© 2015 by Salmon Watersheds Lab

Michael Arbeider

I love all aspects of natural history and the interconnectedness of species has always fascinated me, which is why I have chosen food web ecology as the perfect field to apply my passions and focus. My aim is to build upon our existing knowledge of juvenile salmon use in the Skeena estuary by looking at smolt diets, and zooplankton community assemblages and what they consume. Both of which were recently identified as areas lacking in information for the estuary. It is important to fill these data gaps, in collaboration with local groups, to better inform resource development and conservation efforts in the area. Building on Ciara’s project, I will ask the question: Can zooplankton community assemblages predict preferred habitat for estuary fish species? I will analyze zooplankton communities between specific habitat features and environmental variables and compare them to the stomach contents of smolts and forage fish within the estuary. Filling data gaps and layering habitat and food web ecology allows for better project management within the area and increases our ability to predict the impact of development in the Skeena Estuary.