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About this Workshop:
For this workshop, 15 educators from the New England area, Texas, and Illinois were matched with ocean and climate scientists from the University of Connecticut to improve their collective understanding of Earth's major ocean - climate systems. [more]
About this Scientist:
Kari Heinonen is a Ph.D. student at the University of Connecticut, Avery Point campus. Her research focuses on the invasive crab Hemigrapsus sanguineus and its impact on the crustacean-eating guild of fishes in Long Island Sound. For the past fifteen years, consideration of the potential ecological impacts of the invasive crab H. sanguineus was limited to intertidal habitats. Recent observations demonstrate the expansion of the species into shallow subtidal habitats in Long Island Sound where it has the potential to impact the crustacean-eating guild of fishes through direct and indirect interactions.
My main research objectives are to determine if H. sanguineus is adversely affecting the food resource for economically important fishes in Long Island Sound, and to determine the impacts of the crab on the food web dynamics of crustacean-feeding fishes. Understanding how the communities respond to changes in food web structure (i.e. predator or prey population increases or declines) is vital to the management of our region's coastal fisheries. [more]