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Jessica Meszaros

Reporter/Host

Jessica Meszaros is a reporter and host of Morning Edition at WUSF Public Media.

She’s been a voice on public radio stations across Florida since 2012 - in Miami, Fort Myers, and now Tampa.

Jessica’s writing, reporting, and hosting has been recognized by the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA), the Florida Associated Press Broadcasters, the national Public Radio News Directors Inc. and the Society of Professional Journalists.

In June 2018, she was named the recipient of RTDNA’s N.S. Bienstock Fellowship for promising minority journalists in radio.

Jessica graduated from Florida International University in Miami, earning a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from FIU's Honors College.

Contact Jessica at 813-974-8635, on Twitter @JMMeszaros or by email at jmmeszaros@wusf.org.

Researchers with the Nature Conservancy, Risk Management Solutions and UC Santa Cruz looked at how mangroves helped protect some Florida counties from damage during Hurricane Irma in 2017. The recent study found that mangroves reduce flood damages to properties by 25 percent.

The holidays provide extra time for fishing along the Gulf coast, but some popular species are not for keeps due to red tide.

The Burmese python has come a long way from once being a beloved household pet, to now a top predator in Florida's wild.

A study on Florida's east coast shows these invasive snakes have decimated the small mammal population in the Everglades. An expert in python research says warming temperatures could be a factor in their rise. 

Toxic red tide algae is starting to bloom along Florida’s west coast again. State wildlife officials say elevated levels have been detected recently from Pinellas to Collier counties, and people in Sarasota County have also been experiencing respiratory irritations.

Now, new research is looking into longterm health effects of the toxins, including neurological issues.

A toxic red tide bloom persists along Florida's Gulf Coast from low concentrations in Pinellas County to high concentrations in Collier County.

Florida scientists launched an experiment Thursday morning using a small bug they believe will be a game-changer in controlling Brazilian peppertrees across the state.

A recent study by the University of Florida may help prevent the spread of a disease that's damaging tomatoes globally.

Nearly 30 vulnerable bird species that call Florida home could lose more than half of their current range due to climate change and sea level rise, according to a new report from the National Audubon Society.

St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport is receiving nearly $20 million in grants from the Federal Aviation Administration's Airport Improvement Program.

Protesters in St. Petersburg took part in climate strikes happening across the world Friday, ahead of a United Nations Climate Change Summit next week.

A state task force to help determine strategies for researching and mitigating harmful algae blooms met Thursday in St. Petersburg. It’s the first time the group has met since Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the initiative in November.

Pixabay/ heuschrecke99 / Creative Commons

New data recently released shows that people of color are more exposed to air pollutants from Tampa Bay's busy roadways.

WUSF's Jessica Meszaros spoke with Amy Stuart, a professor in the College of Public Health at the University of South Florida, who is one of the researchers behind this study.

Julio Ildefonso, left, and his mother Mariana Vazquez, right, sit in the living room of their new home in Tampa. Vazquez passed away in January, leaving Ildefonso alone in Florida. He's considering whether or not to move back to Puerto Rico.
Roberto Roldan

As Hurricane Dorian barreled toward Puerto Rico on Wednesday, some in the Tampa Bay area with family and friends on the island were staying alert.

An endangered Florida panther scratching at a tree in the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

A Republican Congressman from Florida sent a letter to the Trump Administration Monday criticizing its plans to weaken protections for endangered species.

A healthy orange from a grove in Bowling Green, Florida.
Jessica Meszaros / WUSF Public Media

Researchers at the University of Florida released a study this month in the journal Phytopathology, saying there's a way to more quickly and efficiently kill bacteria that causes citrus greening disease.

One of 36 ground depressions in the Lakeside Woodlands Community in Pasco County sits among a number of homes.
Digital Heritage and Humanities Collections, USF Libraries

There are now 36 ground depressions in the Lakeside Woodlands Community in Pasco County -- that's up from 20 holes on Tuesday. 

