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Darcy Bradley

PhD Candidate, Bren School of Environmental Science & Management

My research seeks to improve the management of coral reef associated top predators. I develop tools for marine protected area planning and fisheries stock assessments by incorporating the effect of predation and top predator removal on trophic structure in coral reef communities across a human impact gradient.

In the spring of 2013, I was invited to collaborate with The Nature Conservancy and the Palmyra Atoll Research Consortium in mark-recapture reef shark population study at Palmyra, a remote U.S. National Wildlife Refuge in the central Pacific Ocean. Since then, I have made several site visits to Palmyra with the goal of establishing a baseline measure of grey reef shark (Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos) and blacktip reef shark (Carcharhinus melanopterus) population size without the biases inherent in visual survey estimates. However, as much of the world’s reef shark abundance assessments rely on data collected in underwater diver surveys, I am further working to quantify a behavioral response by reef sharks to human SCUBA diver presence. Reef shark behavior will then be incorporated into a bias correction factor that will be used to update and reevaluate abundance estimates throughout the central Pacific.

 

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2400 Bren Hall University of California, Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA 93106