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Levy Otwoma

Institution: Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Ecology (ZMT), Bremen
Room: ZMT, room 3116
Phone: +49 421 23800 - 30
E-mail: [Bitte aktivieren Sie Javascript]
Other webpage(s): Levy's ZMT web page
Levy Otwoma

PhD project:

Connectivity and larval dispersal in surgeonfish (Acanthurus leucosternon , powder blue tang and A. triostegus , convict surgeonfish) along the East African Coastline : application of genetic analysis and modelling to aid management

Despite surgeonfishes being important keystone species in coral reef ecosystems, their populations are being greatly depleted by destructive fishing and declining reef habitats. The decline in overall abundance of fish stocks and average fish size can result in adverse genetic selection leading to loss of genetic diversity. This can be risky in marine species that usually have their effective population size several orders of magnitude smaller than census population size. As a result, the effort to manage such stock may be rendered unsuccessful if the spatial structure is unknown.

The proposed study investigates the spatial genetic population structure of two surgeonfishes (A. leucosternon and A. triostegus) in East Africa and uses simulation model to test the consequences of their connectivity pattern among reefs on their population dynamics. A minimum of 30 genetic samples of A. leucosternon and A. triostegus will be collected from each of the proposed 16 landing sites in East Africa coastline. Qiagen extraction kit will be used to extract genomic DNA, while available microsatellites will be used in amplification. For modelling part an age-structure simulation model framework will be used to examine the consequence of spatial patterns and connectivity on population processes. This model incorporates the unique demographics and dynamics of population components, along with the extent and type of connectivity between them.

Thesis committee:

PD Dr. Hauke Reuter Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Ecology (ZMT), Bremen
Dr. Achim Meyer Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Ecology (ZMT), Bremen
Prof. Dr. Matthias Wolff Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Ecology (ZMT), Bremen
Dr. Janne Timm University of Bremen