Grace Coogan '17

Grace Coogan

Spatial and sex-specific patterns in growth of California’s state marine fish

The Garibaldi, Hypsypops rubicundus, is a marine fish that inhabits shallow rocky reef habitats along the coast of California and Baja Mexico. Due to strict protection to prevent overfishing by the aquarium industry, little scientific research on Garibaldi has been performed. The Vantuna Research Group (VRG) is one of the only entities with a scientific collecting permit to sample Garibaldi to complete life history studies on this important kelp forest species. A primary objective is to determine the age structure and growth rate differences among spatially separated populations. By determining the ages of the Garibaldi sampled and analyzing trends in growth rate, by age, sex, and location, I aim to answer the following questions: "What are the differences in age distribution and growth curves between four different sites off the coast of California?" and "Are there sexual-specific differences in growth rate?" The results of this study will be valuable in understanding more about the life history of the Garibaldi and add to ongoing studies that estimate the production of kelp forest fish communities.

Presentations: 2015 Occidental Undergraduate Research Conference, 2016 Occidental Undergraduate Research Conference, 2017 Southern California Academy of Sciences Conference