Dr. Sean P. Powers
Professor of Marine Sciences, University of South Alabama
& Senior Marine Scientist, Dauphin Island Sea Lab
Dauphin Island Sea Lab
101 Bienville Blvd.
Dauphin Island, AL 36528
My research focuses on the ecology of coastal/estuarine fishes
and benthic invertebrates, particularly those that support commercial and
recreational fisheries. The ultimate
goal of my research program is to provide scientifically sound information to
direct conservation and restoration efforts of marine fisheries and the habitats
that these species rely upon. Within
this context, I have investigated the effects of environmental variables (e.g. hydrodynamics, hypoxia/anoxia),
host-parasite interactions, benthic-pelagic coupling, resource competition,
predation and recruitment on the distribution and abundance of marine fishes and
invertebrates. I use a variety of
techniques to examine these processes including field experimentation &
sampling, food-web modeling, stable isotope analysis, otolith chemistry and
hydro-acoustic tracking of fish. My
current research focus can be separated into four topics: quantifying linkages
between benthic habitats and demersal fish & invertebrates, conservation and
restoration of marine biogenic habitats, recruitment of marine fish and
invertebrates, and ecosystem/trophic transfer studies.
Scyphers, S. B., S. P. Powers, K. L. Heck, Jr., and D. Byron. 2011.Oyster reefs as natural breakwaters
mitigate shoreline loss and facilitate fisheries. PLOS One.
Drymon, J. M, S. P. Powers, J. Dindo and T. Henwood. 2010. Distribution of sharks across a
continental shelf of the northern Gulf of Mexico. Marine and Coastal Fisheries: Dynamics,
Management, and Ecosystem Science 2:440–450.
Fodrie, F.J., K. L. Heck Jr., S. P. Powers, W.M. Graham and K. Robinson. 2010. Climaterelated,
decadal-scale assemblage changes of seagrass-associated fishes in the northern Gulf of
Mexico. Global Change Biology 16:48-49.
Powers, S. P., C. H. Peterson, J. H. Grabowski, and H. S. Lenihan. 2009. Evaluating the success
of constructed oyster reefs in no-harvest sanctuaries: implications for restoration. Marine Ecology
Progress Series 389: 159-170.
Powers, S. P., M. A. Bishop, S. Moffit, and G. H. Reeves.
2007. Variability in freshwater, estuarine and marine residence of sockeye
salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) within
the Copper and Bering River Deltas,
. In: C. A. Woody, editor. Sockeye
salmon ecology, evolution, and management. American Fisheries Society Symposium 54:
Myers, R. A., J.
Buam, T. A. Sheperd, S. P. Powers and C. H. Peterson. 2007. Cascading
effects of the loss of apex predatory sharks from the coastal ocean. Science 315:1846-1850.
Coen, L. D., Mike, R.
D. Brumbaugh, D. Bushek, R. Grizzle, M. W. Luckenbach, M. H. Posey, S. P. Powers, and S. G.
Tolley. 2007. AS WE SEE IT: Ecosystem services related to oyster
restoration. Marine Ecology Progress Series 341:304-307.
Powers, M. J., H. C.
Summerson, C. H. Peterson, and S. P. Powers. 2007. Macroalgal growth on bivalve aquaculture
netting enhances nursery habitat for mobile invertebrates and juvenile fishes. Marine Ecology Progress Series 339:100-122.
Powers, S. P.,
M. A. Bishop, J. H. Grabowski and C. H. Peterson. 2006. Distribution of the
invasive bivalve Mya arenaria L. on
intertidal flats of southcentral
. Journal of Sea Research 55:207-216.
Bishop, M. J., S.
P. Powers, H. J. Porter and C. H. Peterson. 2006. Benthic biological effects of seasonal
hypoxia in a eutrophic estuary predate rapid coastal development. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf
Powers S. P., C. H. Peterson, R. R. Christian , E. Sullivan, M. J. Powers, M.
Bishop and C. P. Buzzelli. 2005. Effects of eutrophication on bottom habitat
and prey resources of demersal fishes. Marine Ecology Progress Series 302:
Grabowski, J. H. and S. P. Powers. 2004. Habitat complexity mitigates trophic transfer on
oyster reefs. Marine Ecology Progress
Powers, S. P., J. Grabowski, C. H. Peterson, and W. J.
Lindberg. 2003. Estimating enhancement of fish production by offshore
artificial reefs: uncertainty exhibited by divergent scenarios. Marine Ecology Progress Series 264:267-279.
Sperduto, M., S.
P. Powers and M. Donlan. 2003. Scaling restoration actions to achieve
quantitative enhancement of loon, seaduck, and seabird populations. Marine Ecology Progress Series 264:221-233.
Powers, S. P. and J. N. Kittinger. 2002. Hydrodynamic mediation of predator-prey
interactions: differential patterns of prey susceptibility and predator success
explained by variation in water flow. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 273: 171-187.
C. H. Peterson, F. J.
Fodrie, H. C. Summerson and S. P. Powers. 2001. Site-specific and
density-dependent extinction of prey by schooling rays: generation of a
population sink in top-quality habitat for bay scallops. Oecologia 129:349-356.
Powers, S. P. and C. H. Peterson. 2000. Conditional density dependence: The flow trigger to
expression of density-dependent emigration in bay scallops. Limnology and Oceanography 45:727-732.
Current Graduate Students:
Steven Scyphers - Ph.D.
Megan Schrandt - Ph.D.
Andrea Kroetz - M.S.
Crystal Hightower - M.S.
Kristen Hannan - M.S.
Dr. Marcus Drymon
Dr. Leslie Baggett