Anthropogenic hypoxia in the northern Gulf of Mexico is a chronic problem generally stemming from excessive riverine nutrient loading and thermal stratification. Dr. Benjamin Walther and I are working towards an understanding of the potential sublethal effects of exposure to hypoxia in mobile fishes. Using geochemical proxies of hypoxia recorded in otoliths of Atlantic croaker (Micropogonias undulatus), we plan to quantify hypoxia exposure and subsequently determine if exposure to hypoxia leads to differential growth and survival in this species.
This work is part of a larger collaborative effort to characterize the sublethal effects of hypoxia exposure on mobile fishes across the largest anthropogenically derived hypoxic zones in the world. These areas (in addition to the northern Gulf of Mexico), include the Baltic Sea and Lake Erie where the study species are the Baltic cod (Gadus morhua) and yellow perch (Perca flavescens) respectively. We are working closely with Dr. Karin Limburg (SUNY ESF) and Dr. Zunli Lu (Syracuse University) to develop an understanding of such sublethal effects across basins and species.
Peer reviewed publications:
Altenritter, M.E., A. Cohuo, and B.D. Walther. 2018. Proportions of demersal fish exposed to sublethal hypoxia revealed by otolith chemistry. Marine Ecology Progress Series 589:193-208.
For more information on this project please visit,
Walther Lab Page
Project "Hypoxolith" Website
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi