Welcome to the

Marine and Anadromous Fisheries Ecology Lab at

Oregon State University!

 


We are a group of researchers based at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, Oregon. Our research is focused on the ecology and life history of species found primarily along the west coast of the United States, such Chinook salmon, black rockfish, and Pacific cod. We study how organisms move throughout the ocean (their transport, dispersal, and migration) and how that movement affects their growth and survival. We combine a variety of methodologies in laboratory, including biochemical markers, and field settings to generate information relevant to the sound management and conservation of our marine resources.


Human reliance on marine resources in the United States and most of the rest of the world continues to grow while efforts to manage and protect these resources encounter increasingly difficult challenges, such as a changing climate and a higher demand for extraction. Management structures are almost necessarily based on a limited understanding of what a particular marine species requires to successfully live, grow, and reproduce. This, in turn, is due to the time and resources needed to gather sufficient information on any single species to make the best management decisions with the ability to adaptively respond to changes within that species and the environmental conditions it encounters.


To address this informational gap, we examine aspects of the life history of various species. A species’ life history includes characteristics, such as, how long it lives, how often it reproduces, how many offspring it has, and its migration patterns. Of those species being investigated some spend their entire lives in the ocean (e.g. a cod), while a few are anadromous (e.g., a Chinook salmon), migrating between fresh and salt water. We have also examined 100s of coastal species from Japan that made an unexpected arrival along the west coast of the United States and in Hawaii after crossing the Pacific Ocean on marine debris generated from the 2011 Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami. This unique dispersal event changes our understanding of how marine debris could impact species dispersal and, ultimately, distributions around the globe.


Overall, our research is focused on advancing ecological and evolutionary understanding of how species life histories are influenced by environmental variation and change and management actions. The information gathered should assist management and conservation efforts.