Biology and Marine Biology's Fred Scharf Receives $588,293 NOAA Grant

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Fred Scharf, a professor in the Department of Biology and Marine Biology, has received a $588,293 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to study the population recovery efforts of the endangered Atlantic sturgeon.

“The project will begin this fall with some exploratory survey work, but extensive field sampling will begin in spring 2021,” said Scharf. “The project includes a collaboration with researchers Matthew Balazik and Greg Garman from Virginia Commonwealth University’s Rice Rivers Center, along with Jeremy McCargo, the anadromous fishes research coordinator with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.”

Titled "Demography and Recruitment Dynamics of Atlantic Sturgeon Populations in North Carolina Coastal Rivers," the project has several substantial goals including determining the existence of spawning populations within major river systems of North Carolina; identifying unique aspects of spawning behavior, migration and population demographics specific to each river system; examining mixing rates among NC rivers and other Atlantic coastal regions through genetic analysis and the use of electronic tags; and quantifying juvenile recruitment variability.

The total grant award includes $588,293 in federal funds, $200,720 in a non-federal match, and includes a sub-award to VCU in the amount of $266,176.

-- Christina Schechtman