Please join us for our lecture series, featuring world-class scientists and modern day marine adventurers. Dr. Chris Stallings Associate Professor at the University of South Florida's College of Marine Science Dr. Stallings' research seeks to
Please join us for our lecture series, featuring world-class scientists and modern day marine adventurers.
Dr. Chris Stallings
Associate Professor at the University of South Florida’s College of Marine Science
Dr. Stallings’ research seeks to understand the factors that affect the sizes of fish populations, including those that are of commercial and recreational importance. His recent work on lionfish has included the largest field experiment ever attempted to estimate the effort required to reduce their populations, analyzing removal data from the National Park Service and lobbying the Florida Congress to heighten awareness and increase action from the state.
Lionfish were introduced by aquarium hobbyists to waters off the southeast coast of Florida in the 1980s. Since their introduction, these beautiful, ornate fish have rapidly spread across the entire tropical western Atlantic, from North Carolina to Venezuela, throughout the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico.
The population sizes in the invaded range commonly exceed those from their native habitats by several orders of magnitude. With a seemingly insatiable appetite for our native fishes, and a lack of local predators and disease to keep them in check, lionfish can have detrimental effects on the invaded marine ecosystem. In his talk, Chris will review the history of the invasion, discuss the biology and ecology that have allowed them to be so successful, highlight some damaging impacts they can have, and finish with what scientists and the general public are doing to combat the problem.