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Research Seminar: Carter Smith
February 29, 2016 @ 12:20 pm - 1:20 pm
Carter Smith to present her research on “Can ecosystem friendly engineering enhance coastal resilience?” Coastal regions worldwide are now home to the densest human populations in history, resulting in intense (and often conflicting) demands on coastal areas and resources. This pressure has led to wide-scale degradation of shoreline habitats, loss of biodiversity, and a precipitous reduction in ecological resilience to natural disasters. Widespread research has been conducted on the many causes of coastal habitat degradation and decline, but only recently has attention been paid to the consequences of anthropogenic shoreline hardening (i.e. the construction of permanent inflexible structures along estuarine and ocean front shorelines). Of greatest concern for fisheries, the installation of a hardened shoreline structure often results in the transformation of a structurally complex three-dimensional habitat, like a sloping salt marsh, into a two-dimensional artificial wall: this limits or otherwise alters the space available for the recruitment of intertidal organisms and juvenile fish. Using mobile acoustic camera technology and experimental mesocosms, I will investigate how fish usage and behavior differs among different types of shorelines. These projects will provide a quantitative evaluation of the effects of shoreline type on fish and will provide a scientific basis upon which policy makers and managers can make informed decisions about habitat conservation and optimal modes of coastal development.