Coastal Studies Institute hosts “Science on the Sound” Lecture on larval fish

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ECU Integrated Coastal Programs and the Coastal Studies Institute are hosting a lecture on larval fish as part of its “Science on the Sound” monthly lecture series, which highlights information on coastal topics and issues in northeast North Carolina.

This month, the program will feature Dr. Rebecca Asch, Assistant Professor in the Biology Department at ECU. Dr. Asch’s presentation, entitled “How the Ocean and Climate Influence Fishes During Their First Year of Life” will highlight her work on larval fish in coastal waters in North Carolina and beyond.

Dr. Rebecca Asch

Many marine fish can produce 1 million eggs or more when they spawn. However, under stable conditions, only two of those eggs will survive to become adult fishes that successfully reproduce.

Since the survival rate of fish eggs, larvae, and juveniles is so low, this means that even small changes in growth and mortality can add up to have large impacts on the productivity of fisheries.

The ocean and climate can affect survival of young fish in many ways: currents can transport fish into inhospitable habitats, cold snaps can stress young fish, and low levels of plankton can cause fish to starve or slow down their growth.

In this talk, Dr. Aschwill present two case studies about how the ocean is affecting young-of-year fish.

In the first case study, Dr. Asch will discuss changes in the time of year when fish larvae enter estuaries in North Carolina. In the second, Dr. Asch will describe how climate change may impact where and when Nassau Grouper, an endangered Caribbean reef fish, spawn.

The program will be held at Thursday, October 17 at 6 p.m. at the Coastal Studies Institute located on the ECU Outer Banks Campus at 850 NC 345 in Wanchese, NC. The presentation is free, and the public is welcomed and encouraged to attend.

This program will be streamed live at and the online viewing audience will be able to ask the presenter questions via an online chat room.