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, mutton snapper, and South Pacific hake), but I was also most fortunate to be able to continue my work with fishes of the desert southwest (and their close relatives).
Dionda and Cyprinella
While at Texas A&M University, I was also able to put together some side projects that focused on some of my favorite fishes- roundnose minnows and shiners. 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; Hanna et al. 2013). This work also included small projects that arose from my fieldwork in the freshwaters of Texas. These include a population genetics-based confirmation of Dionda argentosa as a native species of the Lower Pecos River, Texas (Carson et al. 2010), and the first population and conservation genetic assessment of the Nueces River basin endemics Cyprinella lepida, C. sp. cf. lepida, Dionda serena, and D. texensis (Carson et al. in press).
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 shows mutton snapper (A), red snapper (B), mahogany snapper (C), and lane snapper (D), with image from: 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