Located on the south shore of Oʻahu near the beautiful Kakaʻako Waterfront Park, Kewalo Marine Laboratory is a world-class research facility specializing in the the study of the biodiversity and the effects of human activity on our precious local marine environment. Kewalo Marine Lab is one of two marine laboratories of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, and provides support for University of Hawaiʻi faculty and students, as well as visiting researchers from around the world. The four permanent University of Hawaiʻi faculty run active, federally-funded research labs, train students, and perform community and outreach activities vital to our understanding of life in the marine environment. Kewalo Marine Laboratory is a unique and internationally recognized urban marine lab with access to the pristine coral reef ecosystems on the leeward coast and an invaluable resource for residents in the state of Hawaiʻi.
Congratulations to Kewalo Marine Lab, which recently celebrated its 40th anniversary! Read more about the history of Kewalo here.
A report of a new method to experimentally reduce maternal investment in marine invertebrates by Dr. Bruno Pernet was recently published in the journal Invertebrate Biology. These findings were generated during a sabbatical visit in the Seaver lab at Kewalo Marine Laboratory. In collaboration with Dr. Aldine Amiel, Bruno used an infrared laser to perform targeted deletions of large yolky cells in early stage embryos of the polychaete annelid Capitella teleta. The goal was to reduce energy content in the embryo and determine the subsequent effects on larvae and juveniles. A number of features were examined including larval and juvenile morphology, size and survivorship, and ability to undergo metamorphosis. Experimental larvae and juveniles were smaller than unmanipulated controls, but otherwise morphologically normal. The findings are consistent with the hypothesis that maternally derived energy is largely used to form the juvenile body rather than the larva. Congratulations Bruno!
Dr. Michael Hadfield, local director of the COSEE-Pacific Partnerships, hosted 10 community college educators from around the Pacific Islands here at Kewalo in early August. The group of instructors were here to participate in three-day course sponsored by NSF's Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE). During the course, the participants learned about genetic linkages throughout the Pacific from faculty members from UH, Stanford, and the Center for Ocean Solutions.
Dr. Elaine Seaver, research faculty here at Kewalo Marine Lab, was recently promoted to Full Professor. Congratulations, Elaine!
Dr. Bob Richmond, President of the International Society for Reef Studies, recently attended the 12th International Coral Reef Symposium in Cairns Australia. The meeting, and Dr. Richmond, received much press, including The New York Times, The Jakarta Post, and The GMA Network. In addition, Dr. Richmond will serve as Convener of the 13th International Coral Reef Symposium in Hawaii in 2016.
For Dr. Leslie Babonis, joining the Martindale Lab in June 2011 as a post-doctoral researcher was a sort of homecoming. After graduating from Punahou School ('99), Dr. Babonis chose to leave Hawai'i to pursue her interest in marine science at the University of Miami, where she enrolled in the Marine Science/Biology program. She continued her studies at the University of Florida, where she received her Ph.D. While her move back to Hawai'i was as straightforward as a flight from Jacksonville to Honolulu, her research journey was more circuitous. Her path of research experiences took her through the fields of oceanography, physiology, ecology, and evolutionary developmental biology, the latter eventually leading her home to Hawai'i to work with Dr. Mark Martindale.
"My path through research has been a tumultuous one", explained Dr. Babonis. "As a high school student I took oceanography and marine biology courses and participated in the Waikiki Aquarium's Blue Water Marine laboratory summer program. These were my first experiences with marine research and really got me interested in the field."
As a sophomore at the University of Miami, Dr. Babonis enrolled as a student in the Sea Education Association's SEAmester Program, where she had her first opportunity to carry out an independent research project. During her time in the SEAmester Program, she designed and carried out a field-based project aimed at understanding the physiochemical factors affecting the depth of the euphotic zone a various locations throughout the Caribbean Sea.
"It was a great experience to be in charge of my own project and really helped foster my interest in independent research," said Dr. Babonis.