Sept. 2, 2021: Chuanmin Hu, PhD, USF College of Marine Science: Sargassum Watch from Space. The red seaweed crisis affecting Florida’s beaches.

Virtual Meeting -Sept. 2, 2021

Chuanmin Hu, PhD is currently a professor of optical oceanography at the University of South Florida (USA). He uses laboratory, field, and remote sensing techniques to study marine algal blooms (harmful and non-harmful, macroalgae and microalgae), oil spills, coastal and inland water quality, and global changes. He has published over 300 peer reviewed papers on these topics. He is a team member of several NASA’s and NOAA’s satellite missions, and a member of the Academy of Science, Engineering, and Medicine of Florida. 

Dr. Hu’s research is focused on addressing coastal ocean problems using primarily optics. These problems include river-ocean interactions (transport and transform of particulate and dissolved matters), carbon cycling, algal blooms, coral reef environmental health and ecosystem connectivity, climate change and anthropogenic influence on coastal/estuarine water quality. As light exists both below and above the surface of the ocean, Dr. Hu and his group members at the Optical Oceanography Lab approach these problems through 1) characterizing the underwater light field using the state-of-the-art optical equipment; 2) developing satellite remote sensing algorithms and data products specifically targeted to these problems; and 3) integrating these products with other data to understand coastal ocean changes in bio-optical properties as well as their causes and consequences.

The current research at OOL emphasizes the use of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) to better understand the 3-dimensional light field and algal bloom formation, and high-resolution satellite remote sensing from which customized data products are derived for estuaries, turbid coastal waters, and optically shallow waters (e.g., coral reefs, seagrass). The recent establishment of a virtual antenna system (VAS) and a virtual buoy system (VBS) greatly facilitates data and information sharing on coastal blooms and general water quality with a variety of user groups.