|Fisheries Oceanography, Larval Fish Ecology
My research focuses on the biology and ecology of estuarine and marine fishes, primarily the early life history stages (eggs, larvae and juveniles). Current projects in my laboratory investigate the physical and biological processes that affect fish early life stage dynamics, including habitat associations of spawning adult fishes, transport of pelagic fish eggs and larvae, larval fish behaviors, larval fish interactions with predators and prey, and recruitment processes. We use a variety of techniques to examine these processes, including intensive field surveys, statistical modeling approaches, mesocosm experiments, and taxonomic analyses using morphometric and molecular techniques. We pursue interdisciplinary, ecosystem-based fisheries research with colleagues at DISL, the University of South Alabama (USA), Louisiana State University (LSU), the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the Marine Resources Division of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (MRD, ADCNR), and other universities and government agencies. Our ultimate goal is to resolve the physical-biological interactions that regulate marine fisheries recruitment, thereby providing fisheries-independent guidance for marine resource managers.
Current Research Grants
NOAA Northern Gulf Institute (NGI). Connecting the Dots: Identifying linkages between zooplankton dynamics and fisheries resources based on the analysis of SEAMAP Plankton Surveys of the Northern Gulf of Mexico. (with J. Lyczkowski-Shultz, H. Perry, S. Lecroy, M. Graham, M. Sutor and M. Benfield). 2010-2012. NOAA Marine Fisheries Initiative (MARFIN). Spatial and temporal abundance and distribution of red snapper (Lutjanus campechanus) eggs across the northern Gulf of Mexico based on historic SEAMAP plankton surveys. (with W.M. Graham and K.M. Bayha). 2009-2011. Richard C. Shelby Center for Ecosystem Based Fisheries Management. Early life history dynamics of forage fishes in the northern Gulf of Mexico: linking spatial and temporal distributions with coastal oceanography and productivity. 2009-2011. ADCNR. Fisheries Oceanography of Coastal Alabama (FOCAL). (with M. Graham, S. Powers, K. Heck, K. Park). 2009-2011. NOAA Marine Fisheries Initiative (MARFIN). Sources and fate of snapper (Lutjanidae) early life stages in Alabama shelf waters: temporal and spatial occurrence of red snapper (Lutjanus campechanus) and vermilion snapper (Rhomboplites aurorubens). (with S. Powers, W. Graham and K. Bayha). 2007-2009
Hernandez, F.J., Jr., S.P. Powers and M.W. Graham. Accepted, in revision. Seasonal variability in ichthyoplankton abundance and assemblage composition in the northern Gulf of Mexico off Alabama. Fish. Bull.
Hernandez, F.J., Jr., J.A. Hare and D.P. Fey. 2009. Evaluating diel, ontogenetic and environmental effects on larval fish vertical distribution using generalized additive models for location, scale and shape. Fish. Oceanogr. 18(4): 224-236. Abstract - http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/122477561/abstract
Bayha, K.M., W.M. Graham and F.J. Hernandez, Jr. 2008. Multiplex assay to identify eggs of three fish species from the northern Gulf of Mexico, using locked nucleic acid Taqman real-time PCR probes. Aquat. Biol. 4:65–73. PDF of Publication©
Lindquist, D. C., R. F. Shaw and F. J. Hernandez, Jr. 2005. Distribution patterns of larval and juvenile fishes at offshore petroleum platforms in the north-central Gulf of Mexico. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. 62:655-665. PDF of Publication©
Abstract - http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2004.10.001
Hernandez, F. J., Jr., R. F. Shaw, J. S. Cope, J. G. Ditty, T. Farooqi and M. C. Benfield. 2003. The across-shelf larval, postlarval, and juvenile fish community associated with offshore oil and gas platforms and a coastal rock jetty west of the Mississippi River Delta. American Fisheries Society Symposium 36:39-72. PDF of Publication©
Hernandez, F. J., Jr. and R. F. Shaw. 2003. Comparison of plankton net and light-trap methodologies for sampling larval and juvenile fishes at offshore petroleum platforms and a coastal jetty off Louisiana. American Fisheries Society Symposium 36:15-38. PDF of Publication©
Hernandez, F. J., Jr., and D. G. Lindquist. 1999. A comparison of two light-trap designs for sampling larval and presettlement juvenile fish above a reef in Onslow Bay, North Carolina. Bulletin of Marine Science 64(1):173-184.PDF of Publication©
Current Graduate Students
Lanora Lang - M.S.
Marshall B. Johnson - M.S.
Postdoctoral Research Associates
Dr. Laure Carassou-Bouilleret
Marine Vertebrate Zoology