Dissertation Research

My dissertation research focuses on understanding the importance of including other factor especially food quality into critical nursery habitat concept in estuarine systems. I am investigating if water quality epsecially nitrogen and phosphorus levels affect the food quality. The biomarker I am using is fatty acid profiles.  I am studying the larval river herring, zooplankton, and phytoplankton population in the Chowan and Tar/Pamlico Rivers in North Carolina. 


This research is funded by NC Division of Marine Fisheries Coastal Recreational Fishing License (CRFL) Grant. 

Master's Research

My master's research was investigating the fatty acid profile of the zooplankton in the April, May and June in the Chowan River, North Carolina. This time period is the critical time for larval fish especially river herring. 

Great Lake Research

I conducted an independent project investigating how upwellings/downwellings affect hatching time, total length and yolk volume on larval yellow perch. The research was determining if water temperature could have an effect on the larval fish being transported offshore before the first feeding. This research was conducted at the University of Illinois, Illinois Natural History Survey,  Lake Michigan Biological Station. 


I also helped with a large food web study to investigate the nearshore community around Lake Michigan.  This project was in collebration with the Univeristy of Wisconsin- Milwaukee, and Purdue University. 

I also helped on other reserach project during my time at the Lake Michigan Biological Station. 

Undergraduate Research

I help conduct two lake sturgeon projects in small laboratory studies.  I also conducted a coaster brook trout to determine the best strain to raise them in the aquaculture facilities. 

Here are the citations for the journal articles on my research conducted as an undergraduate:


Sutton, T. M., E.T. Volkman, K.L. Pangle, D.A. Rajchel, and J. Duehr. 2004. Effects of absorbable suture strands diameter on retention of external radio transmitters by juvenile lake sturgeon. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 24: 1404–1408.


Volkman, E. T., K. L. Pangle, D. A. Rajchel, T. M. Sutton and D. R. Bast. 2004. Comparison of hatchery-performance attributes among three strains of age-0 coaster brook trout. North American Journal of Aquaculture 66:278-284.


Volkman, E.T., K.L. Pangle, D.A. Rajchel, and T.M. Sutton. 2004. Evaluation of juvenile lake sturgeon growth and proximate composition fed different levels of natural diets. North American Journal of Aquaculture 66:105-112.

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