Research Spotlight: Kerisit studies communities of aquatic invertebrates in tidal inlets.

arnaudArnaud Kerisit is a master's student in the department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. He earned his bachelor's in Environmental Management and Research in Aquatic Ecology from the University of New Orleans in 2012. He is studying the community composition of aquatic invertebrates at the three tidal inlets (Rigolets Pass, Chef Menteur Pass and the Inner Harbor Navigational Canal) connecting Lake Pontchartrain to Lake Borgne and to the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO). Planktonic larvae and juveniles of estuarine-dependent invertebrates, such as Blue Crab (Callinectes sapidus) and White Shrimp (Litopenaeus setiferus) utilize these tidal inlets to move up-estuary before settling in a suitable habitat. Arnaud's objectives are to understand how abiotic factors (e.g., water temperature, salinity and turbidity level) and physical forcing events (e.g., tidal forcing, wind forcing) affect the composition of the aquatic invertebrate communities throughout the year. The results from his study could have strong implications for fisheries management and will provide a baseline for future research.

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