Jerald S. Ault

Jerald S. Ault
University of Miami | UM · Ecosystem Science and Policy

Ph.D.

About

163
Publications
73,106
Reads
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Citations
Introduction
Jerald S. Ault, Ph.D., is Professor and Chair of the Department of Marine Ecosystems and Society at the University of Miami RSMAS. Dr. Ault is an internationally known fisheries scientist with expertise in the theory and application of quantitative methods for investigating responses of marine populations to exploitation & environmental changes; machine learning; ecosystem modeling; and, decision-making under uncertainty.
Additional affiliations
May 2015 - December 2021
University of Miami
Position
  • Chair and Professor (Full) of Fishery Management Science
January 1993 - April 2015
University of Miami
Position
  • Professor of Fishery Management Science
Description
  • Director, Tarpon & Bonefish Research Center
January 1993 - May 2016
University of Miami
Position
  • Professor of Marine Biology and Fisheries
Education
March 1990 - February 1991
University of Maryland, College Park
Field of study
  • Fish Population Dynamics
January 1984 - February 1988
University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science
Field of study
  • Fishery Management Science & Applied Statistics
January 1983 - December 1983
University of California, San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Field of study
  • Mathematical Demography

Publications

Publications (163)
Article
The Hawaiian deep-slope (75-400 m) Deep7 bottomfish fishery consists of seven (i.e., six snappers and one grouper) species. This study developed a sampling survey and modeling methodology for estimating biomass for this complex in the Main Hawaiian Islands. The island-wide fishery-independent sampling survey using two gears (commercial fishers with...
Article
Full-text available
This study extended a “data-limited” length-based stock assessment approach to a risk analysis context. The estimation-simulation method used length frequencies as the principal data in lieu of catch and effort. Key developments were to: (i) incorporate probabilistic mortality and growth dynamics into a numerical cohort model; (ii) employ a precaut...
Article
Full-text available
Age‐ or length‐structured stock assessments require reliable life history demographic parameters (growth, mortality, reproduction) to model population dynamics, potential yields and stock sustainability. This study synthesized life history information for 84 commercially exploited tropical reef fish species from Florida and the U.S. Caribbean (Puer...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding large‐scale migratory behaviours, local movement patterns and population connectivity are critical to determining the natural processes and anthropogenic stressors that influence population dynamics and for developing effective conservation plans. Atlantic tarpon occur over a broad geographic range in the Atlantic Ocean where they sup...
Article
Full-text available
Fishery management in Brazil has many challenges, including the engagement of fishers, building institutional (NGO, university, etc.) relationships to carry out research and provide key data for managers, and strengthening the capacity to articulate effective management strategies (policy institution). Here we report on recent work to address some...
Article
Full-text available
In this NRCA, a selection of nine key natural resources vital to assessment of Biscayne National Park’s overall health have been identified; water quality, seagrasses, terrestrial vegetation, corals, marine invertebrates, reef fish/gamefish/sharks, sea turtles, marine mammals/American crocodiles, and birds. The condition and trend for each of these...
Article
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Exploitation impacts and management options for 15 coral reef fish species central to the commercial and recreational fisheries of the southern Florida USA coral reef ecosystem were evaluated using a length-based risk analysis (LBRA) framework. Population abundance-at-length composition data were obtained from several regional federal-state samplin...
Article
Aquatic ecosystems face numerous anthropogenic threats associated with coastal urbanization, with boat activity being among the most prevalent. The present study aimed to evaluate a potential relationship between boat activity and shark space use in Biscayne Bay, Florida (USA), a coastal waterway exposed to high levels of boating. Spatiotemporal pa...
Article
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Abstract Background Atlantic tarpon (Megalops atlanticus) are a highly migratory species ranging along continental and insular coastlines of the Atlantic Ocean. Due to their importance to regional recreational and sport fisheries, research has been focused on large-scale movement patterns of reproductively active adults in areas where they are of h...
Article
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Coral reef ecosystems are declining due to multiple interacting stressors. A bioassessment framework focused on stressor-response associations was developed to help organize and communicate complex ecological information to support coral reef conservation. This study applied the Biological Condition Gradient (BCG), initially developed for freshwate...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Atlantic tarpon (Megalops atlanticus) are highly migratory species ranging along continental and insular coastlines of the Atlantic Ocean. Despite broad geographic distribution and importance as recreational fisheries, little is known about space-use patterns of tarpon within the Eastern Caribbean. Acoustic telemetry was used to track ta...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Atlantic tarpon (Megalops atlanticus) are a highly migratory species ranging along continental and insular coastlines of the Atlantic Ocean. Due to their importance to regional recreational and sport fisheries, research has been focused on large-scale movement patterns of reproductively active adults in areas where they are of high econo...
