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Eric Bah - Marine Invasions Ecology
University of Maryland Baltimore County, MD
Predation Preferences by White Perch (Morone americana) on Two Reproductive
Conditions of Grass Shrimp (Palaemonetes pugio)
Ovigerous grass shrimp carry their eggs on their swimmerets, thus providing a greater energy reward to predators. The shrimp and white perch used in this study ranged from 20-25mm (TL) and 90-140mm, respectively. Seined daily from the Rhodes River, the white perch were randomly paired and starved for a minimum of 48 hours.  The white perch were kept in 20 gallon aquariums filled with filtered estuary water from the Chesapeake Bay. The aquarium would be saturated with grass shrimp.  Treatments included non-ovigerous only, ovigerous only and a mixture of both.  After a 24 hour feeding period, survivors were collected, counted and weighed.  Large variations were observed in the amount consumed and proportion consumed.  Preference formulas from Jacobs 1974 and Ivlev 1961 showed that there was a slight preference towards ovigerous shrimp, however not statistically significant.  Additional trials are necessary to examine preference.
Future Plans
I will be pursuing a Masters Degree studying animal feeding behavior and invasive ecology. 
“Interning at SERC has expanded the depth of my knowledge in ecology, perfectly supplementing my 4 years of college!”.