Home town: Patterson, NY
Academic department: Recent SBU graduate, SoMAS, Marine Vertebrate Biology
Departmental advisors: Mary Stanton, Kamazima Lwiza
Currently working at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), LaBua studies Pacific herring, a critical component of the eastern Gulf of Alaska ecosystem, providing a viable food source for humpback whales, sea lions, seabirds, other fish, etc. Stocks have experienced significant declines in abundance since the development of industrial fishing. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has closed fishing for eight of the ten stocks managed in Southeast Alaska but most have failed to recover since the 1980’s. Data and knowledge gained from this study would be of great interest in marine ecology because it directly addresses questions of what factors maintain and distribute variability in marine populations and the importance of their influence.