My research centers on the community and population ecology of aquatic organisms, with a special emphasis on marine fishes. I am particularly interested in linkages between habitat selection, individual responses, and survival. My work is both laboratory and field-based, and I typically use both quantitative and experimental approaches to elucidate the importance of biotic and abiotic factors that influence growth, condition, and survival. In addition, we are currently using a variety of natural markers to solve ecological problems. Otolith chemistry is being used to retrospectively determine the environmental histories of marine fishes. The premise of otolith chemistry is that certain elements or isotopes are incorporated into otoliths in proportion to their concentrations in the environment, and thus we use these elemental fingerprints to distinguish individuals from different environments or regions. We also use dietary tracers (stable isotopes, fatty acids) to investigate marine food web structure since consumer tissues reflect the isotopic and fatty acid composition of prey in a predictable manor. These natural biomarkers provide time-integrated or long-term measures of diet, and both approaches afford information on source(s) of organic matter supporting local food webs as well as trophic relationships of associated consumers. Recent work also involves the use of sophisticated electronic tags to investigate movement and population connectivity of coastal and pelagic fishes.
- Wetmore, L. S., Dance, M. A., Hill, R. L., & Rooker, J. R. (2020). Community Dynamics of Fish Assemblages on Mid-Shelf and Outer-Shelf Coral Reefs in the Northwestern Gulf of Mexico. Frontiers in Marine Science. 7, 152.
- Wells, R., Mohan, J. A., Dewar, H., Rooker, J. R., Tanaka, Y., Snodgrass, O. E., ... Ohshimo, S. (2020). Natal origin of Pacific bluefin tuna from the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem. BIOLOGY LETTERS. 16(2), 20190878-20190878.
- Plumlee, J. D., Dance, K. M., Dance, M. A., Rooker, J. R., TinHan, T. C., Shipley, J. B., & Wells, R. D. (2020). Fish assemblages associated with artificial reefs assessed using multiple gear types in the northwest Gulf of Mexico. BULLETIN OF MARINE SCIENCE.
- Rooker, J. R., Wells, R., Addis, P., Arrizabalaga, H., Baptista, M., Bearzi, G., ... Villanueva, R. (2020). Natural geochemical markers reveal environmental history and population connectivity of common cuttlefish in the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. J R Soc Interface. 17(168), 20200309-20200309.
- TinHan, T. C., O'Leary, S. J., Portnoy, D. S., Rooker, J. R., Gelpi, C. G., & Wells, R. (2020). Natural tags identify nursery origin of a coastal elasmobranch Carcharhinus leucas. Journal of Applied Ecology. 57(7), 1222-1232.
- Mamoozadeh, N. R., McDowell, J. R., Rooker, J. R., & Graves, J. E. (2018). Genetic evaluation of population structure in white marlin (Kajikia albida): the importance of statistical power. ICES Journal of Marine Science. 75(2), 892-902.
- Aschenbrenner, A., Ferreira, B. P., & Rooker, J. R. (2016). Spatial and temporal variability in the otolith chemistry of the Brazilian snapper Lutjanus alexandrei from estuarine and coastal environments. Journal of fish biology. 89(1), 753-769.
- Wells, R., Kinney, M. J., Kohin, S., Dewar, H., Rooker, J. R., & Snodgrass, O. E. (2015). Natural tracers reveal population structure of albacore (Thunnus alalunga) in the eastern North Pacific. ICES Journal of Marine Science. 72(7), 2118-2127.
- Baumann, H., Wells, R., Rooker, J. R., Zhang, S., Baumann, Z., Madigan, D. J., ... Fisher, N. S. (2015). Combining otolith microstructure and trace elemental analyses to infer the arrival of Juvenile Pacific bluefin tuna in the California current ecosystem. ICES Journal of Marine Science. 72(7), 2128-2138.
- Geary, B. W., Jr, M., Rooker, J. R., Jr, L., & Dellapenna, T. M. (2007). Patterns of habitat use by newly settled red snapper in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico. RED SNAPPER ECOLOGY AND FISHERIES IN THE U.S. GULF OF MEXICO. 60, 25- .
- Cornic, Maelle Marie (2017-05). Early Life Ecology of Tunas in the Gulf of Mexico. (Doctoral Dissertation)
- Kitchens, Larissa Leigh (2017-05). Origin and Population Connectivity of Yellowfin Tuna (Thunnus albacares) in the Atlantic Ocean. (Doctoral Dissertation)
- Moulton, David Laurence (2016-05). Habitat Use and Connectivity of Juvenile Red Drum and Spotted Seatrout Across Estuarine Seascapes. (Master's Thesis)
- Dance, Michael Allen (2016-05). Spatio-Temporal Variability in Movement Patterns and Habitat Associations of Juvenile Fishes in Estuarine Seascapes. (Doctoral Dissertation)
- Randall, Landes Lee (2014-08). The Distribution and Abundance of Bluntnose Flyingfish (Prognichthys occidentalis) Across the Gulf of Mexico. (Master's Thesis)