Biology & Marine Biology

Faculty & Staff

Frederick S. Scharf, Professor

Ph.D., Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, 2001
M.S., Wildlife and Fisheries Biology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, 1997
B.S., Biology/Marine Science, State University of New York, Stony Brook, NY, 1994
Friday Hall 1059 | (910) 962-7796 | 601 South College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403-5915 |Scharf Lab

My primary research interests are in the role that ecological processes play in structuring aquatic communities and their implications for the population dynamics of marine and estuarine fishes. I am interested in identifying factors that affect vital rates of different life history stages and extending knowledge of individual processes to understand interactions among size-structured populations. The population dynamics of the juvenile stages of many fishes are poorly understood and recent evidence has indicated that processes occurring during the first year of life post-metamorphosis can result in a significant bottleneck between larval stages of fishes and recruitment to the adult population. Recently, my research has been focused on the population ecology of southern flounder, including the sources and magnitude of natural and harvest mortality, migration dynamics, and population connectivity.  In addition, we have ongoing investigations of recruitment mechanisms contributing to variable year-class strength in red drum, contingent behavior in riverine striped bass populations, and the trophic impacts of invasive catfishes in coastal systems.

Recent publications: 

Scheffel, T.K., J.E. Hightower, J.A. Buckel, J.R. Krause, and F.S. Scharf. 2019. Coupling acoustic tracking with
   conventional tag returns to estimate mortality for a coastal flatfish with high rates of 
   emigration. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 77(1):xxx-xxx.

Poland, S.J., Scharf, F.S. and M.D. Staudinger. 2019. Foraging ecology of large pelagic fishes in the U.S. South 
   Atlantic: structured piscivory shapes trophic niche variation. Marine Ecology Progress Series 631:181-199.

Midway, S.R., JW. White, and F.S. Scharf. 2018. The potential for cryptic population structure to sustain a       
    heavily exploited marine flatfish stock. Marine and Coastal Fisheries: Dynamics, Management, and                     Ecosystem Science 10:411-423.

Wang, V.H., White, J.W., Arnott, S.A., and Scharf, F.S. 2018. Population connectivity of southern flounderin the 
    US South Atlantic revealed by otolith chemical analysis. Marine Ecology Progress Series 596:165-179.

Klibansky, N. and Scharf, F.S. 2018. Fecundity peaks prior to sex transition in a protogynous marine batch     
    spawning fish, black sea bass (Centropristis striata). ICES Journal of Marine Science 75:1042-1053.

Scharf, F.S., Craig, J.K., and Smith, W.E. 2017. Fine-scale spatial and temporal variation in fishing mortality of 
     southern flounder: management implications for a dynamics estuarine fishery. North American Journal                of Fisheries Management 37:1067-1074.