the link between doing science and having
that science geared towards community needs and aspirations.
Presentation: Saturday, October 15th