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Jim Sullivan, Ph.D. - Florida Atlantic University. Boca Raton, FL, US

Jim Sullivan, Ph.D. Jim Sullivan, Ph.D.

Research Professor | Florida Atlantic University

Boca Raton, FL, UNITED STATES

Jim Sullivan is an expert in biological and physical mechanisms controlling the spatial-temporal dynamics of plankton populations.

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To The Point: Jim Sullivan, executive director of Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute NBC 6: COVID-19 Brings Temporary Reduction in Pollution

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Biography

Jim Sullivan’s research interests range from the biological and physical mechanisms controlling the spatial-temporal dynamics of phytoplankton/zooplankton populations in the coastal oceans, Harmful Algal Bloom (red tide) dynamics, bioluminescence in the ocean, and the development and use of optical and autonomous sampling instrumentation and analytical techniques needed to study these complex processes. Equipment he has developed or co-developed includes a moored autonomous vertical profiler, a bathyphotometer, an in situ hyperspectral spectrophotometer and an in situ holographic microscope for 3-D characterization of undisturbed particles in the ocean. Sullivan earned his master’s and doctorate in biological oceanography with specializations in phytoplankton physiology and ecology, as well as bio-optics and biophysics from University of Rhode Island - Graduate School of Oceanography (URI-GSO). Prior to joining Harbor Branch he was research faculty at URI-GSO and a Senior Oceanographer for WET Labs Inc.

Areas of Expertise (4)

Sampling Instrumentation

Harmful Algal Bloom Dynamics

Spatial-temporal Dynamics of Plankton

Bioluminescence in the Ocean

Education (2)

University of Rhode Island - Graduate School of Oceanography: Ph.D.

University of Rhode Island - Graduate School of Oceanography: M.S.

Selected Media Appearances (9)

Scientists concerned about chemicals used to keep Lake O algae out of St. Lucie River

TCPalm  

2020-10-28

Algicides can be used to kill algae, said James M. Sullivan, executive director of Florida Atlantic University's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Fort Pierce and a member of the Florida Blue-Green Algae Task Force. "But if they kill all algae and not specific-problem algae, well, that can be a problem," Sullivan said, because algae are the base of the aquatic food web.

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Mast bill would make Army Corps too-toxic Lake O discharges to St. Lucie River illegal

TCPalm  

2020-08-11

"There's no safe exposure to toxins," said task force member James Sullivan, executive director of Florida Atlantic University's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Fort Pierce. "If there's a reliable detection (of toxins in the water), the number doesn't mean anything. To be the most cautious for the public, if you detect toxins, you put out an advisory."

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Florida Blue-Green Algae Task Force: Alert public when any toxins detected in algal blooms

TCPalm  

2020-07-29

"There's no safe exposure to toxins," said task force member James Sullivan, executive director of Florida Atlantic University's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Fort Pierce. "If there's a reliable detection (of toxins in the water), the number doesn't mean anything. To be the most cautious for the public, if you detect toxins, you put out an advisory."

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Does Florida’s new law go far enough to protect our waterways?

WINK News  

2020-07-06

“It does contain a lot of the things that we, the task force itself, put into the consensus document that we wrote up,” said Dr. James Sullivan, a member of the Blue-Green Algae Task Force.

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The New Us: Cleaner air and water. Is shutdown a silver lining?

CBS12  

2020-04-30

“It’s a lot quieter for these animals,” said Jim Sullivan, Ph.D., executive director of Florida Atlantic University Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, north of Ft. Pierce. “So they might not be as scared to come close to shore,” said Sullivan. “I’ve heard reports people are seeing animals they don’t normally see around in the water.”

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NASA images show widespread impact from coronavirus

CBS12  

2020-04-17

“It’s fascinating that this is happening,” said Jim Sullivan, Executive Director of the FAU Harbor Branch. “This is something we never could have planned or expected to see.” [...] The visible change, Sullivan believes, is astonishing. He said, “it happened really fast. It looks like a cloud of nitrogen dioxide dissipating.”

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Harbor Branch hopes to tap stimulus research funds

Vero News  

2020-04-16

“I told our entire faculty, ‘Here is how much money is in each agency’s hands. Start thinking about projects you can do.’ Once the money is released to the scientific community, it will stimulate research for every university, and we’ll be doing it as well,” Sullivan said.

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Blue-Green Algae Task Force: Climate change increases risk of blooms

Clay Today  

2019-10-02

“The toxicology is well known but how it gets exposed is not,” said Dr. James Sullivan, one of the task force’s members.

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To the Point 3/24/19 - Dr. Jim Sullivan on environmental concerns

West Palm Beach TV  

2019-03-24

Jim Sullivan also said there’s a good chance we’ll have another eruption of algae blooms in Lake Okeechobee this summer. He also said there’s a severe problem with coral reefs being attacked by a disease. He said they’re trying to find what’s causing it and how to treat it.

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Selected Articles (1)

Advances in defining fine- and micro-scale pattern in marine plankton

Aquatic Living Resources

Jim Sullivan et al.

2003 Since the June 1995 ICES Symposium on Fisheries and Plankton Acoustics in Aberdeen (MacLennan and Holliday, 1996) the use of acoustics for studying zooplankton has seen important advances. Acoustical monitoring of small-scale zooplankton distributions can now be done at intervals of a fraction of a minute. Resolution at vertical spatial scales of tens of centimeters is now easily achieved with commercially available sensors. Multiple-frequency echo-ranging sensors (TAPS™) have been deployed in an up-looking mode on the bottom, and on moorings looking up, down and horizontally. Real-time telemetry provides data on plankton distributions at ranges up to tens of meters from the sensors for periods of weeks to months. These sensors allow one to estimate total zooplankton biomass and the size-abundance spectrum of the animals in the water column at different depths and times. When a profiling CTD and multi-spectral optical sensors were used to define the physical environment and phytoplankton distributions near an acoustical zooplankton profiler, bold relationships were observed between measured spatial and temporal patterns. New methods in zooplankton acoustics are illustrated with data collected from these sensors while monitoring thin, sub-meter thick layers of plankton and diel migrations of benthopelagic crustaceans.

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