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Agustina Lopez Novillo - Fish and Invertebrate Lab

University of Miami, FL

For my project I compared the behavior of wild and hatchery crabs in the presence of a predator and in different habitats. I had lab and field treatments. For the lab treatments I used nine 50 gallon aquariums and in the field I made nine 6 x 2 feet enclosures. In each of these treatments I introduced 3 wild crabs and 3 hatchery crabs, which I had measured and tagged. I used large blue crabs as predators. In order to allow the crabs to acclimate, I waited 2 hrs before introducing the predator. 6 of the treatments had a predator, and 3 did not. I left the crabs for 96 hrs without disturbing them. After the 96 hrs I pulled out the enclosures and drained the tanks to get the crabs out and record mortality. The hardest part was making the enclosures and moving them around.
My plans for the future include going back to school for a Masters at the University of Maryland in the Marine and Estuarine Environmental Science program.

Funding provided by NOAA/Sea Grant and NOAA/COMB