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Marine Biology Graduate Student Association

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Barbara Weiser

Barbara Weiser

Fish Ecology Lab
Department of Biology
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA 91330-8303


B.S. Zoology and Conservation, University of Wisconsin – Madison

Research Interests

My research interests focus on fish assemblages and production in California estuaries. My objective is to compare production and assemblage trends across a sample of estuaries within in southern California. Estuaries are valuable as fish nurseries, feeding grounds, and juvenile habitats for both resident and transient fish.

Physical attributes of wetlands change yearly, seasonally, and often daily. Changes due to both development and restoration efforts have occurred over time. Factors such as seasonal closure, shape, size, salinity and temperature may cause differences in seasonal and yearly variation in fish composition and production in estuaries. Variation may also be caused by natural attributes such habitat diversity and availability, and human development. Aspects that may influence fish assemblage composition and production include season, fish species status as native or non-native, pelagic or demersal feeding preference, and use as resident or transient.

My goals include the following. (1) To quantify the amount of production exported to marine areas and the loss of production due to habitat degradation and biological invasions in several different estuarine systems with contrasting features in southern California. (2) To determine seasonal use of habitat areas within estuaries by comparing species richness, compositions, and densities within and among different estuary habitats. This can help determine aspects of estuarine ecology to on which to focus restoration efforts. (3) To analyze differences in current assemblages of fishes and those of several decades ago.