Nekton Research Laboratory

About Us

The researchers and graduate students in the Nekton Research Laboratory examine long-term changes in fish assemblages, responses of aquatic communities to natural and anthropogenic disturbances and ecological needs of organisms threatened by changing global condition.

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Mission Statement

To advance knowledge and learning in estuarine, coastal, and wetland ecosystems through research, education, student training, and community outreach programs and to disseminate such knowledge to the scientific community, government agencies, and the general public.

Our Goals

  • Foster and encourage cooperative efforts within and between the Nekton Research Laboratory and other components of the University of New Orleans, federal, state, and local agencies, and scientists at other academic institutions and international organizations. 
  • Recruit, retain, and support the highest quality staff and students and provide an organization that nurtures creativity and innovation. 
  • Increase student involvement in applied estuarine and environmental research and outreach projects to prepare students to solve environmental problems using scientific, technical, and analytical skills and to educate students who will pursue rewarding career pathways in aquatic sciences.
  • Promote the development and use of advanced instrumentation and systems (including research vessels, sampling equipment, and laboratory instruments) to conduct successful research in both the field and in the laboratory.
  • Effectively address environmental problems unique to Southeast Louisiana where the social, economic, and political well-being relies on healthy and sustainable natural resources. 
  • Inform the general public of local and regional issues addressed by projects within the Nekton Research Laboratory and the value of this information to enhancing the quality of life in Southeast Louisiana.

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Shea Penland Coastal Education and Research Facility (CERF)

CERF is a field station for the University of New Orleans Pontchartrain Institute for Environmental Sciences (PIES). CERF is uniquely situated between the Lake Borgne and Lake Pontchartrain Estuaries and is less than a quarter of a mile from the nations largest urban wildlife refuge.

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