NOAA Fisheries

The Center for Biological Diversity is suing the National Marine Fisheries Service, saying the agency did not give 12 species of U.S. coral critical habitat protection that is required by the Endangered Species Act

Pasco Media Relations & Communications

Several large holes in the ground have opened in a Pasco County neighborhood. The depressions may be forming now because the area had consecutive days of heavy rainfall, officials said.

A Florida panther.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Some of Florida's big cats are walking strangely and state wildlife officials need your help to figure out why. 

The endangered Kirtland's warbler, among other federally protected animal and plant species, could be delisted due to recovery.
Joel Trick / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Update: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is holding a meeting this week on delisting endangered species. Officials only plan to talk about Key deer, although other species are up for consideration. The story has been edited to reflect the updated information. 

Federal wildlife officials will discuss the status of the endangered Key deer Thursday. This comes as the Trump administration rolls back protections under the Endangered Species Act.

Jessica Meszaros / WUSF Public Media

Florida agriculture leaders met in Gainesville this week to talk about climate change solutions within the industry.

The meeting came after a warning from the United Nations urging farmers and foresters to adapt to global warming -- for the sake of the environment and the agriculture industry.

WUSF's Jessica Meszaros spoke with Lynetta Usher Griner, a logger and one of the organizers of the Gainesville meeting. 

Pixabay/ vegasita

Agriculture and forestry leaders are meeting in Gainesville on Monday to talk about farming and ranching as part of the climate change solution.

Pilot whales, like the wild ones pictured here, were released back into the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday after beaching near Redington Beach.
Flikr

Two pilot whales that beached themselves on Redington Beach Monday were released back into the Gulf of Mexico Thursday.

Jessica Meszaros / WUSF Public Media

Congress recently approved $6.25 million to study how red tide algae blooms affect people's health. Multiple facilities in Sarasota will work together on the research.

Between 2013 and 2017, Hillsborough County had the most polluted air in Florida with 16 days where it exceeded smog concentrations. No other county came close to that.
Florida Department of Environmental Protection Division of Resource Management

Florida environmental officials released a proposal last week, outlining what to do with settlement funds from the Volkswagen emission scandal. Activists are not satisfied with the state's plan.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

By Jessica Meszaros

A new study describes the future mass redistribution of plants and animals on Earth due to climate change.  The research conducted by the University of Florida and the University of Tasmania appears in the journal Nature Climate Change. An author of the study says Florida is already experiencing this migration due to global warming. Brett Scheffers, a professor of wildlife ecology at UF, spoke with WUSF's Jessica Meszaros.

Jessica Meszaros / WUSF Public Media

Scientists and politicians in Florida are highlighting climate change ahead of the Democratic presidential debates in Miami this week.

The Board of County Commissioners for Manatee County hopes to decide between Rye Preserve and a portion of land off of Church Street to finally put the confederate monument.
Manatee County Government

Manatee County commissioners are tasked again with deciding what to do with a Confederate monument that used to stand in front of the county courthouse.

The Durrance family has grown citrus in Hardee County since the 1800s. Pictured ileft to right: Howard Trammell; husband and wife Jessica and Ian Durrance with their children Jessi, Luke, Wess and Reed; Clara Durrance; Julie Durrance; and Danny Durrance.
Jessica Meszaros / WUSF Public Media

Some Florida citrus growers are finally starting to see an increase of orange production. Those who managed to stick around as the greening disease ravaged their groves have been experimenting with different variations of trees, expensive chemicals and fertilizers. 

In the fall of last year, USF researchers sent a glider to what’s called “the epicenter” of red tide—the Gulf of Mexico’s continental shelf. The device helped to measure water movements to determine how red tide blooms were distributed throughout Florida.
USF College of Marine Science

A new study shows that ocean circulation was a major cause of the toxic red tide bloom, which plagued Florida's West Coast for over a year. It expanded up to the Florida Panhandle and circled down around to the East Coast.

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