NFS Lunch & Learn: Wild Fish For All Scholarship featuring 2022 winner Maria Kuruvilla

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Tuesday, October 18th 2022 12:00pm - 12:45pm


Join us for our next Lunch & Learn series event at 12:00pm PT on Thursday, September 22 featuring Maria Kuruvilla, graduate researcher and 2022 recipient of the NFS Wild Fish For All Scholarship!

Maria--a graduate student at the University of Washington--will share her research on the impacts of hatchery releases on the outmigration time of wild salmon smolts.

We'll also share information about the Wild Fish For All Scholarship which supports the work of BIPOC students in fisheries conservation through academic scholarships. We'll detail how folks can apply now and share some exciting news about what's in store this fall for our next round of scholarships.

The presentation will be about 20 minutes with 20 minutes of Q&A and discussion.

So get your lunch ready and join us for another wonderful segment in our Lunch & Learn series. Please RSVP here for the event or via the red RSVP button to save your virtual seat!

We look forward to gathering virtually with our community to continue our journey as stewards and keepers of the wild.

More about Maria:

Maria grew up in Bangalore, India and spent summers at her granparents' farm in the small state of Kerala in South India. While she currently resides in the Pacific Northwest, she finds striking similarities with the landscape of her ancestral homelands of "lush rainforests, rivers fed by incessant rains, estuaries teeming with fish, a mountain range to the east that provides wild food to the native tribes and the ocean to the west that feeds the coastal communities."

Maria is currently a graduate student at the University of Washington's Quantitative Ecology and Resource Management (QERM) program where she studies under Dr. Andrew Berdahl in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences department. Her research focuses on the collective behavior of fish to understand how they use social information to interact with their conspecifics, their environment, and their predators.

A synopsis from Maria of the research she will share at the Lunch & Learn:

"While hatcheries provide many benefits to Washington's salmon fishery, they also pose many risks to wild salmon populations including loss of genetic diversity, reduction of population fitness through domestication as well as ecological risks of predation, competition and disease transfer. Although salmon are known to be social, the social effect of hatchery salmon smolts on wild salmon smolts has not been investigated. In this talk, I am going to discuss how the large number of hatchery salmon smolts released into the rivers in Washington over short periods of time could affect the out-migration time of wild salmon smolts to the ocean."

You can read more about Maria's story and past scholarship recipients and how to apply for the fall 2022 application cycle by visiting our Wild Fish For All webpage.