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Alaska Science Center

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Fish and Aquatic Ecology

two sockeye salmon with superimposed otolithFish and aquatic habitats in Alaska support important commercial, sport, and subsistence fisheries and provide forage fish that support wildlife populations.  The USGS Alaska Science Center conducts interdisciplinary research to inform local, state, federal, and international policy makers regarding conservation of fish, aquatic species, and their habitats.  We work collaboratively with hydrologists, geologists and other biologists to study fish and aquatic systems in an ecosystem based framework.  The goal of our current research effort is to improve our understanding of the biocomplexity, resilience, and function of aquatic ecosystems to better inform future predictions of fish and aquatic ecosystems as they respond to a changing environment.

sampling for invertebrates on the north slope of Alaska
Climate Change
counting fish in a tributary of the Matanuska River, Alaska
Life-History & Ecology

ASC Fish and Aquatic Ecology Program Strategic Research Plan 2014 - 2024 [pdf file - 2.61 mb]

Our most recent publications include:

von Biela, V. R., S. D. Newsome, J. L. Bodkin, G. H. Kruse, and C. E. Zimmerman. 2016. Widespread kelp-derived carbon in pelagic and benthic nearshore fishes suggested by stable isotope analysis. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 181:364-374. doi:10.1016/j.ecss.2016.08.039 [Details] [Full Publication]

von Biela, V. R., C. E. Zimmerman, G. H. Kruse, F. J. Mueter, B. A. Black, D. C. Douglas, and J. L. Bodkin. 2016. Influence of basin- and local-scale environmental conditions on nearshore production in the northeast Pacific Ocean. Marine and Coastal Fisheries 8:502-521. doi:10.1080/19425120.2016.1194919 [Details] [Full Publication]

Dunmall, K. M., N. J. Mochnacz, C. E. Zimmerman, C. F. Lean, and J. D. Reist. 2016. Using thermal limits to assess establishment of fish dispersing to high-latitude and high-elevation watersheds. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. doi:10.1139/cjfas-2016-0051 [Details] [Full Publication]

Carey, M. P., S. A. Sethi, S. J. Larsen, and C. F. Rich. 2016. A primer on potential impacts, management priorities, and future directions for Elodea spp. in high latitude systems: learning from the Alaskan experience. Hydrobiologia 777(1):1-19. doi:10.1007/s10750-016-2767-x [Details] [Full Publication]

von Biela, V. R., G. H. Kruse, F. J. Mueter, B. A. Black, D. C. Douglas, T. E. Hesler, and C. E. Zimmerman. 2015. Evidence of bottom-up limitations in nearshore marine systems based on otolith proxies of fish growth. Marine Biology 162(5):1019-1031. doi:10.1007/s00227-015-2645-5 [Details] [Full Publication]

von Biela, V. R., S. D. Newsome, and C. E. Zimmerman. 2015. Examining the utility of bulk otolith δ13C to describe diet in wild-caught black rockfish (Sebastes melanops). Aquatic Biology 23(3):201-208. doi:10.3354/ab00621 [Details] [Full Publication]

Brennan, S. R., C. E. Zimmerman, D. P. Fernandez, T. E. Cerling, M. V. McPhee, and M. J. Wooller. 2015. Strontium isotopes delineate fine-scale natal origins and migration histories of Pacific salmon. Science Advances 1(4):el400124. doi:10.1126/sciadv.1400124 [Details] [Full Publication]

Brennan, S. R., D. P. Fernandez, C. E. Zimmerman, T. E. Cerling, R. J. Brown, and M. J. Wooller. 2014. Strontium isotopes in otoliths of a non-migratory fish (slimy sculpin): implications for provenance studies. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 149:32-45. doi:10.1016/j.gca.2014.10.032 [Details] [Full Publication]


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