Marine Epidemiology: students investigating the marine ecosystem using parasite loads in Alaska groundfish

Diseases and parasites are unique indicators of both individual fish and marine ecosystem function and health. This project seeks to fill a crucial knowledge gap by training students in the theory and practice of epidemiology and fish disease ecology through coursework and an applied research project. Students study the fundamentals of Epidemiology, Disease Ecology, and Parasitology while assessing the parasite loads in two commercially important Alaska groundfish species (Pacific Cod, and Pacific Halibut) in Cook Inlet Alaska. Further, students will model the parasite induced mortality on these populations. In addition to the development of an important course the proposed work will result in a database detailing the parasite diversity and load in Pacific cod and halibut sampled from Cook Inlet.

Profile

Name: Bradley Harris, Assistant Professor of Marine Biology

Institution: Alaska Pacific University

Award: Higher Education, Project

Funding Period: 2012