Teffer, Amy Kathryn Kevin Koske
BS, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 2007
Fisheries Conservation and Management
Degree in Progress:
MS, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 2011 (expected)
School of Marine Sciences, Living Marine Resources Science and Management
Diet and mercury content of large pelagic fishes feeding in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean.
Office: 2 Hatch Lab
Mail: 160 Holdsworth Way
University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA 01003
Teaching Assistant (UMass Amherst Ecological Conservation Department)
School of Marine Sciences, University of Massachusetts
UMass Amherst Graduate Program Ecological Conservation Department
Dr. Francis Juanes, Department of Ecological Conservation
The Northwest Atlantic Ocean is a historic feeding ground for many marine species including large pelagic fishes such as tunas and sharks. Like many coastal marine systems, this area also harbors toxic heavy metals like mercury (Hg), which upon entering these systems is transformed into the organic form methyl mercury (MeHg). This organic form is taken up into food webs, accumulating to very high concentrations within the apex predators of the system. Concern regarding the safety of consuming such fish as well as the ecological implications of mercury contamination and biomagnification within food webs is on the rise. Unfortunately, current information regarding the feeding habits of many large pelagic fishes is lacking. This information is necessary in order to determine potential trophic pathways of methyl mercury through marine ecosystem food webs.
This project seeks to describe the diets of large pelagic predators in the Northwest Atlantic ecosystem by way of stomach content analysis. This information will be paired with an analysis of total mercury content within their tissues (liver and muscle). Stomachs and tissue samples are collected at recreational fishing tournaments and on charter fishing boats of Cape Cod and the Islands of Massachusetts as well as surrounding states. This sample collection has added a human dimensional component, incorporating the recreational anglers, angling clubs various agencies and graduate students and the general public into this research endeavor. The results of this project will be published both in the scientific literature as well as in pamphlet and poster form to be made available to the public.
Last updated May 25, 2012 by Roxann Cormier