Dr. Sophie McCoy

Assistant Professor

I am a community ecologist with broad interests in ecology, evolution, physiology, and environmental chemistry.  My research focuses on primary producers, and links between ecophysiology, environmental conditions and water chemistry.  

I use a combination of field and laboratory methods to study natural variability in populations, responses of individuals, species, and communities to climate change and pollution, and feedbacks between biology and water chemistry

Read more about specific projects here.

email: mccoy(at)bio.fsu.edu  

office: King 4060

phone: (850) 644-1549​


office: Coastal & Marine Lab Admin Bldg 111

phone: (850) 697-4099

lab:  Coastal & Marine Lab 11

Ethan Cissell

PhD Student

I am interested in trophic interactions in complex microbial communities, especially top-down controls. My research explores how the relative influence and identity of top-down forces are altered by global change. For my dissertation, I am exploring how altered interactions between bacteriophages and bacteria influence the growth and persistence of cyanobacterial mat communities.


email: ecissell(at)bio.fsu.edu  

Josh Manning

PhD Student

Parrotfishes are extremely important herbivores and bioeroders on coral reefs. My current PhD dissertation research focuses on the role of parrotfish behaviors in determining spatial patterns in benthic community structure and bioerosion on the fringing coral reefs of Bonaire, Dutch Caribbean.

email: jcm17e(at)my.fsu.edu  

Abigail Engleman

PhD Student, Co-advised with Sandra Brooke (CML)

I am a Ph.D. student interested in alleviating anthropogenic damage to coral reef ecosystems. My research is particularly focused on reestablishing ecosystem function, which is lost when coral is broken or killed. Through 3D printing Artificial Settlement Modules, I hope to restore structural complexity to reef ecosystems, improve coral larvae settlement, and thus improve ecosystem function on physically disturbed reefs. 

email: aengleman(at)bio.fsu.edu  

Maria De Jesus


DIS Undergraduate Student

I am currently a junior studying Biology with a focus in the plant sciences. I am focused on the relationships between water conditions and seagrass health. 


Shelby Graziani


Undergraduate Student

I am currently a senior-level undergraduate student pursuing Civil and Environmental Engineering. With these degrees I hope to infuse my desire to positively impact the environment into everyday processes. I aspire to one day be the change that the Earth needs, and plan to do so by supporting research that investigates ecosystems and how best to protect them. My admiration from earth stems from my childhood spent on the water and passion for scuba diving.

Jess Henson


Undergraduate Student

I am a Sophomore majoring in Biochemistry. After graduating FSU, I plan on attending a Pharmacy school to become a Pharmacist. I am involved in Florida State’s Undergraduate Research Program, and have an interest in Marine Biology research. I am currently aiding in the research of the role of Parrotfish behavior in coral reef communities. This relates to my interests of marine biology by exploring the aquatic side of science.

Lena Kury


UROP Undergraduate Student

I am a freshman majoring in Biology with a focus in marine biology. I am interested in studying coral reefs and other marine life and how they interact in the ecosystem.

Joseph Portillo

Undergraduate Student

I am a senior biology student interested in marine ecology, and environmental chemistry in marine ecosystems. I seek to better understand how biological factors effect marine chemistry. After graduation I plan on attending graduate school for Marine Biology.


TyLeah Tebbenkamp

DIS Undergraduate Student

I am a senior majoring in Environmental Science with a focus on Biology.  Currently, I am assisting with a literature review as well as data analysis of the effects of marine pollution on coralline algae.  This relates to my interest in the relationship we have with and impact on the earth. In my professional career, I aspire to find middle ground between environmental conservation and technological innovation.


Joining the laboratory


I am looking for motivated and curious scholars with an interest in linking organism physiology to community ecology and function.  

Please visit the Opportunities & Expectations page to learn more.

Please note - I am not accepting DIS students in Summer or Fall 2020 through Spring 2021. 

Lab alumni

Graduate Students

Kirsten Seal, MSc Applied Marine Science '15,

Plymouth University

Elizabeth Elliot, MSc Environmental Consultancy '15,

Plymouth University


Penelope Ales, BA Biological Science '17, Lab Tech, FSU

Anthony Sogluizzo, Lab Tech, FSU

Undergraduate Students

 Abigail Baker, FSU



Joh'Nyra Bryant, FSU



Samina Fuller, FSU



Alie MacVicar, Lehigh University

Isabelle Basden, FSU


Michelle Dziewit, Texas A&M

Troy Broomes, FSU

Sarah Stoppelman, FSU

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