2020 NASPS Student Award Recipients

NASPS congratulates Kassandra Merks, recipient of the 2020 NASPS Student Mentor-Collaboration Award and Ryan Gary, recipient of the 2020 NASPS In-Memoriam Research Award!


Kassandra is a MSc student at the University of Manitoba studying the effects of complex flow on fin and otolith development of hatchery-reared young of year lake sturgeon, Acipenser fluevelences, to assess the potential impact to fish behavioral responses, and inform hatchery rearing practices. Kassandra’s research collaborates with scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge TN to apply diffraction techniques to better understand linkages between flow and the calcium carbonate composition of sturgeon otoliths. 


Ryan is a MSc student at Oklahoma State University assessing spawning habitats for the natural production of paddlefish, Polyodon spathula, in nine reservoir tributaries including the Cimarron and Arkansas rivers. Components of Gary’s thesis research employ use of side-scan sonar and aerial habitat mapping along with egg collection methods and microchemistry analysis to identify spawning substrates and natal use areas. Results will inform habitat restoration projects and further understanding of paddlefish population dynamics in Keystone Lake.


Learn more about our student subunit and the awards