2016 Ph.D. – University of South Florida (USF) – Marine Resource Assessment Program
Graduation Date: December 2016
Dissertation Title: Influence of water quality variability on stony coral diversity and net community productivity in the Florida Keys
2008 M.S. – University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez (UPRM) – Marine Science
2004 B.S. – University of Puerto Rico – Humacao (UPRH) – Coastal Marine Biology
PEER-REVIEWED PUBLICATIONS (h-index: 3)
Liu G, Heron S, Eakin M, Muller-Karger FE, Vega-Rodriguez M, Guild LS, De la Cour JL, Geiger EF, Skriving WJ, Burgess TFR, Strong AE, Harris A, Maturi E, Ignatov A, Sapper J, Li J, Lynds S (2014) Reef- scale Thermal Stress Monitoring of Coral Ecosystems: New Global Products from NOAA Coral Reef Watch. Remote Sensing 611579-11606; doi:10.3390/rs61111579
Vega-Rodriguez M, Muller-Karger FE, Hallock-Muller P, Quiles-Perez G, Mark CE, Colella M, Jones DL, Li J, Soto I, Guild L, Lynds S, Ruzicka R (2015) Influence of water temperature variability on stony coral diversity of Florida Keys patch reefs. Marine Ecology Progress Series 528: 173-186
Turk D, Yates K, Vega-Rodriguez M, Toro-Farmer G, L’Esperance C, Melo N, Ramsewak D, Dowd M, Cerdeira-Estrada S, Muller-Karger FE, Herwitz SR, McGillis WR (2015) Community metabolism in shallow coral reef and seagrass ecosystems, Lower Florida Keys. Marine Ecology Progress Series 538: 35-52
Toro-Farmer G, Muller-Karger FE, Vega-Rodriguez M, Melo N, Yates K, Cerdeira-Estrada S, Herwitz SR (2016) Characterization of available light for seagrass and patch reef productivity in the Florida Keys. Remote Sensing 8(2): doi: 10.3390/rs8020086
Vega-Rodriguez M, Toro-Farmer G, Yates K, Melo N, Ramsewak D, Cerdeira S, Turk D, Herwitz SR, Muller-Karger FE. Daily net community production and stony coral photosynthetic efficiency as a function of water turbidity in shallow-reef environments of the Florida Keys. Under review by PLoS ONE.
Vega-Rodriguez M, Chapa N, Schubert N, Jaap W, Toro-Farmer G, Muller-Karger FE. Pushing stony coral Orbicella faveolata to its limits: response to extreme cold and warm water temperatures in low light environments. Under review by Biology Open.
2016 USF Dissertation Completion Fellowship
2011 & 2015 USF-CMS Bridge to the Doctorate Endowed Fellowship
2011 & 2015 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Scholar
2012 – 2015 NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship
2015 22st Annual Compact for Faculty Diversity’s Institute for Teaching and Mentoring
2014 21st Annual Compact for Faculty Diversity’s Institute for Teaching and Mentoring
2013 20st Annual Compact for Faculty Diversity’s Institute for Teaching and Mentoring
2012 American Society of Limnology and Oceanography 2012 Multicultural Program
2011 Achievement Rewards for College Students (ARCS) Scholar Foundation, Tampa Bay
2010 – 2012 NSF Florida Georgia Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation – Bridge to the Doctorate Program
2007 Sea Grant – UPRM Travel Grant
2003 – 2004 McNair Scholar from the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Scholars Program at the UPRH
2002 – 2004 Faculty in Training for the ADVANCE Institutional Transformation Program
2001 – 2003 Puerto Rico – Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (PR- LSAMP). Research Grant
2016 Panelist – Title: The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary as a sentinel site for a demonstration Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON). Session: New Tools for Reef Resilience. Florida Reef Resilience Program’s 10-year Anniversary Symposium.
Selected/Recent Oral Presentations:
2016 Vega-Rodriguez M, et al. Spatiotemporal changes in net community productivity, stony coral photosynthetic efficiency and water turbidity in shallow reef environments of the Florida Keys. 13th International Coral Reef Symposium. Honolulu, Hawaii.
2016 Vega-Rodriguez M, et al. Influence of water-temperature variability on stony coral diversity in Florida Keys patch reefs. USF CMS 32nd Graduate Student Symposium. Saint Petersburg, Fl., USA.
2012 Vega-Rodriguez M, et al. High-resolution thermal stress indices for regional coral bleaching forecasts. 12th International Coral Reef Symposium. Cairns, Australia.
2009 Vega-Rodriguez M. Remote Sensing of LAI and Net Primary Productivity. XVIII Symposium of Flora and Fauna of the Caribbean. University of Puerto Rico, Humacao Campus.
Selected/Recent Poster Presentations:
2015 Vega-Rodriguez M, et al. Coral diversity in Florida Keys patch reefs relative to water-temperature variability. USF 7th Annual Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Scholar Research Symposium.
2013 Vega-Rodriguez M, et al. Florida Keys coral reef diversity buffered by intermediate sea surface temperature variability. NASA Biodiversity and Ecological Forecasting Team Meeting. Washington, DC., USA.
