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How Red Tide Impacts Biodiversity

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WGCU / Julie Glenn
Dead Puffer Fish on a Southwest Florida Beach

The word ‘biodiversity’ refers to the variety of life on Earth, in all its forms and the ways it all interacts. First coined in the mid 80s, biodiversity is a contraction of “biological diversity.” It’s basically all of the life, from genes all the way up to plants and animals and the ecosystems they’re a part of. Florida Gulf Coast University has what’s called a ‘Biodiversity Group’ that brings together experts from different disciplines to assess and address threats to biodiversity here in Florida -- often focusing on things like habitat fragmentation, invasive species, and climate change. During its next conference, this Thursday, March 14th, it will focus on the impacts Red Tide has had on southwest Florida’s species and ecosystems. We're getting a preview of the conference from three FGCU professors: Dr. Darren Rumbold is a Professor of Marine Science; Dr. Win Everham is a Professor of Environmental Studies; and Dr. Heather Skaza-Acosta is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Education here at FGCU, and Director of Environmental Education at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida.

Mike Kiniry is producer of Gulf Coast Live, and co-creator and host of the WGCU podcast Three Song Stories: Biography Through Music. He first joined the WGCU team in the summer of 2003 as an intern while studying Communication at Florida Gulf Coast University. 
Julie Glenn is the News Director and the host of Gulf Coast Live. She joined the WGCU team in November of 2016 to expand the Gulf Coast Live call-in radio show from once a week to five days a week.  Since then, the show has been recognized in state and regional competitions and has featured artists, political leaders, historians, environmental experts, doctors, local reporters, and national and international scholars. After leading the station's award-winning coverage of Hurricane Irma in September of 2017, Julie was named Interim News Director. In January of 2018, she launched WGCU's first podcast: Grape Minds.