STT = St. Thomas Campus,
St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands
STX = Albert A. Sheen Campus,
St. Croix, US Virgin Islands
STJ = St. John Academic Center,
St. John, US Virgin Islands
Area: Ecology and Management of Tropical Fisheries and Coral Reefs
Abstract of Research: One primary research area addresses the effectiveness of Marine Fishery Reserves as management tools for enhancing and protecting fishery and marine resources. Several studies focus on the effect of MPA's on fish assemblages inside and outside MPA's including measuring critical population parameters of grouper spawning aggregations such as breeding population density, size structure and sex ratios. Other areas of fishery related research include identifying essential fish habitats for reproduction and settlement of reef fishes, spatial and temporal variation in larval fish supply, settlement and post-settlement processes, and quantitative assessment of seagrass beds and mangrove lagoons as nursery habitats for fisheries production. The other primary area of research involves monitoring the effects of land development, sedimentation and water quality on coral abundance, diversity and condition. Large-scale assessments of coral reefs and associated fish assemblages have been conducted throughout the US and British Virgin Islands have helped to determine patterns in coral reefs.