Emily Wallingford, a rising senior at the University of Hawaii at Hilo and a 2015 Hollings Scholar at NOAA’s Beaufort Laboratory, won the best oral presentation award at the 2015 Hollings Symposium on July 27 -30. Wallingford’s presentation, ‘Development of lionfish aggregating devices (LADs) for use as a large-scale control technique,‘ reported on her research of lionfish behavior around artificial reefs. During the course of her project, Wallingford developed laboratory and video analysis methods to assess lionfish behavioral attraction to artificial reefs of varying complexity. Her preliminary results indicate that lionfish prefer horizontal structure over vertical; however, structural affinity changed with the density of lionfish. This research is part of a larger study to develop LADs for lionfish control in marine protected areas.
For more information on this project and other lionfish research happening at the NOAA Beaufort Laboratory, contact James.Morris@noaa.gov.