Methods for Assessing Fish Populations


Methods for Synthesizing Coral Reef Data

Collaborators: Megan Donahue, Sean Connolly

There is a growing need to utilize existing information to ask large-scale and long-term questions about the status and trends of coral reefs. Several such efforts have brought data together from multiple sources, but tools are lacking for both designing databases, and for handling the complex statistical issues of combining different data sources. I have worked on both of these issues to assess coral reefs in the Caribbean and Hawaii. From a database standpoint, I've developed a model for combining data while conserving the source information but also providing a framework for statistical analysis and for providing long-term utility and storage. From a statistical standpoint, I've worked with collaborators to develop multiple methods for incorporating uncertainty in utilizing data from multiple sources through methods calibrations,  mixed effects models, and Bayesian observation models.


BotCam – a baited camera system

Collaborators: Danny Merritt, Jeff Drazen, Chris Kelly, Lynn Waterhouse

BotCam is an autonomous stereo-video baited camera system that can be used to assess populations of deep-water fish stocks. It was designed to meet a need for a non-extractive, fishery-independent monitoring tool for bottomfish stocks in Hawai‘i by NOAA's Pacific Island Fishery Science Center, and the Hawai‘i Undersea Research Laboratory. We published information on the design and utility of the system for monitoring fish species from 200-400 m based on deployments in Hawai‘i and elsewhere in the Pacific. The system has since been used to study species habitat relationships, baselines of commercial fish populations, and evaluating marine protected areas