M. Dennis Hanisak, Ph.D.
M. Dennis Hanisak is a Research Professor at Harbor Branch, Director of its Marine Ecosystem Health program, and Director of Education. He has more than 30 years of experience in marine biology and ecology, with emphasis on marine plants, particularly macroalgae (seaweeds) and seagrasses. He has worked at Harbor Branch since 1977, conducting research on marine plants in the Indian River Lagoon and in other parts of Florida, the Bahamas, and the Caribbean. Dr. Hanisak is the author of more than 70 scientific publications, a frequently invited participant at national and international meetings and workshops, a past President of the International Phycological Society and a past President and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Phycological Society of America. He is a co-author of Submersed Plants of the Indian River Lagoon: A Floristic Inventory & Field Guide, a comprehensive floristic compendium for those who wish to increase their botanical or ecological knowledge of Florida’s remarkable Indian River Lagoon. Research in his lab currently focuses on determining the relationships of water quality with seagrass and with algal communities (both benthic seaweeds and phytoplankton) in the Indian River Lagoon and understanding and preventing losses in shallow and deep water coral communities that result from both natural and anthropogenic causes. Other interests include physiological ecology of marine plants (macroalgae and seagrasses), nutrient dynamics, coral reef ecology, biology of deep-water macroalgae, and aquaculture (particularly marine plant cultivation).