Article
Full-text available
Queen triggerfish Balistes vetula are an ecologically and economically important species associated with coral reefs throughout the tropical Atlantic Ocean. To better understand spatial and temporal movement patterns and help determine the effectiveness of a no-take marine reserve (Buck Island Reef National Monument, BIRNM), 55 queen triggerfish we...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Dry Tortugas National Park (DRTO), located 100 km west of Key West, Florida, is perhaps the most remote marine National Park in the United States, offering visitors a rare opportunity to see and experience an intact and relatively pristine coral reef ecosystem. As a result of its remote location, DRTO typically hosts less than 80,000 visitors a yea...
Article
Full-text available
About nine years ago (circa 2009), Indo-Pacific lionfishes ( Pterois volitans and P. miles ) invaded the south Florida coral reef ecosystem. During the intervening period of time, there has been substantial research on their biology, life history, demography, and habitat preferences; however, little is known concerning their regional population sta...
Article
This research develops an integrated methodology to determine the economic value to anglers of recreational fishery ecosystem services in Everglades National Park that could result from different water management scenarios. The study first used bio-hydrological models to link managed freshwater inflows to indicators of fishery productivity and ecos...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the relationship between “habitats” and the distribution of fishes is critical to effective survey design and spatial management. Determining reef fish habitat utilization patterns from passive acoustic arrays is challenging because: (1) habitat classifications must be meaningful to the species; (2) the array must contain the species’...
Article
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Within oligotrophic ecosystems, resource limitations coupled with interspecific variation in morphology, physiology, and life history traits may lead to niche partitioning among species. How generalist predators partition resources and their mechanisms, however, remain unclear across many ecosystems. We quantified niche partitioning among upper tro...
Article
Full-text available
Coastal fisheries are typically characterized by species-rich catch compositions and limited management resources, which typically leads to notably data-poor situations for stock assessment. Some parsimonious stock assessment approaches rely on cost-efficient size composition data, but these also require estimates of life history parameters associa...
Article
Full-text available
Coastal fisheries are typically characterized by species-rich catch compositions and limited management resources, which typically leads to notably data-poor situations for stock assessment. Some parsimonious stock assessment approaches rely on cost-efficient size composition data, but these also require estimates of life history parameters associa...
Article
Full-text available
Fishery-independent surveys can provide accurate and precise data for stock assessments and spatial management to sustain fishery resources as a complementary or alternative source of information to fishery-dependent sampling. Four years of underwater visual survey data collected in several local areas in the U.S. Caribbean were used in conjunction...
Article
Full-text available
In the Florida Keys coral reef ecosystem, delineation of reef fish distributions in relationship to habitat patterns is important for improving the design characteristics of fishery-independent surveys. Efficient survey design depends on analysis of fish distribution patterns to inform and improve the precision of future surveys. We used a diver vi...
Article
Full-text available
Study aim and location: Many populations of highly mobile marine fishes, including large sharks, are experiencing declines. The benefits of spatial management zones, such as marine protected areas (MPAs), for such animals are unclear. To help fill this knowledge gap, we examined core habitat use areas (CHUAs) for bull (Carcharhinus leucas), great h...
Article
Full-text available
Animal telemetry is the science of elucidating the movements and behavior of animals in relation to their environment or habitat. Here, we focus on telemetry of aquatic species (marine mammals, sharks, fish, sea birds and turtles) and so are concerned with animal movements and behavior as they move through and above the world’s oceans, coastal rive...
Article
Full-text available
Large aggregations of adult permit (Trachinotus falcatus) were consistently observed since 2004 by divers in a collaborative fishery-independent reef fish visual census survey during May and June on the western-most edge of the Dry Tortugas Bank, Florida, in coral reef habitat, indicating proximal spawning sites. We investigated the possible fate a...
Article
Full-text available
Length-based methods for estimating the total mortality rate, Z, are appealing due to their potential application in data-poor situations, particularly when assessing tropical and invertebrate fisheries where age composition data are lacking. We evaluated two length-based estimators attributed to Beverton and Holt (1956) and to Ehrhardt and Ault (1...
Article
Full-text available
For centuries, the mechanisms surrounding spatially complex animal migrations have intrigued scientists and the public. We present a new methodology using ocean heat content (OHC), a habitat metric that is normally a fundamental part of hurricane intensity forecasting , to estimate movements and migration of satellite-tagged marine fishes. Previous...
Article
Full-text available
The coral reef fish community of Hawaii is composed of hundreds of species, supports a multimillion dollar fishing and tourism industry, and is of great cultural importance to the local population. However, a major stock assessment of Hawaiian coral reef fish populations has not yet been conducted. Here we used the robust indicator variable “averag...
