Katie Downs Accepting Scholarship from Wildlife Computers

Wildlife Computers Attends Annual Tuna Conference

Every year we attend the Tuna Conference at Lake Arrowhead and every year we are so impressed with the amazing work taking place on tuna and tuna-like species. This year’s sessions ranged from physiology and foraging to bycatch and ecology, tagging, and data monitoring. One of the highlights this year was a special symposium on dolphinfish. Dolphinfish, otherwise known as mahi-mahi or dorado, are a highly productive species found worldwide in tropical and subtropical waters. Researchers presented a large body of research being conducted on these beautiful fish.

Every year, we sponsor a scholarship to honor an outstanding student. Scholarships cover fees and room and board for the conference. Scholarships are awarded based on scientific merit and relevance to the conference theme. This year’s Wildlife Computers scholarship winner was Katie Downs.

The research of Katie and her colleagues centers around the residency and reproductive status of yellowfin tuna in a proposed large-scale pelagic marine protected area around Ascension Island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The team found no evidence of reproductively active yellowfin near the island; however, using a combination of satellite archival tags and conventional mark-recapture, they provide evidence of the importance of oceanic islands as residency and foraging areas for pelagic megafauna.

This conference is one of a kind. Not only is it surrounded by the natural beauty of the San Bernardino mountains in southern California but it provides a unique opportunity for stimulating exchanges of viewpoints and theories on tuna and other pelagic species. Hope to see you next year: https://www.tunaconference.org/

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