Dr. Dean Grubbs
Associate Research Faculty
Associate Director of Research
RESEARCH AND PROFESSIONAL INTERESTS
My primary research interests are in ichthyology and marine ecology with emphasis on the biology of exploited estuarine and marine fishes. Much of my research addresses specific questions or fills specific biological gaps necessary for management of fisheries resources, especially elasmobranch fishes. As a primary tool, I use fishery-independent survey methods to study population dynamics, life histories, and distribution patterns of fishes. I also use conventional mark-recapture studies and modern telemetry techniques to acquire data on movement patterns, habitat use, residency and philopatry. A principal goal of this line of research is to delineate essential and vulnerable habitats, especially in estuaries and nearshore marine environments. For example, my work in Virginia led to the federal designation of a Habitat Area of Particular Concern (HAPC) for juvenile sandbar sharks in the lower Chesapeake Bay, a highly vulnerable area that serves as a primary and secondary nursery for this large coastal species. While my work in these areas has primarily involved coastal sharks, I have been involved in projects that included diverse taxa such as estuarine teleosts and terrestrial reptiles.
I also have immense interest in the biology of pelagic and deepwater fishes. Areas of research have included the behavioral and trophic ecology of tropical tunas, the relationship between intermediate seamounts and pelagic predators, the impact of industrial-scale fisheries on the trophic dynamics of pelagic ecosystems, and the role of mesopelagic communities in oceanic ecosystems. My deepwater research is in its infancy but includes studies of life histories, reproductive biology, and movement patterns of elasmobranchs associated with island and continental slopes. I currently have projects in the central Pacific, western Atlantic, and Caribbean investigating various aspects of the biology of bluntnose sixgill sharks (Hexanchus griseus), bigeye sixgill sharks (H. nakamurai), deepwater stingrays (Plesiobatis daviesi), and short-spined spurdogs (Squalus mitsukurii).
Grubbs, R.D., and J.A. Musick. 2007. Spatial delineation of summer nursery areas for juvenile sandbar sharks in Chesapeake Bay, Virginia. In: C.T. McCandless, N.E. Kohler and H.L. Pratt, Jr. (editors). Shark nursery grounds of the Gulf of Mexico and the East Coast waters of the United States. American Fisheries Society Symposium 50: 63-86.
Grubbs, R.D., and J.A. Musick, C.L. Conrath, and J.G. Romine. 2007. Long-term movements, migration, and temporal delineation of summer nurseries for juvenile sandbar sharks in the Chesapeake Bay region. In: C.T. McCandless, N.E. Kohler and H.L. Pratt, Jr. (editors). Shark nursery grounds of the Gulf of Mexico and the East Coast waters of the United States. American Fisheries Society Symposium 50: 87-108.
Daly-Engel, T.S., R.D. Grubbs, B.W. Bowen and R.J. Toonen. 2007. Frequency of multiple paternity in an unexploited tropical population of sandbar sharks (Carcharhinus plumbeus). Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 64: 198-204.
Graham, B., Grubbs, R.D., K. Holland, and B. Popp. 2007. A rapid ontogenetic shift in the diet of juvenile yellowfin tuna from Hawaii. Marine Biology 150: 647-658.
Daly-Engel, T.S., Grubbs, R.D.. K.N. Holland, R.J. Toonen, B.W. Bowen. 2006. Assessment of multiple paternity in single litters from three species of carcharhinid sharks in Hawaii. Environmental Biology of Fishes 76: 419-424.
Romine, J.G., Grubbs, R.D., and J.A. Musick. 2006. Age and growth of the sandbar shark, Carcharhinus plumbeus, in Hawaiian waters through vertebral analysis. Environmental Biology of Fishes 77: 229-239.
Burgess, G.H., L.R. Beerkircher, G.M. Cailliet, J.K. Carlson, E. CortÚs, K.J. Goldman, Grubbs, R.D., J.A. Musick, M.K. Musyl, and C.A. Simpfendorfer. 2005. The decline of shark populations in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico: Fact or Fiction? Fisheries 30 (10): 19-26.
Holland, K.N. and Grubbs, R.D.. In press. Chapter 10: Fish Visitors to Seamounts Section A: Tunas and Billfish. In: T. Pitcher, T. Morato, P. Hart, M. Clark, N. Haggan and R. Santos, (editors). Seamounts: Ecology, Fisheries & Conservation. Blackwell Publishing: Fish and Aquatic Resources Series. Oxford, UK.
FORMER GRADUATE STUDENTS:
- Lisa Hollensead (FSU, MSc, now at University of North Carolina, Wilmington, seeking Ph. D.)
- Matthew Kolmann (FSU, MSc, now at University of Toronto seeking Ph. D.)