Research Integration

Read below for a recent example of how members of my lab were able to work together as a result of overlap between their research focus and projects.

My post-doctoral researcher, Mike Fraker, and two PhD students, Alex Chen and Cassie May, were all supported by independent research grants designed to uncover Lake Erie walleye recruitment mechanisms (Recruitment & Early Life History). Each of these three researchers used a unique research approach complementary to the others:

    • Dr. May’s field collections allowed her to identify the importance of storm events (Global Change Ecology) and starvation/predation to walleye egg and larvae survival, respectively. Her work also provided Dr. Chen with samples for his stock discrimination research and data for Dr. Fraker’s model. Dr. Chen’s research in turn, helped Dr. May to understand growth variation differences in her larval walleye.
    • Dr. Fraker used an Individual-based Coupled Physical-Biological Model (ICPBM) to identify how wind-driven circulation and river inputs of nutrients and sediments drive larval walleye distribution, growth, and survival (Global Change Ecology). He used data from Dr. May’s research to drive, calibrate, and validate his model, and data from Dr. Chen’s research to test his model’s capacity to predict the movement and distribution of larvae.
    • Dr. Chen developed a novel otolith microchemical and genetics method for stock discrimation that helped him quantify the differential contributions of stocks to the broader population through time (Stock Discrimination & Population Connectivity). He benefited from Dr. May’s field work by gaining access to samples and from Dr. Fraker’s model which improved his ability to develop stock discrimination methods by identifying the potential for stock mixing during the larval stage prior to when Dr. Chen’s samples were captured.