Population Status Update of the Frecklebelly Madtom (Noturus munitus)
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service has sponsored a collaborative study of the Frecklebelly Madtom (Noturus munitus), which is intended to refine understanding of this species' geographic distribution and habitat use. This project integrates traditional biomonitoring efforts with environmental DNA (eDNA) sampling, which offers an opportunity to reconcile discrepancies in detection data. Photo courtesy of Matt Wagner.
Tracking Nonindigenous Aquatic Species
Recent discovery of Green Swordtail (Xiphophorus hellerii) populations in northern Florida has prompted a regional survey for nonindigenous aquatic species in the Florida panhandle and southern Alabama. Traditional biomonitoring surveys are being conducted in concert with eDNA analysis, in order to determine the geographic range and rate of range expansion by this species. Specimens collected for this project will be used for a comparative gut content and microbiome analyses, in order to identify potential ecological impacts to the native fish community.
Defining Estuarine Habitat Use by Charismatic Megafauna of the Northern Gulf of Mexico
In collaboration with faculty at The University of Southern Mississippi, The Dauphin Island Sea Lab, and The University of West Florida, students at the LAQE are conducting eDNA studies to refine understanding of estuarine habitat use by regional megafauna. Examples include the West Indian Manatee, Bull Shark, Gulf Sturgeon, as well as the Smalltooth and Largetooth Sawfishes. Photo credit: Meagan Machholz