Tuesday, October 26, 2010
101 Stanley Thomas Hall
Tulane University (Uptown)
Refreshments will be served
Erin Grey, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department, Tulane University
Spatially-Explicit Modeling of Blue Crab Populations in the Gulf of Mexico
Blue Crabs are one of the most economically and ecologically important species in Gulf of Mexico estuaries. Yet we still do not have good population models for this species, and thus cannot predict the response of the population to future land loss, fishing practices and climate change. Modeling Gulf Blue Crab population dynamics is challenging because 1) juvenile crabs are cannibalistic at a rate which depends on the size ratio of locally-interacting individuals and 2) long-distance dispersal of larvae connects otherwise discrete adult populations in different Gulf estuaries. Here I will outline the development of a spatially-explicit population model for Gulf Blue Crabs. This model includes localized cannibalism and simulates between-estuary larval exchange by using a particle-tracking algorithm and a high-resolution 3D Gulf hydrodynamics data-set. Recent applications to studying the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to Gulf Blue Crab populations will also be discussed.
Center for Computational Science, Stanley Thomas Hall 402, New Orleans, LA 70118 firstname.lastname@example.org