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CAREER: From Fish Habitat to Restoration - Understanding Fish Responses to Turbulence

PROPOSAL NO.: CTS-0447427<br/>PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS: ALINE COTEL<br/>INSTITUTION: UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN<br/><br/>CAREER: FROM FISH HABITAT TO RESTORATION- UNDERSTANDING FISH RESPONSES TO TURBULENCE<br/><br/>High quality habitats are essential to ensure healthy ecosystems and therefore successful growth, survival and reproduction of biological organisms. A deeper understanding of the relationship between habitat characteristics and biological organisms leads to more efficient restoration methods for a variety of environments. Among many ecologically important aspects of locomotion, turbulence is believed to create large stability challenges for fishes. Understanding the abilities of fishes to stabilize postures and trajectories in turbulent flows appears to be an important and especially effective candidate towards examining how mechanical principles affect field behavior and distributions. This work builds upon a fruitful collaboration between a biologist and an engineer and has expanded to include co-training of graduate students willing to pursue dual degrees in Natural Resources and Engineering. In addition, through programs such as Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), undergraduate students are involved in this productive, interdisciplinary work during both the academic year and the summer. The interaction between the two groups allows both disciplines to look at real-world environmental issues in a broader and deeper sense. An option being explored is to develop a new focus area related to fish habitat and restoration within the Civil and Environmental Engineering undergraduate degree. This project will have even broader impacts for society. There is considerable interest in dam removal, stream and river restoration, and shoreline protection and rehabilitation, and results from the proposed research will provide data to help inform debate on these subjects. Scientific knowledge is essential in order to achieve national goals for the Great Lakes. Human development carries the threat of changes in shoreline flow signatures that are unsuitable for fishes. Insights gained from the research will be shared with the community in town meetings and other local media.

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