Will Fennie

Will Fennie

PhD Student

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Haven't backed any projects yet! 

Data collection is going pretty well. We got a good haul of juvenile rockfish (~700) during a NOAA research cruise in June, have been collecting tons in our SMURFs (~2000), but my dive collections have yet to really take off. I've only got about 120 fish on dives and really need to get in the water more. Luckily we are getting close to nicer fall diving conditions so hopefully I'll be collecting like crazy soon. The current plan for the proposal defense is late winter. I am trying to hammer out my methods so that I can work up this summer's samples during the dreary months of winter. Thanks for checking in. I plan on writing a few lab notes about the collections this summer, so stay tuned.
Sep 14, 2016
How oceanographic conditions affect the growth, diet, and survival of juvenile rockfish
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Hi Renato, They are 1m in length and and 35 cm in diameter. I'll post a picture of a SMURF next to my lab mate for scale.
Aug 29, 2016
How oceanographic conditions affect the growth, diet, and survival of juvenile rockfish
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I am going to give it a shot, but it is more of the high risk high reward aspect of my dissertation. Linking the oceanography to the biology is my primary goal.
May 22, 2016
How oceanographic conditions affect the growth, diet, and survival of juvenile rockfish
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You are correct that different water masses have different signatures and that colder, deeper water is saltier. I can't speak too much about what the SMURF moorings instruments have seen over time (yet!), but there are a few groups who have some long term data sets who could answer those questions. Bruce Menge's lab at OSU had several offshore and intertidal instruments that looked at similar questions. Francis Chan's 2008 study, in collaboration with the Menge lab at OSU, looked at oxygen records off Oregon's coast over the last 50 years and saw an emergence of low oxygen water starting in the 2000s. Some really interesting and alarming studies have suggested that climate change will alter the timing, duration, and intensity of upwelling. Jack Barth's (OSU) 2006 study found that in 2005, upwelling onset was delayed by 30 days, which caused dramatic changes in temperature, nutrients, primary productivity, and lead to one of the worst years in recruitment of intertidal organisms. With the warm blob's appearance last year, and the strong el NiƱo this year I am very interested to understand how oceanographic conditions affect the early life stages and recruitment of rockfishes so we can predict the impacts future climate change on rockfishes.
May 09, 2016
How oceanographic conditions affect the growth, diet, and survival of juvenile rockfish
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Thanks Mom!
May 03, 2016
How oceanographic conditions affect the growth, diet, and survival of juvenile rockfish
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Excellent questions! The SMURFs are located at 1m depth because scientists in central California determined that the highest catch rates of SMURFs were 1m below the surface. They compared that with 1m above the bottom and 8m above the bottom (all SMURFs in this study were moored at depths of 17m). While having the SMURFs 1m below the surface does miss some of the benthic recruiting species, it captures the majority of kelp forest and rocky reef recruiting species. The major environmental conditions we are trying to correlate with recruitment are upwelling and relaxation events. Upwelling occurs when strong northwest winds blow for several days. This moves surface waters offshore and brings cold, nutrient rich, salty water to the surface. When these winds relax or blow from the south, surface water is moved inshore. We have instruments that measure temperature and salinity. Cold water temperature and high salinity are indicative of upwelling periods while warmer, fresher water is indicative of relaxation periods. The larger project (of which my sampling is just a small piece) monitors year to year differences in oceanographic conditions and fish recruitment. By accumulating a long term data set of fish recruitment we can understand how the environmental conditions affect recruitment of fishes to Oregon's nearshore reefs.
May 03, 2016
How oceanographic conditions affect the growth, diet, and survival of juvenile rockfish
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Hi Cindy, Thank you very much for backing my project! I saw that you are part of Experiment.com. so I want to thank you not only for supporting my research, but also for being part of this awesome group that facilitates funding for science. I am terribly grateful for your support of my project, and your efforts to support all of science! Thanks again, Will
Apr 25, 2016
How oceanographic conditions affect the growth, diet, and survival of juvenile rockfish
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