Maya Friedman

Contact Info
Long Marine Lab
100 Shaffer Rd.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
(831) 459.1460
Curriculum vitae

BS Marine Biology, University of California Santa Cruz

Research Interests

I am interested in how environmental variability might drive patterns of habitat use and movement of juvenile salmonids, and if returning adults disproportionately represent particular life history strategies. My research makes use of otolith microchemistry methods to reconstruct spatiotemporally explicit migration histories and habitat use of individual juvenile Chinook salmon (O. tshawytscha). Otoliths (fish ear bones) form daily rings, much like tree rings, and absorb information about the individuals environment. Since otoliths act as natural markers of where a fish has been, I will be able to look at the otoliths of returning adults and answer questions about their juvenile migration timing and rearing habitats. I am focusing on runs from two major California Rivers: Klamath River Fall-run Chinook, and Central Valley Winter-run Chinook salmon.

My research is in cooperation with NOAA Fisheries, Southwest Fisheries Science Center. My work is supported by Dr. Eric Danner at the Fisheries Ecology Division of NOAA fisheries. I am a part of the Landscape Ecology team, where we focus on spatial and temporal patterns in the environment and how this affects fish population dynamics. My work is aimed at improving our understanding of the growth patterns associated with different juvenile emigration behaviors, and of the relationship between environmental variation and habitat use by endangered and threatened juvenile salmon.

Adult salmon typically spawn once and then die. We can then collect samples from spawned out carcasses that can provide us information about the individual’s life. Here I have collected otoliths from a female winter-run carcass. Image: M. Friedman

SF Bay Delta

My work in the Sacramento River and Delta is funded by the Interagency Ecological Program (IEP). Their goals are to work collaboratively in order to research, model, and synthesize critical information for adaptive management, water project operations, planning and regulatory purposes that are important to the endangered fish and the aquatic ecosystem in the Bay-Delta.

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Image of an otolith in the LA-MC-ICPMS. Transect is measuring strontium isotopes to look at habitat use during different life stages: M represents the maternal signature, J is the juvenile rearing period, and O is the time of ocean entry. Image: R. Johnson

Klamath Basin

To learn more about the Klamath River Basin, check out the Klamath Basin Monitoring Program (KBMP). This is a multi-agency organization which strives to implement, coordinate and collaborate on water quality monitoring and research throughout the Klamath Basin.

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Tagging juvenile salmon in the Klamath River with PhD student Kim Brewitt. Image: K. Brewitt