Advisors: David Chagaris and Mike Allen
My research is focused on analyzing the relationship between freshwater discharge and salinity on estuarine fish communities in the Cedar Key region. This area is influenced significantly by freshwater inputs from the Suwannee River, which has exhibited several extreme low flow events since 2000. Low discharge has likely been due to climatic variability and land use changes and may have considerable impact on estuarine fishes. I am currently constructing a food web model assessing the effect of environmental drivers on the trophic dynamics and fish community structure in this estuary. Species of particular importance will be bay anchovies (Anchoa mitchilli) and striped anchovies (Anchoa hepsetus), as they have been suggested to play significant roles as prey for commercially and recreationally important fish.