Marine Population Assessment & Management Group
[ The Punt Lab ]
at the School of Aquatic & Fishery Sciences, University of Washington

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Quantitative Seminar


The ability of decision makers to make informed selections among the various options for the management of a marine renewable resource depends on having information on the current status of the population relative to target and limit levels, the likely consequences of the alternative options, and the uncertainty associated with this information. The Marine Population Assessment and Management (MPAM) Group at the University of Washington’s School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences conducts research associated with the development and improvement of quantitative methodologies to provide this information.

We consist of Dr Andre Punt and an enthusiastic group of young graduate students who apply a multi-disciplinary approach to develop quantitative methods for use in marine resource management. We currently conduct research on marine fish, cetacean and pinniped populations. The results of our research are used by agency staff and the Scientific Committees of national and international management organizations to provide scientific management advice for a range of exploited populations. The primary focus of the group is the marine resources off the west coast of North America, and we collaborate closely with researchers at the US National Marine Fisheries Service’s Northwest and Alaska Science Centers. We also apply our research worldwide. Current international research involves activities in Australia and South Africa, as well as work with the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas and the International Whaling Commission. Most group members presently receive a substantial portion of their funding from the NMFS Stock Assessment Improvement Plan and the NMFS-Sea Grant Fellowship in Population Dynamics. These programs are designed to foster NMFS-university partnerships and to train students in applied population modeling.

Our current strategic research activities include:

  • Developing methods to account for spatial structure when conducting fisheries assessments. The results of this research could be used to improve population assessments, to integrate Marine Protected Areas into fisheries management, and to extend current ecosystem models.

  • Quantifying the uncertainty associated with estimates of population status and of forecasts using Bayesian techniques.

  • Extending current population dynamics models to include a broader suite of factors, such as the impact of climate change on population dynamics processes.

  • Evaluating fisheries management systems using Monte Carlo simulation techniques.

  • University of Washington

    School of Aquatic & Fishery Sciences

    The MPAM Group website designed by Gavin Fay
    and maintained by Motoki Wu and Felipe Hurtado-Ferro.

    Last update: 10th October 2012

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