INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — Dr. Tammy Frank, who leads the Visual Ecology program at the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute/FAU, has been promoted to Research Professor. She joined Harbor Branch in 1992, as a Postdoctoral Fellow, after postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Connecticut Medical School and Hatfield Marine Science Center in Oregon. Dr. Frank’s educational background includes a B.A. from California State University, Long Beach, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from University of California, Santa Barbara.
Dr. Frank’s research focuses on how light controls the distribution pattern of midwater animals, functional adaptations of photoreceptors to very dim light environments, and zooplankton ecology. Her work combines Johnson-Sea-Link submersible transects and midwater net trawls to quantify animal distribution patterns with shipboard-based laboratory studies on the photosensitivity of animals brought up with the nets and deep-sea traps.
Dr. Frank’s work has been funded by the National Science Foundation and NOAA’s National Undersea Research and Ocean Exploration programs. She has been Chief Scientist on 45 research cruises and has participated on 40 more, conducting work off the coasts of the Bahamas, California, the Canary Islands, Cuba, Costa Rica, Florida, Iceland, Hawaii, Maine, and Samoa.
In addition to conducting her research, Dr. Frank teaches Functional Biology of Marine Animals, Marine Science, and Oceanographic Experience for Undergraduates in the HBOI/FAU Semester by the Sea Program each spring; this semester she is teaching a graduate course, Immersion in Ocean Science, which included an at-sea experience this summer on an expedition to the Gulf of Mexico via the Cooperative Institute for Ocean Exploration, Research & Technology, which is based at Harbor Branch.