Beaufort Lab

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Recent News, Publications and Hot Topics

                    photo   Recent News - 01/2015:  Interview with a Scientist: Saving the Bumphead Parrotfish They are unique looking and the largest of all the parrotfish in the world. Now a new publication outlines research being done on the reproduction habits of the bumphead parrotfish in order to protect and conserve the species. Click here for more with fishery expert, Dr. Roldan Munoz and his recent work featured in PeerJ. Photo: Dr. Munoz studies bumphead parrotfish  

                    photo   New Publication - 03/2014: Annalaura Mancia, James C. Ryan, Frances M. Van Dolah, John R. Kucklick, Teresa K. Rowles, Randall S. Wells, Patricia E. Rosel, Aleta A. Hohn, Lori H. Schwacke (2013). Machine learning approaches to investigate the impact of PCBs on the transcriptome of the common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). Marine Environmental Research.
"Organohalogen contaminant levels from blood samples from dolphins from Beaufort, NC, through St. Joseph Bay, FL, were used to to test the hypothesis that gene expression patterns reflect contaminant exposure. Using machine-learning approaches, this paper demonstrated that gene expression profile analysis can provide a cost-effective means to screen for indicators of chemical and biological toxin exposure, as well as disease status, in dolphins and potentially other cetaceans."

                    photo   New Publication - 03/2014: Avens, L., Goshe, L. R., Pajuelo, M., Bjorndal, K. A., MacDonald, B. D., Lemons, G. E., Bolten, A. B., and Seminoff, J. A. (2013) Complementary skeletochronology and stable isotope analyses offer new insight into juvenile loggerhead sea turtle oceanic stage duration and growth dynamics. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 491:235-251.

fish photo   New Publication - 03/2014: Avens, L., and Snover, M. L. (2013). Age and age estimation in sea turtles. In Biology of Sea Turtles, vol. III, ed J. A. Musick, J. Wyneken, and K. J. Lohmann. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, p. 97-134.

                    photo   Outstanding Paper of the Year - 02/2014: Huang, L., L.A.B. Nichols, J.K. Craig, and M.D. Smith. 2012. Measuring welfare losses from hypoxia: The case of North Carolina brown shrimp. Marine Resource Economics 27:3-2

fish photo   New Publication - 02/2014: Goodman Hall, A. and J. Braun-McNeill, P.B. Conn, E. Davenport, and A.A. Hohn. 2013. Seasonal co-occurrence of sea turtles, bottlenose dolphins, and commercial gill nets in southern Pamlico and northern Core Sounds, and adjacent coastal waters of North Carolina, USA. Endangered Species Research 22:235-249.

                    photo   New Publication - 02/2014: Goodman Hall, A. and J. Braun-McNeill. 2013. Inferring sea turtle recapture rates using photographic identification. Herpetological Review 44(4):561-569

                    photo   New Publication - 02/2014: Braun-McNeill, J., A.M. Schueller, L. Avens, A. Goodman Hall, L.R. Goshe, and S.P. Epperly. 2013. Estimates of tag loss for loggerhead (Caretta caretta) sea turtles from the western North Atlantic. Herpetological Review 44(2):221-226

fish photo   New Publication - 02/2014: Goodman Hall, A., and L.C. Belskis. 2012. Guide to the aerial identification of sea turtles in the US Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-SEFSC-633, 24 p.

fish photo   New Publication - 02/2014: Byrd, B.L. , A.A. Hohn, , G.N. Lovewell, K.M. Altman, S.G. Barco, A. Friedlaender, C.A. Harms, W.A. McLellan, K.T. Moore, P.E. Rosel, and V.G. Thayer. 2014. Strandings illustrate marine mammal biodiversity and human impacts off the coast of North Carolina, USA. Fishery Bulletin 112:1-23. (Open access).
"Marine mammal strandings in NC from 1997 to 2008 reflected the rich biodiversity occurring in waters off this unique location, where 'northern' and 'southern' species as well as coastal and pelagic species intersect. The spatial and temporal patterns detected from strandings can provide clues to the presence of living animals occurring off the NC coast. The detection of human interaction, particularly from fisheries bycatch, provides crucial information on the spatiotemporal patterns and relative mortality levels from these interactions which are otherwise difficult to obtain in situ. Moreover, changes in stranding patterns can serve as indicators of underlying change in source populations due to anthropogenic or naturally occurring events."

