Fish and Fisheries Ecology
Fish are the most species rich vertebrate group on earth, far more diverse than all the amphibians, reptiles, and mammals combined. They have remarkable adaptations for feeding, buoyancy control, and reproduction and they support important commercial and recreational fisheries world wide. Many of the top-level predatory fish species in the Gulf of Mexico are intensely harvested. The ramifications of this harvest reverberates throughout the ecosystem. For management purposes, it is critical that we understand not only the catch trajectories of these fish but their life history characteristics, behavior, and physiology. The FSUCML Fish and Fisheries Ecology team is focused on studies of population ecology, habitat use, and trophic interactions and participates effectively in taking their findings into the policy arena for fisheries management.