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This profile was last updated on 11/24/14  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Dr. Brian Lapointe

Wrong Dr. Brian Lapointe?

Phone: (561) ***-****  HQ Phone
Email: b***@***.edu
Florida Atlantic University
777 Glades Road
Boca Raton , Florida 33431
United States

Company Description: Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University, with an...   more

Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations

  • Member of the Board of Advisors
    Arthur Marshall Foundation
  • Science and Technology Committee Member
    Arthur Marshall Foundation
  • Board Member
    Reef Relief
  • Scientific Advisory Board Member
    Reef Relief


  • Palm Beach High School
  • Ph.D. , Marine Biology
    University of South Florida
  • BS , Biology
    Boston University
  • MS , Environmental Science
    University of Florida
194 Total References
Web References
ResearchChannel - News and Information, 14 Oct 2008 [cached]
Dr. Brian Lapointe, senior scientist at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution, has monitored water quality issues and coral reef degradation at Looe Key, a coral reef in Key West, since the 1980s. He's been witness to devastating destruction over the years, including nutrient pollution, and the resulting harmful algal blooms and coral reef disease and death.
Fisheries & Ocean Environmental NewsPublic Eyes TV [cached]
"This is uncharted territory," says Harbor Branch marine ecologist Brian Lapointe, "no one has ever had the chance to study the impacts of natural phenomena like hurricanes on reefs under siege from these harmful algal blooms that we believe are triggered by humans."
For three decades now, Lapointe has been studying the harmful spread of macroalgae, or seaweed, on coral reefs throughout Florida and around the world.Besides smothering and killing coral itself, such harmful algal blooms (HABs) cover the food on which many fish rely, forcing them and their predators away, and HABs can fill ledges and crannies that attract lobster.
Ongoing funding from the Environmental Protection Agency that began in 2003 had allowed Lapointe and his team to study two isolated reefs off Palm Beach County that had become almost completely covered in lawns of an invasive, exotic alga called Caulerpa brachypus, among other species.This insidious alien is closely related to Caulerpa taxifolia, which has caused billions of dollars in damage since accidental introduction to the Mediterranean in 1989.South Florida dive operators have reported for years that overgrowth was so bad at some previously popular dive reefs that these locations were no longer worth visiting.
Lapointe believes based on past research that the spread of C. brachypus and other macroalgae species, in Florida and elsewhere, is largely driven by nutrient pollution from land-based sources.
Lapointe says that while the removal of macroalgae may be a welcome event for reefs, the reprieve is not likely to last.Small fragments of C. brachypus, for instance, have already been spotted and blooms could re-emerge as the environmental conditions that have fostered its spread and that of other troublesome species have not changed.
"This is a break, not a solution for the reefs," says Lapointe of the hurricanes' inadvertent macroalgae cleaning.
As buried and scoured reefs begin to recover, macroalgae problems could become even more pronounced, says Lapointe.Previous HABs have proceeded in competition with healthy reef populations.Now, scoured reefs have become nearly blank slates.
Additional information about Dr. Lapointe's research, including background material on macroalgae species, chemical signature studies, and pollution sources, as well as video of reefs before and after overgrowth, go to:
As the massive $8 billion Everglades restoration project increases the amount of water flowing into the bay, nitrogen in that water may kill coral, said Dr. Brian Lapointe, a scientist at the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution in Fort Pierce.
The restoration is designed to clean up water passing through the region, and return some of the historic water flow to the Florida Bay.Though the project will filter pollutants from the water, the focus is largely on phosphorus, which scientists say poses the most serious threat to the Everglades.
But Lapointe said nitrogen, which comes from farm runoff, sewage and other places, is another culprit.Nitrogen feeds algae, causing it to burgeon and compete with coral, he said.That type of plant growth also clouds up the clear water that corals prefer.He said there have already been examples of this phenomenon in the Keys.
Between 1996 and 1999, after an increase in the flow of water into the bay, 38 percent of the living coral in the Keys died off, a problem Lapointe credited to "nitrogen overloading."Other pollutants were clearly in that water, but Lapointe said nitrogen caused an explosion in algae blooms, which led to the reef's demise.
The Keys reefs began to recover when officials decreased the water flow into the region in 1998, Lapointe said.
But as the amount of water flowing into the bay increases through the Everglades restoration, so will the amount of nitrogen reaching the area, and Lapointe said the reefs will again be in danger.
Current discharges from Lake Okeechobee ..., 21 Jan 2015 [cached]
Current discharges from Lake Okeechobee to the St. Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon can be tied to climate change, said Brian Lapointe, a research professor at Florida Atlantic University's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in Fort Pierce.
"Climate change is causing less overall rainfall," Lapointe said, "but we're getting it in extreme events; and that can cause problems like the discharges."
Dr. Brian Lapointe, a lead ..., 30 June 2014 [cached]
Dr. Brian Lapointe, a lead researcher at FAU's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, is studying the troubled Indian River Lagoon.
And, of course, the serious situation with the manatees…that's not going away anytime soon," said Dr. Brian Lapointe.
Lapointe is a lead researcher at the Florida Atlantic University's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in Fort Pierce. He's speaking about the $2 million in the budget Scott approved this year for the institute aimed at helping both the St. Lucie Estuary and the surrounding Indian River Lagoon, a Central Florida 156-mile estuary.
It will go toward further measuring water quality in real-time using what's called Land Ocean Biogeochemical Observatory or LOBO units, and help determine the state's next steps in helping the troubled areas.
"…to really take a retrospective look at how we got here, what the major sources of nutrients are, as we urbanized these watersheds…the relative importance, for example, of residential fertilizers vs. septic tanks," added Lapointe.
Lapointe says by doing that, researchers will better understand how the lagoon is responding to influxes of water and nutrients, which scientists believe is causing the water pollution.
Brian Lapointe
Seagrass-Watch | seagrass news 2013 archives, 25 June 2013 [cached]
Brian LaPointe, a researcher with Florida Atlantic University's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in Fort Pierce, suspects septic tanks, sewer plants and reclaimed water may be the culprit behind the harmful algae bloom. His tests on the algae showed it includes nitrogen in forms that normally occur after passing through a long digestive tract such as a human's or through the biological processes at a sewage treatment plant.
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