Date of Award

Summer 8-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Earth and Environmental Sciences


Earth and Environmental Sciences

Major Professor

Martin O'Connell

Second Advisor

Ioannis Georgiou

Third Advisor

Frank Hernandez


I assessed the composition of zooplankton communities at the three tidal inlets connecting Lake Pontchartrain to Lake Borgne and subsequently to the Gulf of Mexico. The objectives of my research were to better understand the factors contributing to both spatial and temporal differences in zooplankton communities at the three locations. Monthly samplings of the neuston were conducted from September 2009 until April 2011 and then again from September 2012 until May 2013. Sampling consisted of triplicate tows using SeaGear “Bongo” nets. Water quality data along with water turbidity were recorded at each site and during each sampling effort. All specimens collected during the survey were quantified and identified to the lowest taxonomical unit. The results indicated that there were significant differences among the aquatic invertebrate communities composition among the three sites groups averaged across months (ANOSIM, R= 0.162, p = 0.001). The outcomes from this study could have strong implications for fisheries management and will provide a baseline for future research.


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