Contact InformationSchool of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
P.O. Box 757220
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Fairbanks, AK 99775-7220
Phone: (907) 455-3968
Lauren DivinePh.D. Student
Snow crab (Chionoecetes opilio) trophic dynamics and stock characteristics in the US Arctic
My research interests include wildlife management, marine and freshwater fisheries, and benthic invertebrate ecology. I am particularly interested in conducting collaborative research in social and biological sciences in order to address critical questions of sustainable ecosystem-based management.
- Society for Conservation Biology
- Western Society of Naturalists
- AK Chapter of the American Fisheries Society
- wildlife management
- invertebrate ecology
- B.S. 2007 Texas A&M University (Wildlife Management)
- M.S. 2011 Georgia Southern University (Biology)
For my PhD research, I am investigating energy flow and food-web structure of benthic communities on the Alaskan Beaufort Sea shelf. Recent evidence suggests Arctic benthic communities will be invaded by subarctic and temperate species as global sea surface temperatures continue to increase. The expected quantitative and nutritional changes in the food sources (ice algae, phytoplankton) due to environmental changes in the Arctic will influence important infaunal and epifaunal species, which in turn are food for higher trophic levels. I plan on investigating how food webs and energy flow are affected by these climatic changes, using natural collections as well as experimental methods, and employing analytical methods such as C:N ratios and stable isotope measurements.
I am also conducting stomach content and stable isotope analyses of snow crab (Chionoecetes opilio) to compare short-term (gut contents) and long-term (stable isotope) positioning of these important benthic consumers across Arctic food-webs, including the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. C. opilio has shown increased abundances in the Chukchi and increased sizes in the Beaufort Seas and may become a species of interest for subsistence or commercial harvest in the near future.
My final goal is to synthesize snow crab population and reproductive data from cruises occurring in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas over the past few decades. This synthesis will include conducting a gear comparison as two types of trawls have been used to collect information concerning snow crab abundance and biomass in the past. These data will produce direct estimates of snow crab populations in the Arctic that may be used to update the stoc assessment of snow crab in the Arctic Fisheries Management Plan, a document released by the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council in 2009, which set the framework for potential future harvest of snow crab in Pacific Arctic waters.
Current Research Projects
- Stomach content and stable isotope analyses of snow crab across the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas (BOEM- Arctic Eis, NPRB)
- Re-estimation of C. opilio parameters used in the Arctic Fisheries Management Plan with additional data
- Stabe isotope analysis of benthic food-webs across the Alaskan Beaufort Sea shelf (BOEM, NPRB, MESAS)
- Summer MESAS internship
a summary of my internship in the Pribilof Islands during the summer of 2012 for the NSF-IGERT funded Marine Ecosystem Sustainability in the Arctic and sub-Arctic (MESAS) fellowship.