Date of Submission

Fall 2019

Academic Programs and Concentrations


Project Advisor 1

Felicia Keesing

Abstract/Artist's Statement

American eels (Anguilla rostrata) are a catadromous migratory fish spawning in the Sargasso Sea and maturing in estuaries such as The Hudson River. Currently eel populations are recovering from threats of endangerment due to overfishing and habitat loss, but climate change continues to threaten the species. Current research suggests American eels use the sea surface temperature of the Atlantic Ocean to indicate when they have arrived at the Sargasso Sea to begin spawning. With the changing temperatures from climate change, these fish and their life cycle processes could be impacted. American eels are also under-studied. Little information is known about their age during the adolescent phase, when they are commonly referred to as glass eels. The only aging mechanism for these glass eels involves euthanizing individuals and extracting a segment of their inner-ear. I examined Sargasso Sea surface temperatures over time, and attempted to develop a non-lethal method for estimating age using simple methods that can be carried out in the field. Combined, these variables can provide insight about whether changes in Sargasso Sea surface temperature influence the age at estuarine arrival.

Open Access Agreement

On-Campus only

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
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