MEES 631: Fisheries Ecology

Instructors: Drs T. J. Miller and D. H. Secor, Chesapeake Biological Laboratory

Even Springs. Taught from CBL and via IVN at MEES, HPL, AEL, UMES

Understanding of the basic biological processes that affect productivity, abundances and distributions is a prerequisite for effective utilization of Maryland's aquatic resources. Effective management of these resources depends upon a knowledge of their basic ecology. The study of fisheries ecology is the study of the interrelationships between individuals, their communities and environment. Aquatic species exhibit a phenomenal range of morphologies, life histories and have become adapted to almost all aquatic systems. Consequently, this course will explore the forces that select individuals, regulate populations and structure communities. Material will focus on, but not be restricted to, coastal and estuarine systems with an emphasis on fishes.

The course will consist of 5 units:

  • Environmental biology of fish
  • Feeding ecology
  • Energetics and growth
  • Population biology, reproduction and life history
  • Population and community interactions

The course will involve formal lectures, preparation of a hypothesis-driven term paper, and written mid-term and final examinations. Extensive readings material will be assigned. Our goal is provide a solid background in fish ecology on which to develop critical thinking and communication skills. Prerequisites include an upper level ecology course and introductory statistics, but students who have not met these may be permitted to take the course at the discretion of the instructors.

Last revised: 11/6/2006