Steph Schopmeyer

Steph Schopmeyer

Senior Research Associate II

Marine Biology & Fisheries

University of Miami
4600 Rickenbacker Causeway
Miami, FL 33149
Tel: 305-421-4209


I completed a BS in Biology and a MS in Biology with an emphasis on marine ecology from Georgia Southern University. My masters project focused on determining the role of ultraviolet absorbing compounds in Caribbean corals. After graduate school, I worked as a research technician at Florida Atlantic University identifying the effects of environmental stressors, such as hypersalinity, high temperature, hypoxia and sulfide intrusion, on dominant seagrass species in Florida Bay using mesocosm and field manipulation experiments. I jumped back into the world of corals in 2008 as a marine ecosystems research specialist with NOAA at the NMFS Coral Reef Ecosystem Division in Honolulu, HI where I monitored and evaluated coral reef health throughout the Pacific. I joined the Benthic Ecology Lab with Dr. Lirman in October, 2009 as a senior research associate. I oversee two in-situ Acropora coral nursery projects as part of a network of nurseries along the Florida Reef Tract designed to propagate a healthy, sustainable stock of staghorn coral for use in coral reef restoration. These coral nurseries also provide unique scientific opportunities to study the growth and productivity of this threatened species with only minimal impact on the existing wild populations.

Lohr KE, Bejarano S, Lirman D, Schopmeyer S, Manfrino C. (in press) Optimizing the productivity of a coral nursery focused on staghorn coral Acropora cervicornis. Endangered Species Research.

Lirman D, Schopmeyer S, Galvan V, Drury C, Baker AC, Baums IB. (2014) Growth Dynamics of the Threatened Caribbean Staghorn Coral Acropora cervicornis: Influence of Host Genotype, Symbiont Identity, Colony Size, and Environmental Setting. PLoS ONE 9(9): e107253. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0107253.

Enochs, IC, Manzello, DP, Carlton, R, Schopmeyer, S, van Hooidonk, R., and Lirman, D. (2014) Effects of light and elevated pCO2 on the growth and photochemical efficiency of Acropora cervicornis. Coral Reefs 33: 477-485.

Lirman, D, Thyberg, T, Santos, R, Schopmeyer, S, Drury, C, Collado-Vides, L, Bellmund, S, and Serafy, J. (2014) SAV communities of western Biscayne Bay, Miami, Florida, USA: Human and natural drivers of seagrass and macroalgae abundance and distribution along a continuous shoreline. Estuaries and Coasts 37:1243-1255.

Lirman, D, Formel, N, Schopmeyer, S, Ault, JS, Smith, SG, Gilliam, D, Riegl, B. (2014) Percent recent mortality (PRM) of stony corals as an ecological indicator of coral reef condition. Ecological Indicators 44: 120-127.

Young, CN, Schopmeyer, SA, Lirman, D. (2012) Review of reef restoration and coral propagation activities using the threatened genus Acropora in the Caribbean and Western Atlantic. Bulletin of Marine Science 88(4): 1075-1098.

Schopmeyer, S, Lirman, D, Bartels, E, Byrne, J, Gilliam, D, Hunt, J, Johnson, M, Larson, E, Maxwell, K, Nedimyer, K, Walter, C. (2012)  In situ coral nurseries serve as genetic repositories for coral reef restoration after an extreme cold-water event. Restoration Ecology 20(6): 696-703.

Schopmeyer, S, Vroom, P, and Kenyon, J. (2011) Spatial and temporal comparisons of benthic composition at Necker Island, Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Pacific Sciences 65(4): 405-417.

Lirman, D, Schopmeyer, S, Manzello, D, Gramer, LJ, Precht, WF, Muller- Karger, F, Banks, K, Barnes, B, Bartels, E, Bourque, A, Byrne, J, Donahue, S, Duquesnel, J, Fisher, L, Gilliam, D, Hendee, J, Johnson, M, Maxwell, K, McDevitt, E, Monty, J, Rueda, D, Ruzicka, R, and Thanner, S. (2011) Severe 2010 cold-water event caused unprecendented mortality to corals of the Florida Reef Tract and reversed previous survivorship patterns. Plos ONE 6(8): e23047. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0023047.          

Johnson, ME, Lustic, C, Bartels, E, Baums, IB, Gilliam, DS, Larson, L, Lirman, D, Miller, MW, Nedimyer, K, Schopmeyer, S. (2011) Caribbean Acropora Restoration Guide: Best Practices for Propagation and Population Enhancement. The Nature Conservancy, Arlington, VA.

Lirman, D, Bowden-Kerby, A, Schopmeyer, S, Huntington, B, Thyberg, T, Gough, M, Gough, T, Gough R, and Gough, Y. (2010) A window to the past: documenting the status of one of the last remaining ‘megapopulations’ of the threatened staghorn coral Acropora cervicornis in the Dominican Republic. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 20(7):773-781.

Lirman, D, Thyberg, T, Herlan, J, Hill, C, Young-Lahiff, C, Schopmeyer, S, Huntington, B, Santos, R, and Drury, C. (2010) Propagation of the threatened staghorn coral Acropora cervicornis: methods to minimize the impacts of fragment collection and maximize production. Coral Reefs 29:729-735.

Holmer, M, Pedersen, O, Krause-Jensen, D, Olesen, B, Petersen, MH, Schopmeyer, S, Koch, M, Lomstein, BA, and Jensen, HS. (2009) Sulfide intrusion in the tropical seagrasses Thalassia testudinum and Syringodium filiforme. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 85(2): 319-326.

Koch, MS, Schopmeyer, SA, Kyhn-Hansen, C, Madden, CJ, and Peters, JS. (2007) Tropical seagrass species tolerance to hypersalinity stress. Aquatic Botany 86: 14-24.

Koch, MS, Schopmeyer, S, Kyhn-Hansen, C, and Madden, CJ. (2007) Synergistic effects of high temperature and sulfide on tropical seagrass. JEMBE 341 (1): 91-101.

Koch, MS, Schopmeyer, SA, Holmer, M, Madden, CJ, and Kyhn-Hansen, C. (2007) Thalassia testudinum response to the interactive stressors hypersalinity, sulfide, and hypoxia. Aquatic Botany 87(2): 104-110.

Koch, MS, Schopmeyer, SA, Nielsen, OI, Kyhn-Hansen, C, and Madden, CJ. (2007) Conceptual model of seagrass die-off in Florida Bay: Links to biogeochemical processes. JEMBE 350 (1-2): 73-88.