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Mark Scheuerell named new Assistant Unit Leader, USGS Washington Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit

Mark Scheuerell

SAFS is excited to announce that Mark Scheuerell will be joining us as the USGS Washington Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit’s new Assistant Unit Leader and as an Associate professor.

Mark has worked for a number of years for NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center as an applied ecologist and as an Affiliate Associate professor at here at SAFS.
He will be cooperating with a variety of state and federal organizations, tribes, and academic partners to study the freshwater and estuarine ecosystems that support Pacific salmon. 

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Protected by Prawns

In rural communities across the tropics, a parasitic disease called schistosomiasis that is carried by freshwater snails currently infects more than 220 million people, rivaling malaria in its prevalence. Capable of residing in an infected human for more than 30 years, the Schistosoma parasite can cause debilitating and often-fatal health complications, including liver failure, bladder cancer, and an increased risk of AIDS. An estimated 280,000 people in Africa alone die each year from the disease. Despite 50 years of medical intervention and the availability of a relatively inexpensive and effective drug, the disease has stubbornly resisted eradication efforts, largely due to the ease with which the parasite reinfects its human hosts.

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The Ocean Modeling Forum presents Pacific herring research in Haida Gwaii, British Columbia

The Ocean Modeling Forum (OMF) is a University of Washington program run through the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences that aims to bring together interdisciplinary scientists, modeling experts, decision makers, and other people invested in ocean resources. The OMF helps managers frame questions, understand the strengths and limitations of different models, and learn how to incorporate models in their work. 

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Wisdom of Crowds: A Conversation with Andrew Berdahl

School of salmon staging at mouth of Sam Creek.

In 1906 while attending a livestock fair in Plymouth England, Sir Francis Galton witnessed an interesting contest where locals were trying to guess the correct weight of a slaughtered and dressed ox (think jellybeans in a jar, but for butchers). He examined all 800 guesses and calculated the median calling it the vox populi, or “voice of the people,” reasoning that this would cancel out outliers on either side of the true answer. Astonishingly, the median guess was extremely close–within .8%–of the weight measured by the judges and closer than any individual guess. “This started the idea of the wisdom of crowds, where if you have a whole bunch of independent guesses you can average them, cast off the errant guess on either side and hone in on the right answer,” said Dr. Andrew Berdahl one of the University of Washington School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences’ newest faculty members.

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Boots in the Mud: A Summer with the Alaska Salmon Program

Students fly 1,777 miles northwest of Seattle and spend a month with the Alaska Salmon Program at their field stations on the banks of Lake Aleknagik and Lake Nerka. Part of the larger Wood River system, these lakes, their creeks, and the surrounding wilderness serve as a “living laboratory” where students are immersed in one of the most valuable salmon fisheries on the planet.

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An overlooked carbon source to an important freshwater fishery may be under threat

By Ben Miller, SAFS student
When you first arrive at the community of Kampong Phluk, your neck cranes up bamboo stilts to meet the chatter of families in houses high above. From the top of what guidebooks call “bamboo skyscrapers,” locals gaze over the tops of submerged trees, a glittering, island Buddhist temple, and clusters of floating fishing villages in the distance. 

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Coral bleaching experiment unveil effects of ocean warming on coral feeding reproduction

SAFS faculty Jacqueline Padilla-Gamino and graduate student Jeremy Axworthy just returned from a trip to Hawaii where they performed coral bleaching experiments to understand the effects of stress from heating on coral feeding and reproduction. Their study aims to find biomarker molecules to identify corals that are most likely to recover and reproduce after a bleaching event, improving predictions of coral responses to bleaching events. 

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Ray Hilborn testifies to Senate subcommittee on the reauthorization of US fisheries act

The U.S. is weighing changes to the main act that governs U.S. federal fisheries in the planned reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Fisheries science was the focus of the fourth meeting by the Senate subcommittee on this action, and SAFS Prof. Ray Hilborn was invited to testify, pointing out that U.S. fisheries are largely successful, with most overfished stocks now rebuilding, and overall fish biomass increasing in the U.S.  

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