Getting Fresh in Spring: Murray Cod in the Upper Murrumbidgee River
4th November 2016
Speaker: Alan Couch
Location: 11:30 am to 12:30 pm in Building 12, Level B, Room 2
Site fidelity, spawning migration and larval dispersal are feature of Murray cod in lowland rivers. Lowland river studies indicate that adult Murray cod move significant distances upstream to spawn, with larvae then dispersing downstream. The extent and significance of this dispersal is likely to be different in upland river systems because of differing habitat profiles such as movement barriers, flows, and depth; but it has not been studied. Larval dispersal is notoriously difficult to measure, yet this life stage is at least as important to understand as adult movement if we wish to learn about dispersal, one of the fundamental questions in ecology.
Key research questions:
* When and where do Murray cod breed in the Murrumbidgee River? * How far do larvae disperse aka ‘drift’?
Other Research questions:
* Is there genetic structure at this spatial scale? * Does structure relate to putative barriers? * What genetic diversity is there? * Can we infer nest location?
Starting out studying sheep immunology, orf virus, and zoology, and following a four year stint as a science and computing teacher, Alan is now a retired public servant who wanted to do some biological science again. With a life-long interest in natural history generally, and fish in particular, he relished the opportunity to study aspects of life history of Australia’s famous Murray Cod within the IAE at UC with Mark Lintermans and Fiona Dyer. In line with his chaordic philosophy of life, his PhD journey has been a meander through some of the shiny aspects of this life history.