Assistant Professor of Oceanography
Florida Institute of Technology
Dr. Kelli Hunsucker holds degrees from Stockton University and the Florida Institute of Technology. Her research focuses on biofouling organisms and their settlement on anthropogenic structures. She is currently funded by the Office of Naval Research to study ship hull coatings, altered substrates, and novel biofouling prevention systems (i.e. ultraviolet light, aeration, inflation) to determine the efficacy in preventing the accumulation of biofouling. She is part of a team that is researching and developing remotely operated vehicles and tools, which will groom or provide a frequent gentle wiping of a ship hull to prevent biofouling. Dr. Hunsucker investigates how grooming interacts with the ecology of the organisms in order to deter their settlement. She also studies variations in the community composition of biofilms grown on ship hull coatings under disturbed regimes, and how these changes may alter the associated drag penalties. She has authored over 250 technical reports, numerous publications, and book chapters on biofouling ecology and prevention. Dr. Hunsucker’s other projects involve eco-engineering solutions for improved water quality in estuarine waters. In addition to teaching and research, she is heavily involved in Indian River Lagoon based outreach projects and marine science summer programs for children. Dr. Hunsucker is the past President of the Florida Academy of Sciences (FAS). Her other professional duties include, serving as the editor of the Marine Technology Society (MTS) Journal, the sub-committee chair for the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) section on Marine Coatings, a member of the advisory board for the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame, and the outreach coordinator for the Indian River Lagoon Research Institute (IRLRI) at FIT. Her work in both the professional and community setting lead her to be considered one of the top under forty leaders for Brevard County in 2018 and 2019.