2012 Vega-Rodriguez M, et al. Developing High – Resolution SST Climatologies and Thermal Stress Indices to Enhance NOAA’S Coral Reef Decision Support System. Ocean Sciences Meeting held in Utah, USA.
2011 Vega-Rodriguez M, et.al. Developing high – resolution thermal stress indices to enhance regional coral bleaching forecaststhrough NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch decision support system: Cold stress case study. NASA Carbon Cycle & Ecosystems Joint Science Workshop. Washington, DC., USA.
2010 Muller-Karger FE, Eakin CM, Guild L, Hu C, Vega-Rodriguez M, et al. A Decision-Support System for Ecosystem-Based Management of Tropical Coral Reef Environments. NASA Carbon Cycle & Ecosystems Joint Science Workshop. Washington, DC., USA.
EDUCATION & OUTREACH
- University of South Florida
Fall 2014 Undergraduate-level course
Co-Instructor: (OCE2001) Introduction to Oceanography course
- University of South Florida
Summer 2011 USF-CMS Oceanography Camp for Girls
Science Leader: Ocean color and remote sensing module
- New College in Florida
Summer 2014 High School-level course sponsored by Duke University Talent Identification Program Field Studies
Instructor Counselor: Marine Biology in the Gulf of Mexico
Student Research Mentoring
- University of South Florida
Summer 2015 NSF Research for Undergraduate Experience (REU) – Tampa Interdisciplinary Environmental Research
Professional Development Mentoring
- Spring 2016 National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity
Peer Mentor for finishing PhD. students enrolled in the Dissertation Success Program
2013 – 2016 Outreach Coordinator – Institute for Marine Remote Sensing (IMaRS) – USF-CMS
2015 Co-Organizer – St. Petersburg Science Festival Promotional Tour Subcommittee
2012 Organizer – IMaRS: Ocean Color and Remote Sensing Booth, St.Pete Science Festival
2006 – 2008 Education and Outreach Provider at the University of Puerto Rico
2001 Vice President of the University of Puerto Rico, Humacao Coastal Marine Biology Students Association
2015 Studio 10 Live –Tampa Bay10 News: 5-min TV interview on my research and involvement with the ARCS Foundation
2014 Cadena Radio Universidad de Puerto Rico – Public Radio: Invited expert to provide insights on the health of Caribbean coral reefs in radio report.
2010 El Nuevo Día – Puerto Rico (ENDI) – National Newspaper: Interview for news article “Contaminación en las playas de Culebra”
2015 – 2016 Club Secretary – Toastmasters International – Toast of the Bay (Club 4145)
2014 Education and Outreach Volunteer specialist – Tampa Bay Estuary program
2014 Timekeeper – USF National Ocean Sciences Regional Competition Spoonbill Bowl
2011 USF-Oceanography Camp for Girls Beach Cleanup at Clam Bayou St. Petersburg-Fl.
2011 Runner – USF National Ocean Sciences Regional Competition Spoonbill Bowl
2015 Research Assistant – R/V Walton Smith – University of Miami, Florida Key
2013 Research Assistant – R/V Virginia Key – University of Miami, Florida Keys
2012 Research Assistant – R/V Walton Smith – University of Miami, Florida Key
2012 Research Assistant – R/V Virginia Key – University of Miami, Florida Keys
2011 Research Assistant – R/V NOAA Nancy Foster, NOAA, Caribbean, USVI & Puerto Rico
2011 Research Assistant – R/V Walton Smith – University of Miami, Florida Keys
Scientific & Computer Software
- Big data analyses and interdisciplinary research
- Satellite-derived data (MODIS, AVHRR, IKONOS, Landsat)
- Matlab, IDL, Python, R
- ArcGIS, ENVI, SeaDAS, Coral Point Count with Excel Extensions (CPCe)
- Microsoft Office, Acrobat Professional
- Open-water, Advanced, Nitrox PADI diver &AAUS Scientific diver
- Diving First Aid for Professional Divers (DAN certified)
- CPR & Oxygen Provider
Writing and Public Speaking
- Competent Communicator & Leader – Toastmaster International
- Grant writing
- Science Communication & Outreach
- Strategic planning and organization
- English & Spanish: fluent (speaking, writing, reading).
- Brazilian Portuguese: basic (speaking)
SELECTED TRAINING WORKSHOPS
2016 NASA Remote Sensing for Coastal and Ocean Applications
2015 edX: Denial101x: Making Sense of Climate Science Denial (online course)
2014 USF Presentation Boot Camp for Scientists
2014 Cornell University Satellite Remote Sensing Training
2008 National Autonomous University of Mexico and the Center of Scientific Investigations and Superior Education of Ensenada (CICESE), Mexico – Light and photosynthesis on coral reefs course
2003 Smithsonian Environmental Research Center – Mangrove Ecology
- International Society for Reef Studies
- American Society of Limnology and Oceanography
- American Geophysical Union
- The Oceanography Society
- American Association for the Advancement in Science (AAAS)/Science Program for Excellence in Science
- Toastmasters International – Toast of the Bay (Club 4145)