Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Claire Paris, Ph.D

University of Miami

From Individual Larval Migration to Population Connectivity:Modeling and Observations


Wednesday — April 17, 2010
Pacific Forum — 3:00 p.m.

The conservation and management of living marine resources as capital assets is a matter of global concern. Developing techniques and tools to understand and predict the spatial distribution of marine populations and their interactions are some of the major scientific goals towards a more ecological approach to fisheries and environmental management. Indeed, most marine populations are connected through the exchange of individual larvae, acting as carriers of parental population genes and potentially of diseases. Their dispersion, migration, and survivorship result from complex bio-physical processes. To better understand these processes, we developed a numerical Connectivity Modeling System (CMS) where the early life of target species and their interaction with the physical environments are simulated. While the development of such biophysical models has contributed to gain new insight on the importance of larval swimming behavior, whether and how larvae navigate remain unanswered. Concurrently to numerical modeling, we developed a new observational technology, the Drifting In Situ Chamber (DISC), which is the base of exciting findings about larval response to environmental cues in natural settings. Ideally, the DISC-related results will be integrated in the CMS, helping to develop algorithms capable of resolving the physical signals in hydrodynamic models at scales relevant to larval movement.


Next: April 21 - Chuck Farwell