Undergraduate student assists in field study investigating juvenile red king crab predation
Tim White of the University of California Los Angeles is participating in the Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) program, funded by the National Science Foundation and hosted at the University of Alaska Southeast. The REU program allows undergraduates to do research during the summer to gain experience and refine their interests. White is assisting Ben Daly, fisheries graduate student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Juneau Center, in a field study that will help develop successful release strategies and improve understanding of potential environmental impacts of releasing hatchery-cultured crabs into the wild. Little is known about predation on newly settled red king crabs, but predation is expected to be a major factor in post-release survival. Age-0 red king crabs cultured at the Alutiiq Pride Shellfish Hatchery in Seward are being tethered for 24-hour trials in southern Lynn Canal near Juneau. Scuba and underwater video cameras are used to assess survival and interactions with predators. Results will determine if body size or seasonal differences in release time impact predation rates.
White is majoring in marine biology at UCLA and has been involved in research in Tahiti investigating effects of nutrient limitation on growth of macroalgae. He is entering his senior year of college, and plans to attend graduate school in the future.
News Flash is edited by Ben Daly. AKCRRAB is a research and rehabilitation project sponsored by the Alaska Sea Grant College Program, UAF School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, NOAA Fisheries, the Alutiiq Pride Shellfish Hatchery, community groups, and industry members. For more information go to http://seagrant.uaf.edu/research/projects/initiatives/king_crab/general.