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Octopus Research: Behavior, Bacteria, and Beyond! In-Person Speaker

April 20, 2023 5:39 PM | Rick Dayan (Administrator)

Chelsea Bennice is a marine biologist and science communicator. Her research interests include animal behavior and ecology, with an expertise in octopus biology. She earned a B.S. from The Ohio State University, and a M.S. and Ph.D. from Florida Atlantic University. She is a postdoctoral research fellow at Florida Atlantic University’s Marine Lab and serves as a lead scientific diver and board member for the Scientific Diving and Boating Safety Committee. Chelsea collaborates with scientists around the world on octopus projects to advance basic and applied sciences. 

Her “octo-topics” include the octopus skin microbiome, behavior, genetics, and morphology. Chelsea uses innovative science tools such as a 24 hour camera, the octopus monitoring gadget (OMG), and a floating lab to aid in answering research questions. Her research is highlighted in popular articles and scientific publications, on podcasts, and in ocean documentaries. She has been studying and photographing octopuses for over 10 years, and with over 1000 hours of underwater research, she has been dubbed “Octo-Girl” by the local diving community. Chelsea is an advocate for bridging scientists and the community. Her responsibilities at the FAU Marine Lab also include overseeing public education/outreach projects and mentoring students in the Glenn W. and Corneila T. Bailey Marine SEA Scholars (Science, Education and Arts) program. She serves as the lead scientific advisor for the nonprofit, OctoNation®, whose mission is to inspire ocean exploration and conservation by understanding octopuses. In her free time, Chelsea likes to get outside, get in a good workout, SCUBA dive, and practice underwater photography. She is  also enjoying her newfound hobby of tropical plant keeping. At the top of her bucket list is swimming with sperm whales!

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