Fellows in the News

Cassandra Brooks has received an NSF CAREER grant for conservation work in the Ross Sea, Antarctica. The award abstract states:  

The Ross Sea, Antarctica, is one of the last large intact marine ecosystems left in the world, yet is facing increasing pressure from commercial fisheries and environmental change. It is the most productive stretch of the Southern Ocean, supporting an array of marine life, including Antarctic toothfish – the region’s top fish predator. While a commercial fishery for toothfish continues to grow in the Ross Sea, fundamental knowledge gaps remain regarding toothfish ecology and the impacts of toothfish fishing on the broader Ross Sea ecosystem. Recognizing the global value of the Ross Sea, a large (>2 million km2) marine protected area was adopted by the multi-national Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources in 2016.

Brooks' research will fill a critical gap in the knowledge of Antarctic toothfish and deepen understanding of biological-physical interactions for fish ecology, while contributing to knowledge of impacts of fishing and environmental change on the Ross Sea system. This work will further provide innovative tools for studying connectivity among geographically distinct fish populations and for synthesizing and assessing the efficacy of a large-scale marine protected area. In developing an integrated research and education program in engaged scholarship, this project seeks to train the next generation of scholars to engage across the science-policy-public interface, engage with Southern Ocean stakeholders throughout the research process, and to deepen the public’s appreciation of the Antarctic.

Learn more in the full abstract.

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