Sophie Perron, NSF REU student in the White lab, presented her summer research today. She used spatial age-structured population models to compare the efficacy of different metrics of larval connectivity information for marine protected area design.

Sophie Perron presents her REU research

A new paper – led by Northeastern MS student Harriet Booth and in collaboration with David Kimbro (Northeastern), Chris Stallings (USF), and Tim Pusack (Williams/Mystic) – uses a combination of field observations and field experiments to show that a recent increase in the abundance of an oyster predator (crown conch) has unexpectedly not led to the collapse of oyster populations in a Florida estuary, evidently because predation rates decrease at high predator densities.

Booth HS, Pusack TJ, White JW, Stallings CD, Kimbro DL. 2018. Intraspecific predator inhibition, not a prey size refuge, enables oyster population persistence during predator outbreaks. Marine Ecology Progress Series 602: 155-167

A new paper – led by Harbor Branch/FAU postdoc Lysel Garavelli and in collaboration with Iliana Chollet (Smithsonian) and Laurent Chérubin (FAU) – applies population dynamics theory to larval connectivity simulations from computational ocean circulation models to find that some northern Caribbean spiny lobster populations may be self-persistent, despite widespread larval disperal.

Garavelli L, White JW, Chollet I, Box SJ, Chérubin LM. 2018. Identifying relevant spatial scales for management to ensure the persistence of a highly exploited species. Conservation Letters, in press. DOI 10.1111/conl1257