Fish Community Ecology
In the Bahamas and U. S. Virgin Islands and to a lesser extent the rest of the Caribbean, I have ongoing research examining: (1) the role of mangrove creeks as nursery habitats for coral reef fish and (2) connectivity of coral reef fish populations. We use a combination of field surveys, experiments, and molecular techniques to examine these issues. Our results have identified the expansive mangrove creek system of Andros Island, Bahamas as a key nursery ground for juvenile fish that inhabit near-by barrier reefs and suggest that self-recruitment of reef fish may affect the genetic connectivity of relatively proximate populations in the U.S.V.I. (i.e., windward vs. leeward fish assemblages).