This presentation is part of the Young Scientist Webinar Series, hosted by the Cape Perpetua Collaborative featuring graduate students and postdocs sharing their ocean research.
In marine fishes, upwards of 99% of fish eggs produced do not survive to adulthood. There is a mortality gauntlet through which all young fish must pass, and few survive. This is due to the challenges of finding food in a vast open ocean, avoiding myriad predators, and avoiding currents that would sweep them away from suitable habitat. This mortality gauntlet is not only fascinating from an ecological perspective, but also key to understanding fish population dynamics, especially as they relate to the management of socio-economically important stocks and other conservation efforts. Megan Wilson, a PhD Candidate at OSU, will discuss her research that focuses on the early life stages of cabezon (Scorpaenichthys marmoratus), a socio-economically important nearshore groundfish found from Baja California, Mexico to Alaska, USA. A daily record of growth exists in the otoliths of young fishes; Megan uses these data to quantify early life characteristics and to understand the relationship between growth and survival under variable and changing environmental conditions. Megan’s research is conducted in and around Otter Rock, Cape Perpetua, and Redfish Rocks Marine Reserves, in collaboration with scientists at OSU and the ODFW Marine Reserves Program, and with the help of countless undergraduate and community volunteers.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER, MEGAN WILSON, PHD CANDIDATE IN THE DEPARTMENT OF INTEGRATIVE BIOLOGY AT OSU
Megan Wilson is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Integrative Biology at Oregon State University in the Plankton Ecology Lab. Her PhD research focuses on the early life stages (larval, juvenile) of nearshore marine fishes in Oregon, and how they grow and survive under changing ocean conditions. She completed a B.S. in Biological Sciences at the California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California, where she developed a passion for sustainable fisheries management and ocean conservation. In her free time, she enjoys gardening, knitting, backpacking segments of the Oregon Coast Trail, and learning to surf.