CABA announces scholarship winners for 2015

Published Apr 22, 2015

CABA would like to offer it's congratulations to this years scholarship winners.

CABA would like to offer it's congratulations to this years scholarship winners. These scholarships would not be possible without the generous donations and support for fisheries research at U.C. Davis by the following organizations...

California Fly Fishers Unlimited,

Diablo Valley Fly Fishermen,

Marin Rod and Gun Club,

Fly Fishers of Davis,

This years scholarship winners and their abstracts are as follows...

Meredith Nagel was awarded the Bob Bittner scholarship, $3000.00, from California Fly Fishers Unlimited.

Meredith is a PhD candidate in the Ecology Graduate Group. Her adviser is Dr. Swee Teh from the department of Veterinary Medicine (Anatomy, Physiology and Cell Biology) The focus of this laboratory is the Aquatic Heath Program (AHP) which strives to promote and protect the well-being of all aquatic species and their environments by investigating the behavioral, anatomical, and physiological components of individual organisms and applying them to the ecosystem scale. Prior to coming to U.C. Davis, Meredith earned a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental studies, emphasis in marine ecology from U.C. Santa Barbara. She also has earned a Master’s of Science degree from the University of Auckland, New Zealand in Population Genetics and Molecular Ecology.

Her abstract… My proposed research includes investigating the effects of temperature and food-availability on the growth and survival of delta smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus). While there are many potential causes for the decline in delta smelt population abundances, my research focuses on changes in the Bay-Delta food web ecology and environmental parameters as potential stressors and cause for low survival of the species. The overarching goal of this research is to provide laboratory-tested data to conservation managers to aid in the restoration of the Bay-Delta food webs and ecosystem health. The funds from this scholarship will help with the cost of running the experiment at CABA.

Denise De Carion was awarded the Bob Wise Carver Scholarship, $2500.00, from The Diablo Valley Fly Fisherman.

She currently is a PhD student in the Ecology Graduate Group with an emphasis on conservation ecology. She works in the laboratory of Peter Moyle in the department of Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation Biology. The purpose of this laboratory is the study and conservation of California’s native fish species. Here she collaborates with researchers from the U.C. Davis Suisun Marsh Fish Study. Denise has also earned a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from U.C. Davis.

Her abstract… The purpose of my research is to advance our knowledge and understanding of how tidal marshes in the San Francisco Estuary provide food for commercially and recreationally significant species such as Chinook salmon and striped bass, which rely on estuaries during early life stages. My approach is intended to provide a broad perspective on how fishes feed in tidal marshes and then transfer energy and nutrients to the rest of the estuary. The estuarine ecosystem is experiencing major declines among many estuarine-dependent species, and these declines are probably a symptom of a much greater problem: food availability.

Myfanwy Johnson was awarded a scholarship, $1850.00, from the Marin Rod and Gun Club.

She currently is pursuing a PhD in animal behavior in the bio-telemetry laboratory of Dr. Peter Klimley in the department of Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation Biology at U.C. Davis. The mission of this laboratory is the utilization of state-of-art tracking technologies with geographic information systems to understand fundamental physiological, behavioral, and ecological processes. Our studies aim to elucidate the link between an animal's behavior and its social and physical environment.Prior to coming to U.C. Davis, Myfanwy received a B.A. in Marine Science and a B.S. in Conservation and Resource Studies, both from U.C. Berkeley in 2010.

Her Abstract...The goal of my research is to describe the differences in movement behavior between two species of native migratory fish (white sturgeon and Chinook salmon). Both species are not only ecologically important to the Central Valley, but also belong to culturally- and economically-important recreational fisheries. In order to assure that these fish will be here for future generations of sportsmen and women to enjoy, it is critical that management actions reconcile the ecological success of the species with the demands of human stakeholders co-existing in the Central Valley. A key part of achieving successful reconciliation practices is understanding how these fish are navigating their migratory landscape, as well as the factors affecting their migratory success. My project uses acoustic telemetry to illuminate the movement patterns of salmon and white sturgeon in the Yolo Bypass, and to examine the environmental cues they may be responding to. I hope to provide managers with reliable guidelines for implementing reconcilatory management measures. A CABA scholarship will help by providing the funds necessary to purchase field equipment and to analyze tissue samples from tagged fish, both of which are vital to the success of my research.

Patrick Grof-Tiza received a scholarship,1850.00, from the Marin Rod and Gun Club.

Patrick is a PhD candidate in the Ecology graduate group. He is co-advised by Dr. Rick Karban and Dr. Marcel Holyoak in the departments of Entomology and Environmental Science and Policy respectively. Patrick also has earned a Master of Science degree in Ecology from U.C. Davis.

His abstract…Dragonflies and damselflies (collectively odontes) are important food resources for fish in many aquatic systems. My research will investigate how physical defenses of riparian plants can facilitate molting odonates and increase their likelihood of survival. Maintaining high populations of aquatic insects including odonates can improve fish health and increase reproductive output. The CABA scholarship will allow me to purchase materials to test my hypothesis. This work could potentially lead to a strategy to increase the abundance and quality of food resources for fish and inform riparian restoration efforts.

Grace Ha was awarded a scholarship, $1500.00, from the Fly Fishers of Davis.

Grace is a PhD candidate in the Ecology Graduate group here at U.C. Davis. She is advised by Dr. Susan Williams in the department of Evolution and Ecology and is associated with the Bodega Marine Laboratory. The focus of the laboratory is the study of seagrass, algae and coral reek systems in the near shore. Prior to coming to U.C. Davis, Grace earned a Bachelor of Science in biology from Cornell University in 2010. Grace was also a Fulbright Scholar in South Korea studying the ecological knowledge of traditional diving women (haenyeo).

Her abstract…I study how prey species use color to camouflage in eelgrass, and how the visual abilities of surfperch predators shape those adaptations. This is important because eelgrass is recognized as a nursery habitat for species such as salmon, rockfish, herring, and surfperch, but we do not fully understand how this is. Focusing on color as an element of habitat structure, I am studying an aspect of eelgrass ecology that is related to water clarity and nutrient concentrations through the underwater light environment. Given the effect of pollution and terrestrial runoff on these environmental factors, my research is directly relevant and beneficial to sport and commercial fisheries because it could inform how these issues affect eelgrass food webs and the fish they support.