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K-State Today

October 16, 2018

Fulbright senior scholar to present ecology/evolutionary biology seminar Oct. 18

Submitted by Mary K. Pyle

David Crook, a Fulbright senior scholar from Australia, will visit Kansas State University Oct. 17-19 as part of the Oz to Oz program. Crook is a faculty member at the Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods at Charles Darwin University, Northern Territory, Australia.

Crook will present an ecology and evolutionary biology seminar, "Using Natural Timekeepers to Quantify Material Transport by Migratory Fish," from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18, in 324A Ackert Hall. His research interests include fish movement and migration, population structure, riverine ecology and fisheries.

During Crook's visit, he also will interact with faculty, students and staff who share similar interests.

Martha Mather, associate professor in the Division of Biology is hosting Crook's visit.  

"Dr. Crook's visit provides a unique opportunity for students and faculty within the university to discuss shared research interests and to establish a foundation for future collaborative relationships," Mather said. 

Crook has authored more than 70 peer-reviewed scientific papers and book chapters and was the 2010 winner of the Australian Society for Limnology's Early Career Excellence award.

In the U.S., Crook is collaborating with colleagues at Oregon State University. This effort reflects new directions for applying otolith chemistry to increase our understanding of the migrations and population connectivity of freshwater, marine and diadromous fishes in northern Australia.

Crook summarizes his Fulbright research as: Migratory fish transport massive amounts of carbon and nutrients across ecosystem boundaries. A lack of methods for quantifying this process currently limits our understanding of how human disturbances to fish migration pathways — e.g., dams — affect the productivity of ecosystems and their socio-economic values. This project will use barramundi from tropical Australia and salmon from temperate USA to develop and implement techniques to quantify material transport using analysis of otoliths (fish ear stones). The project will provide important information for ecosystem management and represents an exciting opportunity for collaboration between fisheries scientists in Australia and the U.S.

Opportunities to meet Crook include Thursday morning, Oct. 18, or lunch on Thursday or Friday, Oct. 18-19. Please contact Mather at mmather@k-state.edu for scheduling.