Article
Full-text available
Fishery-independent surveys can provide accurate and precise data for stock assessments and spatial management to sustain fishery resources as a complementary or alternative source of information to fishery-dependent sampling . Four years of underwater visual survey data collected in several local areas in the U.S. Caribbean were used in conjunctio...
Article
Full-text available
In the Florida Keys coral reef ecosystem, delineation of reef fish distributions in relationship to habitat patterns is important for improving design characteristics of fishery-independent surveys. Efficient survey design depends on analysis of fish distribution patterns as a means to inform and improve precision of future surveys. We used a diver...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Animal telemetry is the science of elucidating the movements and behavior of animals as they move through the world’s oceans, coastal rivers, estuaries and great lakes. Animal telemetry devices (“tags”) yield detailed data regarding animal responses to the coupled ocean-atmosphere and physical environment through which they are moving. This can be...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Ocean fronts and eddies are well known habitats for fishes. But most of the knowledge on ocean front and eddy utilization are based on commercial fisheries data or ecological theory, there have been few direct observations of the fisheries processes inherent to these systems. Despite the development and advances in satellite tracking in the past de...
Article
Full-text available
Underestimation of reef fish space use may result in marine reserves that are too small to effectively buffer a portion of the stock from fishing mortality. Commonly used statistical home range models, such as minimum convex polygon (MCP) or 95% kernel density (95% KD) methods, require the exclusion of individuals who move beyond the bounds of the...
Article
Full-text available
Arrays of passive receivers are a widely used tool for tracking the movements of acoustically-tagged fish in marine ecosystems; however, the spatial and temporal heterogeneity of coral reef environments pose challenges for the interpretation of tag detection data. To improve this situation for reef fishes, we introduced a novel response variable me...
Article
Full-text available
The efficacy of no-take marine reserves (NTMRs) to enhance and sustain regional coral reef fisheries was assessed in Dry Tortugas, Florida, through 9 annual fishery-independent research surveys spanning 2 years before and 10 years after NTMR implementation. A probabilistic sampling design produced precise estimates of population metrics of more tha...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The overall goal of the MARine and Estuarine goal Setting (MARES) project for South Florida is “to reach a science-based consensus about the defining characteristics and fundamental regulating processes of a South Florida coastal marine ecosystem that is both sustainable and capable of providing the diverse ecosystem services upon which our society...
Article
Full-text available
Rapid growth of popular and lucrative catch-and-release marine sportfisheries worldwide has highlighted the need for reliable weight estimation methods for use in fishing tournaments, pursuit of fishing records, and to support scientific research that allows captured fish to be released alive. This paper describes new methods to predict weight from...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Reef fish populations are an essential component of the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) coral reef ecosystem and are of great economic, ecological and cultural importance to the region. Yet, striking population and community level declines have been observed over the past several decades due to intensive exploitation and systemic degradation of...
Article
Full-text available
Over the past decade, Indo-Pacific lionfishes, Pterois volitans (Linnaeus, 1758) and Pterois miles (Bennett, 1828), venomous members of the scorpionfish family (Scorpaenidae), have invaded and spread throughout much of the tropical and subtropical northwestern Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. These species are generalist predators of fishes and in...
Article
Full-text available
Predators can impact ecosystems through trophic cascades such that differential patterns in habitat use can lead to spatiotemporal variation in top down forcing on community dynamics. Thus, improved understanding of predator movements is important for evaluating the potential ecosystem effects of their declines. We satellite-tagged an apex predator...
Article
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Two zooxanthellate, scleractinian species present in the equatorial eastern Pacific, Psammocora stellata and Psammocora profundacella, were examined in terms of their reproductive biology and ecology at four study sites, non-upwelling (Can˜o Island, Costa Rica, and Uva Island, Panama´), upwelling (Gulf of Panama´, Panama´), and seasonally varying t...
Article
Full-text available
We evaluated vertical depth and thermal habitat utilization of Atlantic tarpon Megalops atlanticus from high-resolution temporal data on 42 recovered pop-up archival transmitting (PAT) tags deployed and recovered from 2002 to 2010 to estimate vertical movement rates (swim speeds) during descents and ascents. All individuals strongly preferred shall...
Article
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1. There has been considerable debate over the past decade with respect to wildlife provisioning, especially resultant behavioural changes that may impact the ecological function of an apex predator. The controversy is exemplified by the shark diving industry, where major criticisms based on inference, anecdote and opinion stem from concerns of pot...