This experiment is part of the Fish Challenge Challenge Grant. Browse more projects

Big Fish a Long Way from Home: Using ear bones and teeth to unravel migration in Amazonian fish

Backed by Nancy Hegg, Lea Anne, Theodore Hegg, John D. West, Nicole Flansburg, Mark Q Wright, Charles Cooper, Jerry McCollum, Alex Flecker, Nora S. Boland, and 136 other backers
Raised of $2,640 Goal
Funded on 5/11/16
Successfully Funded
  • $5,664
  • 214%
  • Funded
    on 5/11/16

Statistical Analysis

In the picture above the colored lines represent a statistical procedure called changepoint analysis that breaks the data into chunks where the average is stable. We can then compare these stable averages to the water samples we have to figure out where a fish was during that portion of their life. To do this we use a statistical technique that classifies the stable signatures from the fish into groups defined by variation in the water samples. This technique is called discriminate function analysis.

This plot from one of my papers on salmon illustrates how we can classify the location of a fish based on their chemical profile.

This classification is where the "Secret Decoder Ring" of the water samples meets the secret message written in the otoliths. Once we've classified the otolith signatures we know where the fish was at each period of it's life. We can also compare the place with how fast the fish was growing, or how long it spent there, to infer even more about the why and how of a fishes migration.

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