Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ask A Grad Student: Joel Webb

Want to hear about other crab lovers' work? Here you go!

Joel works as both a grad student at UAF SFOS in Juneau and as a shellfish biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. He's helped me with crab sampling in the Bering Sea and sharing his extensive literature collection, not to mention his amazing memory of past crab research.

Age: "Old"
Degree: M.S in Fisheries (pursuing the next one...)
Current City: Douglas!

1. Describe your project, in 4 sentences or less.

Why aren't snow crabs taking over the world? Because most (~>99%) of them die before they can reproduce. However there may be times when the location, abundance, and number of eggs carried by mature females is related to the number of mature crab years later. By characterizing the number of eggs carried by mature females of differing size/age for several years we will estimate the number of eggs produced by the population and look for possible relationships between egg production and the abundance of small crab several years later.

Joel's trawl survey ladies ready to be measured

2. You work at sea a lot. What’s your favorite part of shipboard life? Your least favorite?

My favorite survey experience is seeing the patterns of crab size/age across the distribution; least favorite aspect of shipboard life is looking at the scale after three weeks of fried food.

Joel hard at work!

3. If you weren’t going to study crabs, what animal would it be?

The Tapertail Ribbonfish

4. After you get your PhD will you pursue a job in academia or stay with Fish and Game?

ADF&G all the way! :)

5. What is your favorite piece of crab paraphernalia?

A small tapestry acquired in Guatemala showing what could be a crab!

Thanks Joel!

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