For decades, fish researchers believed in Gerking’s “restricted movement paradigm”, thinking that river-dwelling fish largely stay in the same place and rarely venture forth. But in recent decades, ecologists have harnessed the power of both advanced tags and improved genetic methods to directly estimate movement distances and average home ranges of different fish species. Now, a new paper has gathered in one place data from more than 200 direct movement studies and more than 200 genetic studies to estimate how far river fish more on average.Read more
When I went to college, my plan was to become a veterinarian. But then I went to the Shoals Marine Laboratory off the coast of Maine between my junior and senior years and my life turned in another direction. I loved the power of the ocean and was curious about the interrelationships of the animals and plants (or should I say fish and phytoplankton).Read more
“Why fish?” asked my Grandma, perplexed, as I told her I was starting a PhD program at UW. Apparently studying trees was completely normal (my brother was in forestry), but fish were too… slimy. Admittedly, I’d never been a fish lover, but I thought that the field of fisheries would let me apply my interests in oceanography and ecology to problems that matter very directly for humans – and that this would keep me motivated through grad school and beyond.Read more
It was several events and circumstances that led me to a house in Ravenna on an October night, discussing with Bridget Ferriss (PhD, 2011) how to construct a gigantic squid piñata. It all began in Costa Rica, where I did a biology and Spanish study-abroad program as an undergraduate student, traveling to biological field stations around the country and doing mini-research projects at each one.Read more
The story about how I arrived at SAFS takes some twists and turns, but all of them were interesting and eventually led me to the University of Washington and SAFS before I started working at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC).
I grew up in landlocked southern Germany in a very small town. I spent much of my childhood at a local farmers’ stable and in the neighboring woods, and I knew from an early age that I wanted to be a biologist.
I started as a freshman at the College of Fisheries in the fall of 1968. I was very fortunate to have been awarded a Malaysian Government scholarship to study Fisheries in the United States when I graduated from High School in Malaysia. The scholarship was the blessing that molded my life. I knew I had to succeed. So I studied. I fast-tracked myself to earn three degrees at the University of Washington and managed to graduate summa cum laude in 1970.Read more
I grew up in Poland far away from the ocean. I remember my mom often bringing home pollock fillets for dinner. During that time (early 1980s), pollock was often the only fish we could get in the store. Later, during my studies on biological oceanography at the University of Gdansk (UG), I found out that pollock in Polish stores came mostly from the Bering Sea.Read more
The U.S. Endangered Species Act has saved or recovered many species, and is recognized as one of the most powerful laws in the world for protecting the environment. The primary aim of the Act is to ensure that populations and species persist, and to conserve genetic variation in population. But little attention is paid to the adaptive potential of populations—the capability of populations to evolve when faced with new selective pressures—even though new genetic methods of sequencing the entire DNA of organisms are now cheaper and easier than ever before.Read more
To protect and recover species, most countries have laws that mandate particular actions when species are classified as threatened or endangered. These classifications can have an enormous impact on industries that impinge on the species in question, for example the declaration of northern spotted owls as endangered led to large-scale shutdowns in logging on old-growth forests. This process of classifying a species as threatened, endangered, or neither constitutes a difficult decision, and difficult decisions can usefully be approached using the theory and tools of decision analysis.Read more
A new and more accurate study reveals that about 4% of the ocean area experiences fishing each year, a far smaller estimate than previous studies that relied on very large grid sizes. Two recent studies estimated that fishing takes place in 55% of the ocean and 90% of the ocean each year. But these estimates divide the ocean into 0.5°×0.5° grid cells, which are ~3100 km² in size at the equator, and assume each cell is fished if a single fishing location is recorded in the entire cell.Read more