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Megan Upp

Advisor: Jason Vokoun

Hi! I am new to New England, coming from the state of Nebraska (Go Big Red!). I obtained my bachelor’s degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO.  And I am now beginning my master’s degree in Natural Resources and the Environment, specifically focusing on fisheries management.

My undergraduate work was focused in two areas. One area of focus was studying frugivorous fish, called machaca (Brycon guatemalensis), in Costa Rica at La Selva Biological Research Station where I studied the fish’s diet. My second area of focus assessed stream quality on the United States Air Force Academy base. This project involved identifying the abundance and diversity of fish and macroinvertebrates to assess stream quality.

For my Master’s work, I am interested in studying the habitat of the spotfin killifish, Fundulus luciae. The spotfin killifish has historically been documented as a rare species in the state of Connecticut, possibly due in part to misidentification. Based on unpublished data from Dr. Vokoun’s lab, the spotfin killifish has been identified as more abundant in the coastal estuaries than previously thought. I will focus on determining the habitat parameters of the spotfin killifish in order to better understand the environment in which they can be found. Furthermore, as sea levels continue to rise and the overall percentage of salt marsh habitat dwindles, I hope to identify the spotfin killifish as an aquatic indicator species of climate change.

Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation Center
Department of Natural Resources and the Environment
University of Connecticut
1376 Storrs Road, Unit 4087