Jennifer presented 25 years of changes in population genetic patterns of summer flounder at the Ecological Society of America (ESA) meeting in Portland, OR
Sarah presented on genomic evidence for evolutionary rescue in little brown bats hit by white nose syndrome, also at ESA
Malin gave three talks: how ecology can help meet the UN sustainable development goals, how to teach about climate change (with Rebecca Jordan), and how climate change impacts in the ocean are different than those on land (all at ESA)
Becca talked about changing predator-prey interactions as a result of warming in the Northeast US at the American Fisheries Society (AFS) meeting in Tampa, FL
Jim presented a detailed projection of marine animal distributions in North America over the coming century (AFS)
Allison presented some of her Ph.D. work on eco-evolutionary dynamics in salmon (AFS)
Postdoc Jim Morley is just back from presenting and participating in the latest Fisheries Forum in Monterey, CA earlier this week. The topic was “Managing Fisheries in a Changing Environment,” and participants included Fisheries Management Council members, staff, NOAA employees, and many state agency employees. Lots of interest in how to adapt to the rapidly changing ocean conditions that we are seeing. Jim talked about how OceanAdapt and the species distribution projections we are developing can help.
Our new paper on extinction risk in marine and terrestrial species is out today in PNAS, “Range contraction enables harvesting to extinction” [free preprint here]. Led by Matthew Burgess at UCSB, the research shows that shrinking distributions puts many animals at further risk from extinction as their abundance decline. While harvesters (fishers or hunters) are typically expected to stop harvesting when a species becomes rare and the costs of harvest become too high, contraction of a species into dense clusters can keep harvesting profitable, even at very low abundance. Examples of species with these contractions include Bengal tigers, Asian elephants, and bluefin tunas.
Jim Morley has a new paper just online early in Global Change Biology (here). Studying marine fish and invertebrates of the coast of the southeast US, he found that winter temperatures quickly and predictably affect species’ distribution and abundance in the following year. In particular, we found a greater abundance of southern, warm-water species following mild winters. We also found that these impacts cascade up to affect fisheries catches for many species. Interestingly, these responses appear in a region that has not been warming over the last couple decades, though 1-3 °C of warming is expected by the end of this century. Warmer winters likely will result in increased abundance of species with more southern affinities, such as white and pink shrimp, southern hake, and star drum.
Ed was at the EcoSummit conference in Montpellier (Sept. 1) to present “Why do fisheries evolve different harvest rates?”. The conference theme was Engineering Sustainability, but covered a wide range of sustainability topics. Also a nice chance to drink some wine and visit with Michel Loreau!
The lab is busy these days, and we’re excited to welcome a visitor, a new Ph.D. student, and two new postdocs!
Wijnand Boonstra is a sociologist from the Stockholm Resilience Centre, visiting to work on fisheries dynamics related to our NSF Coastal SEES project and GreenMar.
Katrina Catalano just finished her B.S. at Boston University and a field season in Belize. She’s interested in larval dispersal and reef fish metapopulation dynamics.
Sarah Gignoux-Wolfsohn is joining us from a Ph.D. at Northeastern University and will be working on population genomics and white-nose syndrome in bats with Brooke Maslo on our USFWS-funded project.
Emily Moberg is joining our Coastal SEES project to work on bioeconomic models of fishery responses to climate change in collaboration with Eli Fenichel and Simon Levin. She just finished a Ph.D. in the MIT/WHOI program.