Kevin Mershon Boswell

Kevin Mershon Boswell
Florida International University | FIU · Department of Biological Sciences

PhD

About

100
Publications
27,668
Reads
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1,657
Citations
Introduction
I have broad interests in biological and fisheries oceanography, behavioral dynamics of oceanic and coastal nekton, and the application of advanced technologies that facilitate their study. My research program focuses on understanding the abiotic and biological factors that mediate the distribution, behavioral patterns, energetics and natural ecology of oceanic and coastal marine animals. To address many of these interests, we integrate acoustics with observations from autonomous platforms to collect high-resolution data. This novel approach allows the investigation of the spatial and temporal scales that mediate organismal patterns in the ocean.
Additional affiliations
July 2011 - present
Florida International University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
Education
July 2001 - December 2006
Louisiana State University
Field of study
  • Oceanography and Coastal Sciences
August 1994 - May 1998
Texas A&M University - Galveston
Field of study
  • Marine Fishereis

Publications

Publications (100)
Article
Full-text available
The scale of the Deepwater Horizon disaster was and is unprecedented: geographic extent, pollutant amount, countermeasure scope, and of most relevance to this Research Topic issue, range of ecotypes affected. These ecotypes include coastal/nearshore, continental shelf, deep benthic, and open-ocean domains, the last of which is the subject of this s...
Article
Artificial reefs have been deployed throughout the northern Gulf of Mexico in an effort to enhance fish production and mitigate losses from the depletion of natural habitats. Measuring the efficacy of artificial reefs in these capacities requires both fine- and large-scale direct comparisons between natural and artificial reef structures. We conduc...
Article
We examined the potential for Gulf of Mexico red snapper (RS) behavior to bias count estimates collected with a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), towed camera sled (TCS), subsurface towed acoustic sled (TAS), or SCUBA diver at artificial reef sites. Near- (≤ 5 m), mid- (≤ 15 m), and far-field (≤ 100 m) responses were examined using stationary stereo...
Article
Assessing marine fish community size spectra with hydroacoustics is challenging, as communities are diverse, schooling and swim bladder-less fishes are common, and fish orientation is variable. We developed an approach to examine these challenges and applied it to data from 51 optic-acoustic surveys of fishes at petroleum platforms throughout the U...
Article
Full-text available
Acoustic Doppler current profilers (ADCP) are quasi-remote sensing instruments widely used in oceanography to measure velocity profiles continuously. One of the applications is the quantification of land–ocean exchange, which plays a key role in the global cycling of water, heat, and materials. This exchange mostly occurs through estuaries, lagoons...
Article
Full-text available
Animal groups are known to exhibit collective behaviours that allow for effective responses to predators and environmental factors. Habitats with high levels of structural complexity have been shown to influence the collective tendencies of these animal aggregations. However, the effect of anthropogenically induced habitat complexity on collective...
Article
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The formation of fish spawning aggregations (FSAs) is an essential part of the life history of many economically important fish species; however, their status are often poorly described in the literature either due to their occurrence in remote locations, during seasons with unsafe ocean conditions, or because they move on space and time scales tha...
Article
The relative energetic benefits of foraging on one type of prey rather than another are not easily measured, particularly for large free‐ranging predators. Nonetheless, assumptions about preferred and alternative prey are frequently made when predicting how a predator may impact its environment, adapt to environmental change, or interact with human...
Article
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The pelagic Gulf of Mexico (GoM) is a complex system of dynamic physical oceanography (western boundary current, mesoscale eddies), high biological diversity, and community integration via diel vertical migration and lateral advection. Humans also heavily utilize this system, including its deep-sea components, for resource extraction, shipping, tou...
Article
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Observing multiple size classes of organisms, along with oceanographic properties and water mass origins, can improve our understanding of the drivers of aggregations, yet acquiring these measurements remains a fundamental challenge in biological oceanography. By deploying multiple biological sampling systems, from conventional bottle and net sampl...
