Seminar on Predators and Prey

February 17, 2022 - 3:30 PM
HMSC Research Seminar Series

Megan Sabal

The Hatfield Marine Science Center’s Thursday Research Seminar Series continues online.  Next up is lecture on “Predator effects on migratory prey behavior, ecology, and evolution, on Thursday, Feb. 17, 3:30 p.m.

The speaker is Megan Sabal, a postdoctoral scholar with Oregon State University’s Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station.  Dr. Sabal, whose PhD in ecology and evolutionary biology, is studying patterns in Chinook salmon bycatch in the Pacific hake trawl fishery across genetic stocks.  Her description of her upcoming seminar:

“Migratory animals are ecologically and economically valuable and are especially vulnerable to predation. My research asks how predators affect migratory prey behavior, how humans alter these predator-prey interactions, and how to incorporate these dynamics into conservation and management. I use diverse approaches including theory, experiments, and syntheses to scale from fine-scale behavioral decisions up to large-scale patterns among populations and species. I developed a conceptual framework to predict how migrating prey perceive and respond to predation risk—a direct extension of classic economic escape theory. I tested this theory empirically using behavioral assays where I timed juvenile Chinook salmon swimming downstream with and without predator cues. In two experiments, juvenile salmon changed behavior (speed) in response to predator cues, but the pattern of response was context-dependent on previous predator experience and habitat. In a global synthesis across taxa, I examined how predators shape animal migrations and how we can leverage behavioral ecology in creative conservation solutions. Using diverse approaches, from mechanisms to population consequences to ecosystem effects, this research increases our general ecological understanding of predator effects on migratory prey and informs efforts to conserve threatened migratory prey.”

To join this seminar, go here.

Dial-in information:  call +1-971-247-1195 US Meeting ID: 945 5573 1151