How do juvenile coho salmon utilize habitats across an estuary ecotone?
I am generally interested in the diverse life history strategies of Pacific salmonids, and how plasticity in these strategies translates to a population’s resilience over time. My research project focuses on how juvenile coho salmon utilize habitats across the Koeye River estuary ecotone (the area of transition between freshwater and saline habitats). Estuary ecotones represent a mosaic of suitable rearing habitats for juvenile salmon, and encompass freshwater, brackish, and fully saline environments. Juvenile coho salmon have been observed in nearly all these environments in the Koeye River estuary ecotone, but the patterns of movement between habitats remains unclear. Through stable isotope analyses of benthic invertebrates and juvenile coho salmon tissues collected throughout the estuary mosaic, my goal is to quantify the movement and migration patterns of juvenile coho salmon within the estuary ecotone.
As a Research Assistant, I have also contributed to projects focusing on age structure and life history of steelhead and sockeye salmon populations. Through these projects, I have become familiar with fish scale photography and aging of adult fish based on scale growth patterns.