Article
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The ocean's mesopelagic zone is largely uncharacterized despite its vital role in sustaining ocean ecosystems. The composition, cycling, and fate of particle fields in the mesopelagic lacks an integrative multi-scale understanding of organism migration patterns, distribution, and diversity. This problem is addressed by combining complementary techn...
Article
The Arctic nearshore surrounding Point Barrow, Alaska, is a dynamic system with complex oceanographic and meteorological processes that drive community composition to change rapidly in space and time. Nearshore fish and zooplankton communities were sampled in the summers of 2013–2015. Spatial, temporal, environmental, and biological drivers of fish...
Article
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Pattern formation and collective behaviour in animal aggregations is highly complex and occurs across many scales, over a wide range of environmental conditions. The patterns found in collective behaviour may be modulated by the environmental habitat in which a group is located. Here, we consider whether habitat context influences the collective be...
Article
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Oceanic diel vertical migration (DVM) constitutes the daily movement of various mesopelagic organisms migrating vertically from depth to feed in shallower waters and return to deeper water during the day. Accurate classification of taxa that participate in DVM remains non-trivial, and there can be discrepancies between methods. DEEPEND consortium (...
Article
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Understanding the stress responses of sharks to recreational catch and release fishing has important management and conservation implications. The blacktip shark Carcharhinus limbatus is a popular recreational species targeted throughout the western, central and eastern Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) yet it is unclear what levels of physiological stress res...
Article
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Several factors have been reported to structure the spatial and temporal patterns of sound scattering layers, including temperature, oxygen, salinity, light, and physical oceanographic conditions. In this study, we examined the spatiotemporal variability of acoustically detected sound scattering layers in the northern Gulf of Mexico to investigate...
Article
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Linking morphological differences in foraging adaptations to prey choice and feeding strategies has provided major evolutionary insights across taxa. Here, we combine behavioural and morphological approaches to explore and compare the role of the rostrum (bill) and micro-teeth in the feeding behaviour of sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus) and strip...
Article
Reef fish resources provide numerous ecosystem services in the northern Gulf of Mexico (nGOM) large marine ecosystem. Artificial reefs (ARs) have been distributed across the nGOM in attempts to enhance reef fish habitat and increase fishery productivity, but few data exist to distinguish ecological from fishery functions of ARs compared to natural...
Technical Report
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In September of 2004 hurricane Ivan, a category 3 storm at the time, passed through the northern Gulf of Mexico. Severe wave action attributed to the storm triggered a subsea mudslide that toppled Taylor Energy Company’s (TEC) oil Saratoga production platform A at Mississippi Canyon block 20 (MC20). The superstructure, also known as the jacket, cam...
Article
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In marine ecosystems, predator-prey interactions are known to structure critical processes (e.g., trophic transfer, nutrient regeneration) and have important implications for mediating community dynamics. However, the temporal and spatial scales over which these processes operate remain poorly understood mainly because the resolution provided by tr...
Article
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The extensive use of salt marsh creeks by nekton is widely recognized, yet few investigations have quantified the extent to which tidal migratory nekton make repeated visits to the same location within creek networks. An improved understanding of nekton movements and fidelity can improve insights into the nursery function and value of creek habitat...
Article
Prey-density data are often used when making management decisions for piscivorous fish species (i.e. stocking rates). Gizzard Shad (Dorosoma cepedianum) are an important prey species in lakes and reservoirs throughout much of the United States. Currently, gill nets are the most common gear used to collect Gizzard Shad data used for deriving populat...
Book
Full-text available
Approximately 330 participants from 30 countries attended the 70th Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GCFI) conference held in Merida, Mexico during 4-10 November 2017. The conference featured a symposium on Acoustic Technologies to Improve Reef Fish Ecosystem Surveys, which provided presentations on the various acoustic technologies used to m...
Article
Full-text available
Stable isotope analysis (SIA) has become a useful tool to investigate food web structures in Arctic marine ecosystems. This method requires assumptions about how isotopes are assimilated from food into tissues. Few controlled lab experiments have determined the appro - priate trophic discrimination factors (TDFs) for Arctic marine species, thus man...
