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Janelle M. Hrycik

Estimating dispersion and connectivity: the biological null model

Janelle M. Hrycik
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I am a PhD candidate in the Oceanography Department at Dalhousie University. I’m from Buffalo, New York, and I completed my Bachelor of Science honours degree in Marine Vertebrate Biology at Long Island University in May 2008. My graduate research utilizes a new technology that provides direct quantitative estimates of dispersion.

Chris Taggart and Barry Ruddick

Oceanography, Dalhousie University

09/2008 – present

Population Connectivity, PC-10: Measuring Lagrangian Exchange, Transport, and Dispersion

The goal of my research is to quantify dispersal at the scale of dispersing early-stage planktonic organisms (days to weeks, km to 100 km).  Direct measures of dispersion are achieved through the use of magnetically attractive particles (MAPs) and moored magnetic-collector arrays.  The relative probability of physically-driven Lagrangian exchange from a point-source location to a large set of potential sink locations is estimated.  This yields the spatial probability of dispersal for propagules entering the system - the dispersal kernel.  The dispersion measurements provide the biological null model, or the purely passive component of biological connectivity.   The biological null models provided by the MAP studies are used in comparison with corresponding hydrodynamic model results.  The dispersal kernel estimates are used to address issues surrounding invasive species and commercially valuable species. 

The specific project/thesis aims are:

    1. Quantitatively measure dispersion through the use of a new technology
    2. Estimate dispersal kernels and apply to biologically relevant issues in the geographic area in question
    3. Compare with existing hydrodynamic models to improve model capabilities






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