Sources, sinks, and sea lice: determining patch contribution and transient dynamics in marine metapopulations

Speaker: Peter Harrington, UBC

Date: Wed, Mar 15, 2023

Location: UBC, Vancouver, Canada, Online

Conference: UBC Math Biology Seminar Series

Subject: Mathematics

Class: Scientific


Sea lice are a threat to the health of both wild and farmed salmon and an economic burden for salmon farms. Open-net salmon farms act as reservoirs for sea lice in near coastal areas, which can lead to elevated sea louse levels on wild salmon. With a free living larval stage, sea lice can disperse tens of kilometers in the ocean, both from salmon farms onto wild salmon and between salmon farms. This larval dispersal connects local sea louse populations on salmon farms and thus modelling the collection of salmon farms as a metapopulation can lead to a better understanding of which salmon farms are driving the overall growth of sea lice in a salmon farming region. In this talk I will discuss using metapopulation models to specifically study sea lice on salmon farms in the Broughton Archipelago, BC, and more broadly to better understand the transient and asymptotic dynamics of marine metapopulations.

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