(Marine Institute, St. John’s, NL, Nov. 25, 2013) Four graduate students at the Marine Institute’s (MI) Centre for Fisheries Ecosystems Research (CFER) were recently recognized with Memorial University scholarships and awards.

Victoria Howse, an M.Sc. biology candidate with CFER, has been named the 2013-2014 recipient of the Dr. Jon Lien Memorial Scholarship which is awarded to a graduate student undertaking studies in marine animal behaviour, marine conservation, coastal community revitalization or a current fishery challenge. .

Howse is conducting her thesis on the role of marine protected areas (MPAs) in enhancing local lobster populations and fisheries. Her research is focused around two small MPAs near the Eastport Peninsula, Bonavista Bay, NL and will investigate behaviour of individuals and overall population dynamics of lobster in the local area.

Carissa Currie and Bob Rogers were also recognized with scholarships for their outstanding academic achievement. Both were recently appointed to the 2012-2013 Faculty of Science Dean’s List, which is only awarded to the top ten percent of students in any faculty.

Recently completing her undergraduate degree at Memorial, Currie is now a M.Sc. biology student with CFER under the supervision of Dr. Dominique Robert. The aim of her research is to determine the diet of different larval stages of Atlantic herring and explore relationships between prey production and recruitment of both spring and autumn spawning populations.

Rogers completed his B.Sc. (Honours) degree in biology at Memorial which examined sexual dimorphism in Newfoundland lynx. He is now conducting his masters research with CFER, under the supervision of Dr. Rowe, on the life history and abundance of haddock in southern Newfoundland waters.

And last but not least, M.Sc. biology candidate Laura Carmanico received the Sea-Hawks Athletics Award, which is given to a student-athlete who exhibits leadership and athletic success and is a current member of a Memorial University Sea-Hawks athletic team. Carmanico played for the Gee-gees volleyball team at the University of Ottawa during her undergraduate studies and she now plays volleyball with the Sea-Hawks varsity team.

Carmanico is conducting her thesis research with CFER under the joint supervision of Dr. Sherrylynn Rowe and Dr. John Brattey, Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Her research is focused on determining if parasitic sealworm abundance has increased in Atlantic cod and whether parasite load has an effect on fish condition or investment in reproduction.

“Having bright young scientists pursue ecological research on issues affecting Newfoundland and Labrador fisheries bodes well for the future of this province’s oldest industry,” expressed Dr. Rowe. “We are pleased to be working with such a talented group of students and congratulate them on their recent academic achievements.”

CFER is an academic and applied research unit of MI that receives funding from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Research and Development Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador.

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