Understanding biological processes that affect productivity, abundances and distributions is a prerequisite for effective utilization of aquatic resources. Effective management of these resources depends upon knowledge of their basic ecology. The study of fisheries ecology is the study of the interrelationships between individuals, their communities and environment. Aquatic species exhibit a phenomenal range of morphologies, life histories, behaviors and interactions with their physical and biological environments.Further, these species and have become adapted to almost all aquatic systems. Consequently, this course will explore the forces that select individuals, regulate populations and structure communities. Material will focus on, but not be restricted to, coastal and estuarine systems with an emphasis on fishes.
The course will involve formal lectures, several take-home exercises, preparation of a hypothesis-driven proposal, and a written final examination. Extensive readings will be assigned. Our goal is to provide a solid theoretical and quantitative background in fish ecology on which to develop critical thinking and communication skills. Prerequisites include an upper level ecology course and introductory statistics, but students who have not met these may be permitted to take the course at the discretion of the instructors.