The Research

The Forage Fish Research Program ,The FFRP, is a public-private partnership between FWRI, leading academic institutions, and non-governmental organizations designed to provide Florida much needed analysis of existing data and foster the development of the next generation of marine scientists.  Once a year, the program provides fellowships to graduate students in marine sciences at Florida universities to work hand in hand with FWRI, one of the country’s leading state institutions dedicated to natural resource sciences, to answer some of the most pressing questions regarding forage fish and their relationship to Florida’s marine habitats and predators.   Fellowship students get real world experience working with the same data the professionals at FWRI use to inform management decisions, FWRI gets much needed support in answering research questions regarding Florida’s marine resources, and citizens reap the recreational and economic benefits of the analyses as our coastal resources thrive.

To learn more about the research and what we have been up to lately then read our newsletter here.

Meet the Fellows

2020 Fellows – Projects to be completed by August 2021

Emily Farrell – University of Central Florida
Environmental DNA Analysis of Forage Fish Diversity and Distribution in the Indian River Lagoon.
Dakota Lewis – University of Central Florida
Quantifying the Relationships Among Harmful Algal Blooms, Fish Kills, and Forage Fish Community Dynamics in Coastal Florida.

2019 Fellows

Michelle Shaffer – University of Central Florida
Understanding the effect of disappearing seagrass meadows in the Indian River Lagoon (IRL) in Florida due to Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) on forage fish and their predators. Read more…
Dylan Sinnickson – University of Florida
Sinnickson’s work focused on the dynamics of anchovies relative to environmental influence at Cedar Key along Florida’s Nature Coast. Read more…

2018 Fellows

Brittany Troast – University of Central Florida
Researched the effect of changing populations of forage fish on the abundance and diversity of predators and predator-prey relationships in the Indian River Lagoon and St. John’s River. Read more…
Jonathan Peake – University of Central Florida
Peake’s work focuses on ways to better understand the dynamics of prey species in Gulf Coast estuaries, specifically how they change in abundance, composition and by habitat relative to predators. Read more…

2017 Fellows

Ed Camp – University of Central Florida
Camp’s postdoctoral research shed light on the dynamics of predators such as redfish and their diets of forage fish by examining gut contents from the FWRI database. Read more…
Meaghan Faletti – University of South Florida
Researched the population dynamics of pinfish in the Gulf of Mexico by examining traces of carbon and nitrogen isotopes within their eyeballs. Read more…