Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Biological Sciences


Biological Sciences

Major Professor

Cashner, Robert C.

Second Advisor

O'Connell, Martin

Third Advisor

Jordan, Frank

Fourth Advisor

Rees, Bernard B.


I conducted a 12-month study of near-shore habitats in Lake Pontchartrain to assess spatiotemporal variation in the abundance of early life stage blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus). Collections were made using a 1 m2 throw trap and data showed that C. sapidus numbers varied over time and among sites. Two recruitment events occurred during the study. During the first recruitment in May-June, C. sapidus entered Lake Pontchartrain via the Inner Harbor Navigational Canal. In September-October, C. sapidus entered the Lake Pontchartrain via the Rigolets and Chef passes. My data suggest that C. sapidus utilize water circulation within the Lake Pontchartrain as a means of transportation throughout the estuary. MODerate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) 250 m data were analyzed to gain a large-scale view of suspended sediments patterns within Lake Pontchartrain and quantify water movement. Field sampling along with remote sensing proved to be beneficial when assessing estuarine-wide C. sapidus post-larval dispersal processes.


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