© 2023 All Rights reserved WUSF
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Florida Matters 2019 In Review: Honey Bees, Coral Reefs, And The Environment

This week on Florida Matters, we share some of our favorite discussions about plants, animals and environmental challenges facing our state.

We look back at the state of bees, the role of invasive species, endangered sea turtles and efforts to save Florida Coral Reefs.

We start our final look back at 2019 with Dr. Jamie Ellis, a professor of entomology and director of honey bee research at the University of Florida.

We talk with Ellis about how honey bee populations are faring, and why beekeepers are having to work harder to maintain healthy colonies.We started this conversation with Jamie about the controversy of pesticides.

SPECIAL REPORT: The Buzz On Florida's Honey Bees

We moved our look back from bees to love bugs, and termites. We learned from Phil Koehler, endowed professor at the University of Florida who specializes in urban entomology, and Steve Puhs, service coordinator with the pest control company Truly Nolen's Port Richey office. We opened our discussion with Phil and love bugs. 

RELATED: Bugs to Watch Out For This Season

Florida Matters reporter Cathy Carter talks with Melissa Bernard, senior biologist with Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium and its Sea Turtle Conservation and Research program, about the habitats of sea turtles. 

RELATED: Sea Turtle Populations On The Rise In Florida But Still Face Threats

We know Florida is the home to more than 500 kinds of invasive species, but what happens once these animals we call 'invasive' have been here long enough to adapt? Todd Campbell, associate professor of biology at the University of Tampa, and John Humphrey, wildlife biologist with the USDA Natural Wildlife research center's Florida Field Station in Gainesville, answers our questions.  

RELATED: Combatting Invasive Species In Florida

To wrap up, we talk about Florida's coral reefs. We talked with Erin Muller, science director of the Elizabeth Moore International Center for Coral Reef Research at Mote Marine, and Keri O'Neil, senior coral scientist at the Florida Aquarium who's also known as the "coral whisperer." O'Neil explains exactly how coral forms. 

RELATED: Saving Florida's Coral Reefs

Christy Oshana is the Producer for Florida Matters, WUSF Public Media’s public affairs show.
Robin Sussingham was Senior Editor at WUSF until September 2020.
I cover health care for WUSF and the statewide journalism collaborative Health News Florida. I’m passionate about highlighting community efforts to improve the quality of care in our state and make it more accessible to all Floridians. I’m also committed to holding those in power accountable when they fail to prioritize the health needs of the people they serve.
As a reporter, my goal is to tell a story that moves you in some way. To me, the best way to do that begins with listening. Talking to people about their lives and the issues they care about is my favorite part of the job.
WUSF 89.7 depends on donors for the funding it takes to provide you the most trusted source of news and information here in town, across our state, and around the world. Support WUSF now by giving monthly, or make a one-time donation online.