Article
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Estuarine processes in the arctic lagoons are among the least studied but important subjects, especially considering the rapid warming of arctic water which may change the length of ice-free period in the summer. In this paper, wind-driven exchange flows in the micro-tidal Elson Lagoon of northern Alaska with multiple inlets of contrasting widths a...
Article
The deep waters of the open ocean represent a major frontier in exploration and scientific understanding. However, modern technological and computational tools are making the deep ocean more accessible than ever before by facilitating increasingly sophisticated studies of deep ocean ecosystems. Here, we describe some of the cutting-edge technologie...
Article
Full-text available
A novel image analysis‐based technique applied to unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) survey data is described to detect and locate individual free‐ranging sharks within aggregations. The method allows rapid collection of data and quantification of fine‐scale swimming and collective patterns of sharks. We demonstrate the usefulness of this technique in a...
Article
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The capability of early life history stage fishes to access nursery habitat within managed salt marshes is dependent on their ability to negotiate water control structures (WCSs). Knowledge of swimming ability and hydrodynamic preferences is essential to assess the impact of WCSs on fish movement in managed marshes. These data, however, are lacking...
Article
Full-text available
The mangrove–seagrass–patch reef (MSP) ecosystem serves as the principal back‐reef nursery for many reef fishes in the Caribbean, but the functional roles of habitats that form this seascape remain unclear. We assessed ecosystem and trophic connectivity of two common reef fishes (schoolmaster, Lutjanus apodus; white grunt, Haemulon plumierii) and o...
Article
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This study addressed the lack of recovery of Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii) in Prince William Sound, Alaska, in relation to humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) predation. As humpback whales rebound from commercial whaling, their ability to influence their prey through top-down forcing increases. We compared the potential influence of foragin...
Article
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Capelin occupy a key trophic role and have a broad latitudinal distribution in the northeastern Pacific and Arctic Oceans. Understanding their adaptation to a range of conditions is important to predicting how they will respond to climate change. To quantify the variation in body condition in different physical environments, we measured energy dens...
Article
Recent developments in sonar imaging provide an efficient way of obtaining near video quality of free-swimming fish in hard to reach areas, e.g., permanent structures like docks and piers, and hard to see environments, e.g., highly turbid waters. However, processing large volumes of data output by sonar imaging systems remains a major challenge. In...
Article
Full-text available
Estuaries are composed of multiple interconnected habitat types used by transient fish species during their period of estuarine residency. Structural marsh management restricts habitat connectivity and impedes the movement of fishes among these habitat types by limiting access via water control structures (WCSs) between the managed area and the res...
Article
Studies show worldwide declines in coral reef community health and fish density, however, evidence of decline on limited spatial scales may mask reef-wide patterns. New methods are necessary to investigate reef communities at greater spatial and temporal scales. We examined fish densities derived by concurrent diver and acoustic surveys on a series...
Article
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Estuary plumes on the western Louisiana continental shelf in the Gulf of Mexico, outside of constricted channels of the Sabine and Calcasieu Lakes were observed on two RADARSAT-1 synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images. The in situ data showed a change in salinity of $~ $2-3 PSUs across the front on the northwest edge of the plume, corresponding to l...
Article
Full-text available
Non-consumptive effects (NCEs) of predators occur as prey alters their habitat use and foraging decisions to avoid predation. Although NCEs are recognized as being important across disparate ecosystems, the factors influencing their strength and importance remain poorly understood. Ecological context, such as time of day, predator identity, and pre...
Article
Full-text available
Relationships between abundance of post-larval and juvenile carangid (jacks) fishes and physical oceanographic conditions were examined in the northern Gulf of Mexico (GoM) in 2011 with high freshwater input from the Mississippi River. Generalized additive models (GAMs) were used to explore complex relationships between carangid abundance and physi...
