Drew Mertzlufft

Fishes have been a fascination of mine for as long as I can remember. If it has fins and swims, I want to know more about it. Pursuing a master’s degree in marine biology in the Oceanic Ecology Laboratory at Nova Southeastern University under the guidance of Dr. Tracey Sutton allows me to pursue my dream job by studying fishes and to produce meaningful science via a thesis research project. While taxonomy, diet, ecology, and life history of adult scorpionfishes in the Gulf of Mexico are well documented, the identification methods, diet, and food web relationships of juvenile scorpionfishes remain largely unresolved. My thesis project aims to describe the diet and ecology of juvenile scorpionfishes (suborder: Scorpaenoidei) from the Gulf of Mexico. My project utilizes fishes collected during the Offshore Nekton Sampling and Analysis Program (ONSAP) in 2010 - 2011 and DEEPEND in 2015 - 2018.