From larval migration to population connectivity: modeling and observations


***Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Redfield Auditorium - 12:00 Noon
Dr. Claire Paris
Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science

Most marine populations are connected through the exchange of individual larvae, acting as carriers of parental population genes and potentially of diseases. Their dispersion, migration, and survivorship result from complex bio-physical processes.  To better understand these processes a three-dimensional individual-based model called the Connectivity Modeling System (CMS) was developed. The model simulates the early life of target species, their interaction with the physical environments, and their probability of spatial recruitment over time. While the development of such biophysical models has contributed to gain new insight on the importance of fish larval swimming behavior, whether and how larvae navigate remains unanswered. Concurrently to numerical modeling, a new observational technology called the Drifting In Situ Chamber (DISC) is the base of exciting findings about larval response to environmental cues in natural settings. The DISC-related results are integrated in the CMS, helping to develop algorithms capable of resolving the physical signals in hydrodynamic models at scales relevant to larval movement.