The Flats Ecology team is wrapping up an amazing spring semester and preparing for an exciting summer session. This semester the flats team worked with The Island School students to study bonefish distribution and growth rates. The students would go out in the field, fly fish and seine, then tag and measure bonefish. Hoping to find interesting correlations between movement patterns and growth rate, the students had a unique experience working out in the field and grasping a better understanding of the scientific process. At the same time, the Flats research team continues working in the wet-lab studying the effects of climate change on flats species’ metabolic breathing rates. Using a respirometer to measure checkered puffers, school master snappers, and bonefish standard metabolic resting rate under different estimated treatments by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).
For the summer session, the Flats Ecology team is exploring an exciting new avenue in flats research. They are locating and categorizing the specific and general habitats utilized by juvenile bonefish. In finding them the Flats team can evaluate the relative contributions of each habitat to the recruits of an entering adult population. In the end the collection and analysis will give a better understanding of growth rates and the timing of ontogenetic (the origin and development of an individual organism from embryo to adult) shifts, as well.
Good Luck Flats Team!