As a postdoctoral fellow at Texas A&M University I was involved in a variety of exciting projects. My primary work was with economically important marine fishes (red drum snappers). However, I was also able to cobble together some fun side projects that featured my favorite group desert fishes and their closest relatives. This work was mainly based on endemic and native species of Dionda in Texas, for which I helped guide the master’s degree research of Ashley Hanna (TAMU, 2011). A really fun project with Cyprinella lepida/C. sp. cf. lepida from the Nueces River basin also came out of my need to get out in the field! Updates to the work on freshwater fishes of Texas in in progress for dispay on this page. The marine fisheries work is details below.
I have conducted research on several economically important marine species. These include the hatchery-augmented red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) in Texas, mutton snapper (Lutjanus analis) in the Gulf of Mexico and US waters of the Caribbean Sea, and South Pacific hake (Merluccius gayi).
With red drum, I have been involved in long-term monitoring of the genetic effects of hatchery supplementation on wild fish across all major bays and estuaries in Texas. This has included assessment of population structure, genetic variability, and long-term inbreeding effective size and migration (Carson et al. 2009), and well as assessment of hatchery contribution to the wild stock over space and time. Image from http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/.
My work with mutton snapper has focused on population structure and long-term inbreeding effective size and migration, with a particular emphasis on the importance of breeding aggregations in maintaining genetic diversity in this heavily exploited species (Carson et al. 2011). My ongoing work with snappers addresses hybridization between species. The image below includes (A) mutton snapper, (B) red snapper, (C) mahogany snapper, and (D) lane snapper; http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/gallery/descript/muttonsnapper/muttonsnapper.html.
South Pacific Hake
I was recently involved in an interesting small study to assess population genetic structure, long-term female effective size, and long-term migration in Merluccius gayi (Vidal et al. 2012) This project includes samples from Chile and Peru. Image from http://www.fao.org/fishery/species/2240/en