Author Archives: Rachel Labbe-Bellas

GCFI Panama 2015 – Conference update

At the recent Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute in Panama this November, Brice was elected to the Board of Directors (members are shown in the group selfie), and both Brice and grad student Brian Stock gave talks. More exciting updates to come!

PhD Student Brian Stock presenting his work! Great job.

PhD Student Brian Stock presenting his work! Great job.

GCFI Board of Directors group selfie

GCFI Board of Directors group selfie

 

PhD Student Brian Stock and his friend & mentor Brice.

PhD Student Brian Stock and his friend & mentor Brice.

August was education month at the Semmens Lab

Press Release – August 27, 2015

Quantitative Ecology for Marine Management – Bridging disconnect to young teens of San Diego’s underserved communities. Science and Math Education. Conservation Management.

This past month, the Semmens Lab participated in the Triton Summer STEM Academy activities, and hosted a grIMG_4639oup of 30 students from local SD and LA high schools that were ideal candidates for undergraduate student recruiting. Students were introduced to lab projects such as the Grouper Moon Project in Little Cayman Island, Coastal Angler Fish Tagging Cooperative, and Oceanic Manta Conservation. Summer interns from the SURF program also shared their projects and personal experiences about chosing to study marine science. Nothing but positive feedback was received from the organizers, as the goal to captivate young teens interest in pursuing a degree in marine science was achieved.

The Semmens Lab, in collaboration with WILDCOAST, a locally based nonprofit that conserves coastal and marine ecosystems and wildlife, invited a group of teens from the El Cajon Valley High School for a 3-hr hands-on experience of quantifying marine science. El Cajon Valley serves approximately 1,900 students in grades 9 through 12 with 54% labeled as English language learners primarily from the Middle East and Latin America. According to the Accountability Progress Report published by the California Department of Education for the 2012-2013 school year, 40% of parents have received a High School diploma, and 83% are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program. Six girls, between ages 14-17 years, participated in a crab population estimate activity in the field, and had to come up with an estimate of the population size after marking and recapturing them throughout the morning. The girls also visited the lab, and toured the Hubbs Hall Aquarium, where they learned about other sea critters and their ecology.

The aim of this outreach was to provide opportunities for at-risk San Diego High School students and to explore the importance of marine Quantitative Ecology. The goal was to inspire high school students about ocean conservation and the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) fields through the practices of quantitative approaches to marine science. The Semmens Lab is currently interested in developing a more intensive summer program and hopes to secure funding for a program to be in place by Summer 2016.

Ourdoor Outreach students learn about tide pools, tagging and estimating sealife populations at Scripps Institiute of Oceanography.

The Semmens Lab research focuses on applied questions in fisheries management and conservation biology. Approaches as to how to solve such questions vary, but typically involve both fieldwork and analytic techniques and students possess particular strengths in quantitative theory and tools, including stock assessment, time series analysis, mark-recapture analysis, and stable isotope mixing model theory and methods.

For more information about Wildcoast,visit www.wildcoast.net

New research on the effects of long-term conservation interventions!

Brice Semmens recent publication in April 2015 in Ecology and Evolution

Time series of the supplemented years (A) and densities of adult Chinook salmon (B) indexed by brood year; colors are the same as in Figure 1. Numbers on the y-axis in (A) refer to the 12 supplemented populations shown in Figure 1; dots indicate populations and brood years in which the parents' generations were supplemented (see Methods for details). Breaks in some time series in (B) indicate missing years of data.

Time series of the supplemented years (A) and densities of adult Chinook salmon (B) indexed by brood year; colors are the same as in Figure 1. Numbers on the y-axis in (A) refer to the 12 supplemented populations shown in Figure 1; dots indicate populations and brood years in which the parents’ generations were supplemented (see Methods for details). Breaks in some time series in (B) indicate missing years of data.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/doi/10.1002/ece3.1509

 

Our Phd Student and the  Associate Director of The Manta Trust, Josh Stewart and his work just featured in a short article and film over at the New York Times! More specifically, it was an external post by Emirates and made by the awesome team at T Brand Studio and Blue Chalk Media, who visited The Manta Trust in the Maldives late last year.

Very stoked for Josh to have had the opportunity to introduce manta rays and the research to an audience that may never have even heard of these animals! Check out the story, ‘Making Waves’ and the included 3 minute film: http://nyti.ms/1E3juK4

 

manta_Baja

SIO SURF REU opportunity

Undergraduate students looking for research opportunities in summer 2015 may want to look at the SURF REU program at SIO.  The Semmens Lab has several potential projects for a well-qualified applicant, preferably with a quantitative background:

  1. Advancing Bayesian stable isotope mixing models used in trophic ecology (MixSIAR)
  2. Investigating the recovery of a Nassau grouper spawning aggregation (Grouper Moon)
  3. Analyzing recreational fisheries bycatch data (Coastal Angler Tagging Cooperative)

See the SURF website for program and application details: https://scripps.ucsd.edu/undergrad/surf/program-details.  Dates are 6/18-8/22, and the app deadline is 3/15. For further project descriptions, contact b1stock@ucsd.edu.

Airing on Television – Fox Sports West – Inside Sportsfishing show.

Stay tuned for the first tagging episode on Inside Sportfishing, featuring our Phd Student Lyall Bellquist and the Coastal Angler Tagging Cooperative! The formal premier was on Sunday, Feb 8 at 10:30am on Fox Sports West. It will also air again on Feb 10, 14, 15, 17, and 21. Thank you for passing this on and supporting the great work of our student Lyall!

http://insidesportfishing.com/foxsportswest/

Sportfishing_CATCH

How do Scientists tag manta rays?

Semmens Lab student Josh Stewart is now sharing his tag data online! Follow the link below to see where the mantas have been swimming He thanks the New England Aquarium Marine Conservation Action Fund for their support, and to the NEAq fans who helped name the two NEAq mantas: Sylvia & Eugenie!
In collaboration with The Manta Trust, Octavio Aburto Oropeza and Antonio Ruiz Sakamoto
Studying #mantas is not an easy task, they are often found at offshore islands and seamounts: areas that are very difficult to reach. This infographic explains how we study them.

Learn more on how we tag them and why on #DataMARES:http://datamares.ucsd.edu/wp/news/tracking-mantas-in-pacific-mexico/

Fresh out of the oven: Minimizing seabird by-catch in industrial fisheries

Our Postdoc Charlotte Boyd, PhD, has recently published some exciting news about Seabird by-catch issues and the advantages of incentive-based approaches over command-and-control. Check it out to see the lessons learned from some succesful strategies.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/acv.12179/full