Graduate students sets out to better understand invasive species

By Emma Odenweller

Lanie Esch

The Smithsonian Tropical Conservation Institute featured Melanie “Lanie” Esch’s research in its November 2019 Impact Report. 

She spent 14 weeks exploring the ecology and distribution of invasive damselfish in the Gulf of Mexico. Her findings provide further understanding of the species and information for future wildlife management strategies.

Esch is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Biology and researches in FIU’s Institute of Environment and Tropical Fish Ecology Lab.

The study was funded by FIU’s Latin America Caribbean Center, the Association of Marine Laboratories of the Caribbean and a private foundation through the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.

To read the impact report, click here.