Student Vignettes

Meaghan Faletti

About my research

For my Master’s thesis, I am conducting research on fish life history and movement using stable isotopes. Specifically, I am investigating the ontogenetic migration patterns of Hogfish (Lachnolaimus maximus), an important recreational and commercial fish species in the Gulf of Mexico. My goals are to quantify their movement patterns and identify important juvenile habitats, or nurseries, that contribute to the adult Gulf of Mexico Hogfish population. My future goals include conducting research on recreationally and commercially important species to assist in fisheries management. I also have a strong passion for outreach, and hope to facilitate communication between the fishing and diving communities with fishery managers to determine knowledge gaps and how to fill them. Ultimately, she’d like to explore how fish population dynamics may affect broad-scale marine ecology and promote the development of ecosystem-based management approaches.


I chose to pursue my Master’s Degree at the USF College of Marine Science due to its accessibility to numerous resources to help with marine research. Within the Fish Ecology lab especially, there is often a large field component to many of our projects. Having the opportunity to dive into the field and get up-close and personal with the marine systems I’m learning about in my classes has been greatly beneficial in developing my own research questions. USFCMS offers access to many resources, both in the lab and in the field, as well as the opportunity to collaborate with other local marine research agencies.

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