Areas of Study
Sustainable Fisheries – The sustainable fisheries program serves Florida’s recreational and commercial fisheries, which have the highest economic value of any state in the USA. The program focuses on 1) the effects of habitat quality on fish populations, 2) population modeling and stock assessment, 3) identifying essential fish habitat, and 4) public outreach for sustainable fisheries. Research areas of this program include both marine and freshwater fisheries and encompass population biology and modeling, behavioral ecology, life histories, and factors influencing fish community structure. Specific studies have estimated growth and mortality of commercial and recreationally important species, predicted population responses to changes in size limits, identified impacts of tournament angling on recreational fisheries, tested habitat effects on variation in growth and life history parameters, and assessed population biology and community dynamics of warm-temperate reefs.
Aquaculture – Aquaculture is the cultivation of freshwater or marine organisms, including fish, shellfish, and plants. On a worldwide scale, as well as in our own backyards, aquaculture plays many important roles in agriculture and natural resource management. Aquaculture is used to 1) produce economically important animals and plants for food, recreation, commercial products and ecosystem management, 2) protect and enhance wild populations through captive breeding and artificial rearing, and 3) maintain organisms under controlled conditions in order to study fundamental biological processes. In order to successfully culture aquatic organisms in managed systems, aquaculturists must take advantage of a variety of biological disciplines including nutrition, growth, reproduction, medicine, husbandry and engineering. Our department emphasizes genetics, reproductive and environmental physiology, health management, and nutrition. Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory
Aquatic Animal Health – Aquatic animal health is a truly interdisciplinary program well established at the University of Florida that involves faculty, staff and students from Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, The College of Veterinary Medicine, and The Whitney Laboratory. This program focuses on, 1) disease diagnosis & health management, 2) assessment of the effects of toxic algal blooms & environment contaminants, and 3) an intensive educational program in aquatic animal health through the Graduate School and Extension Programs. For more information on this core area: Aquatic Animal Health
Conservation and Management of Aquatic Environments – Conservation and management of aquatic environments is a response to the serious challenges facing Florida due to the explosive growth of human development. This program focuses on 1) achieving an objective and comprehensive understanding of the structure and function of ecosystems, 2) providing critical information needed for the development of management approaches that ensure the integrity and sustainability of critical natural resources and 3) generating the human resources needed to meet the management challenges of the future through education and extension programs.