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Department of Biological Sciences

Michelle Passerotti receives the Best Graduate Student Paper of the Year Award

Congratulations to Michelle Passerotti for her article being selected as the Cindy & Dan Carson Best Graduate Student Paper of the Year Award! Michelle’s paper, “Fourier-transform near infrared spectroscopy rapid and non-destructively predicts daily age and growth in otoliths of juvenile red snapper Lutjanus campechanus (Poey, 1860)” was published in Fisheries Research. It describes a new approach for ageing bony and cartilaginous fishes and the management implications of this area of research. Ageing fishes has a very large impact on how fish and fisheries are comprehensively managed. ‘Production’ ageing (i.e., ageing on large scales) of bony fishes traditionally has used dissected, sectioned and polished otoliths (ear stones) for age determination by enumerating growth rings. This approach is laborious, can be subjective and prone to considerable error. In her study, Michelle has implemented a method that has been used to age insects, cadavers (by their teeth), etc., to ageing unprepared otoliths. This advance has major implications in the field, and Michelle's study was ranked 33rd out of 218 Aquatic Science journals by Fisheries Research. Congrats Michelle!

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