10 July 2015

Collaborator of the Week: Lucas Brotz

Photo courtesy of Lucas Brotz

Lucas Brotz holds a Bachelor’s degree in Astrophysics and a Master’s degree in Oceanography. Currently, he is undertaking his doctorate in Zoology at the University of British Columbia’s Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries under the guidance of the esteemed Dr. Daniel Pauly. He is also working with the Sea Around Us.

His research focuses mainly on changing jellyfish populations and jellyfish fisheries, as well as the economic impacts of jellyfish blooms. A study that he published in 2012 together with UBC scientists was the first attempt to identify changes in global jellyfish abundance. Analysis of available data from 1950 to the present confirmed a remarkable rise in their populations. This was evident in 28 of the world’s Large Marine Ecosystems, or 62 percent of the regions analyzed.  

Consequently, this study has immense implications for humans and ecosystems. Negative impacts of this global phenomenon are felt on human activities like fishing, aquaculture, tourism, power generation, and desalination, among others. Aside from exploiting jellyfish as a food source, people may have to resort to creative ways to reduce economic loss. No single factor is responsible for increasing jellyfish blooms, but mounting evidence suggests that pollution, aquaculture, fishing, shipping, global warming, and coastal development are likely to contribute to this observed rise. UBC scientists urge that subsequent studies on jellyfish populations and awareness are vital to make sure we still have fishes, and not just jellyfishes, on our plates.

Lucas Brotz makes use of SeaLifeBase for jellyfish taxonomy as well as FishBase, since he is also studying the dynamics between jellyfish populations and fisheries. He has contributed data on taxonomic updates of jellyfish, photographs of jellyfish, and scientific papers on jellyfish populations as well as the results of his MSc Thesis.

Cheers to more years of collaborating with you!

The University of British Columbia Fisheries Centre . http://www.fisheries.ubc.ca/students/lucas-brotz [Accessed 6/29/2015]
The University of British Columbia. http://news.ubc.ca/2012/04/18/jellyfish-on-the-rise-ubc-study/  [Accessed 6/29/2015]

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