The annual Steven Berkeley Marine Conservation Fellowship is an international award for graduate students actively engaged in research relevant to marine conservation. The fellowship recognizes one grand winner and two honorable mentions and helps to fund the recipients' research.
Pablo Granados-Dieseldorff’s snorkeling adventures as a child lead to his interest in fish. Here, Belize marine biologist Vanna Noralez (left) advises Granados-Dieseldorff on the experimental design for under water visual censuses (Photo by W.D. Heyman).Granados-Dieseldorff, a participant in the National Science Foundation's Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship program and one of three recipients out of 93, says his award has already been invested in lab materials for his current research.
"The appreciation and the honorable mention of my dissertation research is a huge achievemGranados-Dieseldorff is studying a species of fish called mutton snapperent for my career in marine fisheries conservation biology," Granados-Dieseldorff said. "Having gained their recognition and association with Berkeley's legacy in marine fisheries conservation biology is a genuine, tremendous honor for me."
Granados-Dieseldorff studies mutton snapper, a fish that populates waters from Massachusetts to Brazil, including the southern Mesoamerican Reef in the Caribbean. Second in size to the Great Barrier Reef, the Mesoamerican Reef, which runs down the coast from Mexico to Honduras, is home to more than 500 species of fish and includes the mutton snapper's spawning ground. The unique location and species housed at the reef make it a critical site to conservationists with the World Wildlife Fund and similar organizations.
Pablo Granados-Dieseldorff, surrounded by a school of crevalle jacks at Gladden Spit on the Belize Reef, says that observing the natural habitat of fish is important to understanding them. (Photo by W.D. Heyman).It's important to understand the natural habitats of a particular group of fish and the roles that habitat plays in the fish's lifecycle if we want to preserve and maintain the current population for a long time, Granados-Dieseldorff said.
Specifically, Granados-Dieseldorff investigates how mutton snapper interacts with every aspect of its surrounding protected areas. Although some studies say that the mutton snapper population risks being overfished, those studies do not take into account the entire lifecycle of the fish or environmental disturbances, Granados-Dieseldorff says. This uncertainty means that it's unclear whether current conservation efforts have made a difference to the mutton snapper or not. By collaborating with fishers and area managers, he hopes that his study can be used to generate science-based conservation methods that protect both the fish and its habitat while promoting stakeholder participation.
The American Fisheries Society is the world's oldest and largest organization dedicated to strengthening the fisheries profession, advancing fisheries science, and conserving fisheries resources. The Steven Berkeley Marine Conservation Fellowship was created in 2007 and named after a dedicated fisheries scientist with a passion for integrating fields to improve fisheries management.
By Katie Cowart
Nov. 3, 2011
Contact: Pablo Granados-Dieseldorff, 979.845.7141,
, or Karen Riedel, 979.845.0910,