Florida State University doctoral student awarded inaugural Guy Harvey Fellowship 

Annais Muschett-Bonilla, a doctoral student in the College of Arts and Sciences, is a recipient of the inaugural Guy Harvey Fellowship.
Annais Muschett-Bonilla, a doctoral student in the College of Arts and Sciences, is a recipient of the inaugural Guy Harvey Fellowship.

In a dedicated effort to protect coastal and marine habitats and species, the Guy Harvey Foundation (GHF) has awarded a Florida State University student the inaugural Guy Harvey Fellowship. 

Annais Muschett-Bonilla, a doctoral student in the College of Arts and Sciences, received a $5,000 research stipend and certificate personally designed and signed by Guy Harvey, world-renowned marine wildlife artist, conservationist and GHF Founder/Chair Emeritus. 

“Our commitment to funding and helping pave the way for young scholars to become the next wave of ocean conservation stewards is vital to the Guy Harvey Foundation’s mission,” Harvey said. “Highlighting the extraordinary research these students have undertaken and rewarding their hard work highlight the importance of keeping the ecosystem of our oceans healthy and the scientific community motivated.” 

Muschett-Bonilla, originally from Houston, Texas, is studying biological science with a focus on ecology and evolution at FSU.  

Her research focuses on the maternal reproduction of elasmobranch fish, which includes sharks, rays, skates and sawfish.  

“These fish have various ways of nourishing their embryos, and each method has different physiological and energetic demands of the mother,” Muschett-Bonilla said. “My research seeks to quantify the effects of reproductive energetic demands on the performance of pregnant elasmobranchs, particularly in mature female Hypanus sabinus—a type of stingray—and possible influences on maternal survival. ” 

The funding allowed Muschett-Bonilla to purchase a portable ultrasound that will allow for the utilization of non-invasive research techniques when investigating the reproductive patterns of elasmobranchs.

“Elasmobranch reproductive modes are widely diverse, some resembling nourishment strategies in other taxa while others are completely unique,” she said. “I am grateful to receive the Guy Harvey Fellowship, and I hope to largely contribute to our understanding of what physiological elements contribute to maternal survival at such a vulnerable and energetically demanding stage of life.”

GHF collaborates with local, national and international organizations to conduct scientific research and fund affiliated researchers who share their commitment to ocean conservation. One of GHF’s key initiatives involves recognizing graduate students and graduate program candidates across Florida colleges and universities who conduct research that will help support the sustainable management of marine fish. 

“We worked with the Guy Harvey Foundation to establish a fellowship program to create a cohort of student researchers that will not only help to support and enhance the development of their academic research but also strengthen Florida Sea Grant’s connection with the next generation of Florida’s marine and coastal scientists,” said Sherry Larkin, director of Florida Sea Grant. “We’re hoping this fellowship provides the opportunity for recipients to engage and share their research with the greater Sea Grant Network.” 

Established in 2010, the partnership between Florida Sea Grant and the Guy Harvey Foundation has provided scholarships totaling $439,000 to support the research of 90 students at 12 different Florida universities.

Applications for the 2025 Guy Harvey Fellowship will open later this year. For more information, visit flseagrant.org/student-opportunities/ or contact Florida Sea Grant Student Programs Coordinator, Cassandra Sexson, at students@flseagrant.org.