This presentation is part of the Cape Perpetua Speaker Series, hosted by the Cape Perpetua Collaborative.

Ocean conditions along the west coast of the United States are starting to feel the impacts of climate change. From 2014-2016 waters along the coast of Oregon experienced anomalously warm temperatures during a marine heatwave. These unusually warm conditions dramatically altered the biological and physical oceanography of Oregon’s nearshore waters impacting the entire coastal ecosystem. These warm conditions provide a glimpse of what future ocean conditions may hold for Oregon and for one its most important recreational fisheries.

Will Fennie, who recently earned his PhD from OSU, will discuss his research that examines how these warm conditions affect the vulnerable early life stages of black rockfish (Sebastes melanops) to understand how their survival may vary in the face of changing ocean conditions. Will examines otoliths (fish ear stones) to capture patterns of black rockfish daily growth and uses these data to investigate the relationships between ocean conditions and black rockfish early growth and survival. Will’s research is part of a collaboration between students and scientists at OSU, the ODFW Marine Reserves Program, and the Oregon Coast Aquarium and is conducted in and around Otter Rock Marine Reserve.

Will Fennie recently earned his PhD in the Plankton Ecology Lab at Oregon State University. Will’s research examines the influence of oceanographic conditions on the early life stages of black rockfish. He previously examined the influence of ocean acidification on the behavior and swimming ability of rockfish during his masters at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories and completed a B.S. in Biological Sciences at University of California at Davis. Will is fascinated by rockfish and when not studying them he likes to freedive to take pictures of them.


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