Dr. Kelli Hunsucker is an assistant professor of oceanography at Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Fla. Her research focuses on benthic organisms (i.e. algae, barnacles, oysters, mussels) and their settlement on anthropogenic structures, an occurrence known as biofouling. She is currently funded by the Office of Naval Research to study marine paints and novel systems such as ultraviolet light, aeration and inflation to determine their efficacy in preventing biofouling. She has authored over 250 technical reports, publications and book chapters on biofouling ecology and prevention.
Dr. Hunsucker’s other projects involve eco-engineering solutions for improved water quality in estuarine waters. She is part of a team which creates ‘living docks’ to promote the growth of organisms such as oysters and sea squirts to enhance water filtration for the Indian River Lagoon. She is also investigating various alternatives to the plastic used in many coastal restoration efforts. Recently, she received a grant from the Brevard County Office of Tourism to create biorock surfaces, in place of plastic mats, to increase the growth of oysters in the Indian River Lagoon. In addition to teaching and research, she is heavily involved in Indian River Lagoon-based outreach projects and marine science summer programs for children at Florida Tech.
Dr. Hunsucker is president of the Florida Academy of Sciences for the 2017-2019 term.
Other professional duties include serving as: editor of a global marine technology journal, sub-committee chair for the American Society for Testing and Materials section on marine paints, and member of the advisory board for the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame. Her work and community involvement led her to be named a finalist for the 2019 4 Under 40 awards from LEAD Brevard.
Dr. Hunsucker lives in Melbourne Beach with her husband and dog. She enjoys running, reading, and outdoor adventures.
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