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“You are what you eat:” Understanding the Relationship Between Commercial Fishing and the Feeding Ecology of Dungeness Crabs Using Isotopic and Gut Content Analysis

March 9, 2021 | 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm PST

Young Scientist Webinar Series

The Cape Perpetua Collaborative is hosting a Young Scientist Webinar Series featuring graduate students and postdocs sharing their ocean research. This series will take place October – April on the second Tuesday of the Month (Oct 13, Nov 10, Dec 8, Jan 12, Feb 9, Mar 9, Apr 13) at 5:30pm.

March 9 at 5:30pm
Presenting Toby Harbison, Second-year graduate student in the Marine Resource Management program at OSU

During this presentation, Toby Harbison will explore a mystery that has puzzled marine scientists in Oregon. Box core sampling on the seafloor off the Oregon coasts suggests low benthic invertebrate standing stock, which means that at any one moment in time, there are relatively few invertebrates living down on the bottom. These invertebrates are a natural prey source for Dungeness crab. If there is not very much prey for the crabs, then what are they eating? This talk explores the hypothesis that Dungeness crab populations survive by eating bait from the commercial fishery, wild benthic prey, and each other (through cannibalism) at different times of year. Relative seasonal diet composition is assessed using stable isotope and gut content analysis. Crabbers add thousands of pounds of bait to the ocean per year; are they unintentionally farming crabs?


About the Presenter
Toby Harbison is a second-year graduate student in the Marine Resource Management program and works with work with Dr. Sarah Henkel at Hatfield Marine Science Center. She grew up surfing, sailing, kayaking, and generally spending as much time as possible in the ocean down in Santa Barbara, CA. During undergrad, she mapped larval spiny lobster habitat using GIS in the Turks and Caicos Islands with the School for Field Studies. Toby earned her bachelor’s degree in American Studies from the College of William and Mary in 2011. Since then, she has worked as a naturalist, wilderness guide, park ranger, and science curriculum development specialist in various locations, including Channel Islands National Park, Southeast Alaska, and Missoula, MT. She loves experiencing diverse cultures, watching murder mysteries, herbalism, and taking care of animals!


March 9, 2021
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm PST
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