Sponaugle Named Chair of Marine Biology and Fisheries

Su Sponaugle

Virginia Key, Fla. — February 1, 2012 — The University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science announced that Dr. Su Sponaugle has been unanimously elected chair of the Division of Marine Biology and Fisheries. Sponaugle, who has been on the UM faculty for nearly 15 years, is a marine fish ecologist who studies the processes associated with population replenishment, particularly the connectivity of coral reef fish populations.

The Division of Marine Biology and Fisheries (MBF) focuses its efforts in a wide range of field, laboratory, and theoretical research with particular interest in areas such as the coral reef ecology, biological and fisheries oceanography, marine biomedical sciences, fisheries science and management, and coastal marine biology. MBF is also home to the School’s NSF/NIEHS-funded Center for Oceans and Human Health and the NIH-funded National Resource for Aplysia.

Sponaugle has authored more than 50 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters that have received high visibility. Since 2003, she has also served as Editor of the popular Bulletin of Marine Science, an international journal published at the Rosenstiel School that is celebrating its 60th anniversary.

“Su was selected unanimously by her division, which is a strong testimony of her recognition as an emerging leader within the school and the broad support of her academic division,” said Dr. Roni Avissar, dean of UM’s Rosenstiel School. “I am also very pleased to have the opportunity to appoint a female faculty member to this key position. Su has been active in helping to mentor and support faculty diversity on our campus through the University's SEEDS program, and will continue to do so in her new role."

Sponaugle received her undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Chicago in 1986. Between her M.S. and Ph.D. from the Marine Sciences Research Center at the State University of New York - Stony Brook, Sponaugle spent a year on Capitol Hill on the staff of a House of Representatives Subcommittee. In 1992, she received the J. Frances Allen Scholarship-American Fisheries Society Award for Outstanding Female Doctoral Student and has since been recognized with a number of grants and awards in her field.

About the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School
The University of Miami is the largest private research institution in the southeastern United States. The University’s mission is to provide quality education, attract and retain outstanding students, support the faculty and their research, and build an endowment for University initiatives. Founded in the 1940’s, the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science has grown into one of the world’s premier marine and atmospheric research institutions. Offering dynamic interdisciplinary academics, the Rosenstiel School is dedicated to helping communities to better understand the planet, participating in the establishment of environmental policies, and aiding in the improvement of society and quality of life. For more information, please visit

dr. su sponaugle •  dr. roni avissar •