Article
Lateralization is widespread throughout the animal kingdom [1-7] and can increase task efficiency via shortening reaction times and saving on neural tissue [8-16]. However, lateralization might be costly because it increases predictability [17-21]. In predator-prey interactions, for example, predators might increase capture success because of speci...
Article
Full-text available
Flying fishes (family Exocoetidae) are important components of epipelagic ecosystems and are targeted by fishing fleets in the Caribbean Sea and elsewhere. However, owing to their anti-predator behavior and habitats, their ecology, abundance, and distributions are only partially known. From September 20 to October 6, 2011, we conducted a series of...
Article
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Billfishes are considered to be among the fastest swimmers in the oceans. Previous studies have estimated maximum speed of sailfish and black marlin at around 35 m s(-1) but theoretical work on cavitation predicts that such extreme speed is unlikely. Here we investigated maximum speed of sailfish, and three other large marine pelagic predatory fish...
Article
Full-text available
Climate models indicate the Arctic will undergo dramatic environmental change with forecasted increases in temperature and river runoff. Saffron cod (Eleginus gracilis) is abundant in nearshore waters and appears in the diet of many Arctic sea birds and marine mammals, however, little is known about its early ecology and consequently how they might...
Article
In Southeast Alaska, overwintering Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii) form large conspicuous schools that are preyed upon by an abundance of mammalian and avian predators, thus leading to the question of why herring adopt a strategy that appears counterproductive to predator avoidance during these periods. We examined the spatial and temporal dynami...
Article
Full-text available
Numerical model experiments were conducted to examine how estuarine circulation and salinity distribution in the Calcasieu Lake Estuary (CLE) of southwest Louisiana respond to the passage of cold fronts. River runoff, local wind stress, and tides from December 20, 2011, to February 1, 2012, were included as input. The experiments showed an anticycl...
Article
Full-text available
We experimentally played back tones and sweeps to captive herring (Clupea harengus) in a net pen and measured the collective response of a large and a small group of fish using a camera, echo sounder, and multibeam sonar. The playbacks ranged in frequency from 160 to 500 Hz and 131 to 147 dB re 1 μPa in received sound pressure level. Herring behavi...
Article
Full-text available
Tidally-driven fluctuations lead to rapid variations in hydrological properties that can have profound effects on the dynamic and functions of salt marshes. During low tides, many nektonic species find refuge from predatory fish in shallow intertidal pools. The utilization of shallow pool refuges also exposes fishes to fitness costs that fluctuate...
Article
Full-text available
Water control structures (WCSs) restrict hydrological connectivity in salt marshes and thereby impede nekton movement within the greater habitat mosaic. Transient fishery species, which spawn outside salt marshes and must get past these barriers to reach spawning areas or salt-marsh nurseries, are especially vulnerable to these structures. Water co...
Article
Full-text available
Billfishes are considered among the fastest swimmers in the oceans. Despite early estimates of extremely high speeds, more recent work showed that these predators (e.g., blue marlin) spend most of their time swimming slowly, rarely exceeding 2 m s(-1). Predator-prey interactions provide a context within which one may expect maximal speeds both by p...
Article
Full-text available
Tidally driven fluctuations lead to rapid variations in hydrological properties that can have profound effects on the dynamic and functions of salt marshes. During low tides, many nektonic species find refuge from predatory fish in shallow intertidal pools. The utilization of shallow pool refuges also exposes fishes to fitness costs that fluctuate...
Poster
Full-text available
Changes in the availability of certain fish species may affect foraging strategies of black guillemots (Cepphus grylle) during the summer breeding season in the Arctic. Preferred guillemot prey such as ice-associated Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida) may become less accessible to foraging guillemots as Arctic sea ice retreats to its summer minimum. Thi...
Article
Fish avoidance of vessels can bias fisheries-independent surveys. To understand these biases, recordings of underwater radiated vessel noise from a noise-reduced and a conventional research vessel were played back at the same sound pressure levels (SPL) as experienced in situ to Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus) in a net pen at two different densi...