1982 Ph.D., Biology, University of South Florida
1979 M.S., Environmental Sciences, University of Florida
1973 Biology, Boston University
Dr. Brian E. Lapointe has extensive experience in water quality research in South Florida and the Caribbean region. He has been Chief Scientist on numerous research expeditions aboard HBOI’s research vessels in the Caribbean and western North Atlantic Ocean. This has provided him with valuable field experience in assessing relations between water quality and the health of tropical seagrasses and coral reefs. His long-term water quality monitoring at Looe Key reef in the Florida Keys represents the longest low-level nutrient record for a coral reef anywhere in the world. Brian’s work in the Keys led to a strong phosphate ban and new state regulations for Monroe County requiring higher levels of nutrient removal from sewage effluents.
Dr. Lapointe’s work in Florida Bay and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, which utilized stable nitrogen isotopes to “fingerprint” nitrogen sources, was the first to demonstrate the importance of agricultural nitrogen from mainland sources to development of algal blooms in the Keys in the 1990’s. He developed the first “ridge-to-reef” water quality monitoring program for the European Union in Negril, Jamaica, a model currently being adopted by Marine Protected Areas (MPA’s) around the Caribbean region. He has advised the United States Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, State of Florida, and the governments of Monroe County (Florida Keys), Palm Beach County, Lee County, Bahamas, Tobago, Turks & Caicos, Jamaica, Bonaire, Curacao, Martinique, and St. Lucia on development of water quality monitoring programs for assessing the impacts of land-based pollution.
Algal physiology and biochemistry, seagrass and coral reef ecology, eutrophication, marine bioinvasions, marine conservation