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Decoding the lives of Fishes: In Time & Space

October 13, 2017 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

The School of Marine Sciences presents

Dr. Cynthia Jones
Old Dominion University

Since the 1800s, scientists noted that the hard parts of temperate water fish (scales or otoliths) recorded annular marks that could be used to study demography, much like taking a census for humans. Consequently, ecologists could analyze the age structure to determine birth and mortality rates thereby predicting population size. Then in the 1970s and 1980s, scientists developed techniques to read the daily increments of tropical, larval and juvenile fish, which opened chronologies that revealed environmental effects on survival and growth especially during early life. However, demography is a consequence of not only temporal but also spatial factors.

In the 1990s, I developed methods to analyze the chemistry of otoliths and scales to unlock the effects of spacial location and habitat. We can now see how local populations interact and how metapopulation structure may predict resilience to environmental changes. Challenges remain though. Because natural chemical tags are population-level tags, it is difficult to estimate location-specific mortality rates. I will show how some of these challenges can be addressed.

Host: Yong Chen

All School of Marine Science seminars are in Room 354, Aubert Hall at 11:00 a.m. on Fridays. Refreshments are available at 10:45 a.m. A voluntary brown bag lunch involving the speaker will follow the seminar to generate interdisciplinary discussions around the presented marine science topic.

For more information, contact Susan Brawley at


October 13, 2017
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Event Category:


School of Marine Sciences
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354 Aubert Hall
354 Aubert Hall
Orono, ME United States
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