fish photo   New Publication - 12/2013: Hohn, A.A., D.S. Rotstein, and B.L. Byrd. 2013. Unusual mortality events of harbor porpoise strandings in North Carolina, USA, 1997-2009. J. of Marine Biology Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 289892, 13 pages. (Open access).
"Although harbor porpoise are generally a cold-water species, North Carolina is second only to Massachusetts along the east of the US for the number of harbor porpoise that strand. During 1999 and 2005, elevated numbers of strandings represented Unusual Mortality Events (UME). This paper describes the characteristics of strandings during UME and non-UME years. We were unable to determine the cause of the events, although it appears as though the 2005 was not due to disease factors."

fish photo   New Publication - 12/2013: Rossman, Sam, Nélio B. Barros, Peggy H. Ostrom, Craig A. Stricker, Aleta A. Hohn, Hasand Gandhi, Randall S. Wells. 2013. Retrospective analysis of bottlenose dolphin foraging: a legacy of anthropogenic ecosystem disturbance. Marine Mammal Science 29(4):705-718.
"Long-term data sets allowed us to evaluate the effects of changes in the ecosystem of Sarasota Bay, Florida, on changes in foraging in bottlenose dolphins from 1944-2007. We attributed a reduction in stable isotope ratios of carbon to a reduction in seagrass habitat available for foraging and an increase in stable isotopes of nitrogen to nutrient loading due to a rapidly increasing human population. This approach allowed for a retrospective analysis of anthropogenic disturbance on coastal food webs."

fish photo   New Publication - 12/2013: Ellin, R., Spiegler, S, Currin, C., Ellis, C., Fear, J., Hohn, A., Jenkins, W., Meyer, D., Miller, T., Price, C., Shein, K. 2013. North Carolina Sentinel Site Cooperative: Report on the Sea-Level Rise Research and Monitoring Coordination Workshop. NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-SEFSC650. 56 pp.
"The newly founded North Carolina Sentinel Site Cooperative held a workshop to identify priorities for research and monitoring priorities of sea-level rise and its effects. Seven priority gaps were identified and development of a citizen science program was encouraged. A copy of the report can be obtained at /

fish photo   New Publication - 07/2013: Bacheler, Nathan M., Z.H. Schobernd, D.J. Berrane, C.M. Schobernd, W.A. Mitchell, N.R. Geraldi. 2013. When a trap is not a trap: converging entry and exit rates and their effect on trap saturation of black sea bass (Centropristis striata). ICES Journal of Marine Science 70(4):873-882.
" Catch rates are often used to index the abundance of marine organisms, but catch saturation (i.e. declining catch rate as fishing time increases) can decouple catch and abundance. We used underwater video to document entries and exits of black sea bass from chevron traps, and showed that catch rates were nonlinear and asymptotic for most trap samples. However, many lines of evidence suggests black sea bass catch at saturation is positively related to true abundance."

                    photo   New Publication - 07/2013: Bacheler, Nathan M., Valerio Bertolino, and Marcel J.M. Reichert. 2013. Influence of soak time and fish accumulation on catches of reef fishes in a multispecies trap survey. Fishery Bulletin 111(3) 218-232.
" We used data from long-term trap surveys (1990–2011) in the southeastern U.S. Atlantic to show that catch rates of eight reef fish species saturated either across the range of soak times examined or the level of total catch in the trap. The authors recommend that future studies should standardize catch or catch rates with regression modeling approaches that incorporate soak time, total fish accumulation in the trap, and any other predictor variable that may ultimately influence catch."

fish photo   CRUISE NEWS - 07/2013:
"The SouthEast Fishery Independent Survey (SEFIS) recently completed a research cruise aboard the NOAA Ship Pisces off the East Coast of Florida. Over 16 days at-sea, SEFIS deployed 230 camera-trap arrays, mapped ~110 square kilometers of bottom, and successfully expanded sampling effort in this critical region. SEFIS thanks all cruise participants, the crew of the Pisces, and fishermen who provided hardbottom points."

                    photo   New Publication - 03/2013: Bacheler, Nathan M., C.M. Schobernd, Z.H. Schobernd, W.A. Mitchell, D.J. Berrane, G.T. Kellison,, and Marcel J.M. Reichert. 2013. Comparison of trap and underwater video gears for indexing reef fish presence and abundance in the southeast United States. Fisheries Research 143: 81-88.
"Our manuscript evaluates the effectiveness of both underwater video and chevron traps to index a variety of economically-important reef fish species, and shows that valuable information can be gained by affixing video cameras to fish traps in the Southeast."

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