Photograph of Dr. Fred Scharf holding a false albacore.

Dr. Fred Scharf

Professor, Fisheries Biology

Department of Biology and Marine Biology
University of North Carolina Wilmington
601 South College Road
Wilmington, NC 28403
Tel: (910) 962-7796; Fax: (910) 962-4066
My office and research lab are located in Friday Hall rooms 1059 and 1023

B.Sc., 1994, State University of New York, Stony Brook, NY, Biology/Marine Science
M.Sc., 1997, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, Wildlife and Fisheries Biology
Ph.D., 2001, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation

Graduate Study in my lab:  Openings for new students in my lab are dependent upon available funding and I generally advertise student positions on the AFS jobs page (AFS jobs page) under the Student category.  I will also list specific openings on this website.  Typically my students TA for 2-3 semesters during the course of their graduate study and are supported on research assistantships for the remainder of their degree (which requires external funding).  Prospective students should feel free to contact me about possible openings, generally I will provide a standardized response unless I have a specific opening available.  I will retain the name and information of each student that contacts me and consider them for any future openings.

Courses I Teach:

Fisheries Biology (BIO 458): (Course Website).  This is an upper division course designed for juniors and seniors that already have completed some coursework in zoology and ecology.  The course is structured as an examination of the factors that control the population dynamics of fishes.  Students are introduced to the principles of fisheries science including the estimation of population metrics such as age, growth, mortality, and abundance, fish stock assessment, and fishery management strategies.

Biodiversity (BIO 202): (Course Website). This course provides a general introduction to biodiversity of animals and plants and is designed primarily for freshman and sophmore students majoring in the biological sciences.  It is a prerequisite for many upper division courses for Biology and Marine Biology majors.  Lectures focus on basic concepts pertaining to the evolution of animal and plant diversity.  A large part of the course is devoted to understanding how animals and plants are classified and the diversity of life.  Lectures also cover the structure and function of major animal and plant systems.

Introductory Biostatistics (BIO 515): (Course website).  This is a graduate-level course that evolved from an earlier course that I initially designed and co-taught with a faculty member from Math and Statistics during spring 2005.  The course is designed for graduate students in the biological sciences as a conceptually based introduction to the principles of experimental design, hypothesis testing, and the basic linear models used in many statistical analyses.  For most graduate students with little or no statistical background, this course should be the first statistics course taken as part of their graduate study.  


Research in my lab:
First year processes influencing juvenile red drum recruitment success in North Carolina estuaries: 
We have been conducting research since the fall of 2003 to examine recruitment processes and ecology of first year juvenile red drum in several estuarine systems along the southeastern North Carolina coast.  We are examining spatial and temporal variability in growth of early juveniles and the factors that contribute to observed variation, and are attempting to determine the time course of mortality events in the first year of life.  (Read more...).

Population dynamics of southern flounder:  We have recently begun research on several aspects of the population ecology of southern flounder in North Carolina, including a large tag-return study to examine the commercial gillnet fishery in the New River and otolith microstructural analysis of age-0 southern flounder to identify individual traits during early settlement that may influence recruitment to the juvenile life stage.  (Read more...).

Consumption rates of estuarine predators and the contribution to juvenile blue crab mortality:  We are just beginning some new research to estimate seasonal diet and consumption rates of estuarine predators including red drum, southern flounder, and spotted sea trout.  We are conducting diel surveys to assess diurnal feeding patterns and evacuation rates that will be used to estimate weight-specific consumption of predators during the upcoming summer and fall.  An update of preliminary results will be added this winter.

Reproductive biology of black sea bass and red porgy in the US South Atlantic:  We are examining the effects of size, age, and season on batch fecundity and spawning frequency of black sea bass and red porgy in US South Atlantic waters.

Current graduate and undergraduate students:
At present the lab consists of five graduate students, four undergraduates, one technician and a work-study student.
(Read more about students in the lab...)

Anderson, D.A. and F.S. Scharf. 2014. The effect of variable winter severity on size-dependent overwinter mortality caused by acute thermal stress in juvenile red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus). ICES Journal of Marine Science 71(4): 1010-1021.  PDF

Midway, S.R., J.W. White, W. Roumillat, C. Batsavage, and F.S. Scharf. 2013. Improving macroscopic maturity determination in a pre-spawning flatfish through predictive modeling and whole mount methods. Fisheries Research 147:359-369.  PDF

Klibansky, N. and F.S. Scharf. 2013. Size-dependent and temporal variability in batch number and fecundity of red porgy, a protogynous, indeterminate spawner, in the U.S. South Atlantic. Marine and Coastal Fisheries: Dynamics, Management, and Ecosystem Science 5:39-52.  PDF

Friedl, S.A., J.A. Buckel, J.E. Hightower, F.S. Scharf, and K.H. Pollock. 2013. Telemetry-based mortality estimates of juvenile spot in two North Carolina estuarine creeks. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 142:399-415.  PDF
Midway, S.R. and F.S. Scharf 2012. Histological analysis reveals larger size at maturity for southern flounder with implications for biological reference points. Marine and Coastal Fisheries: Dynamics,
Management, and Ecosystem Science 4:628-638. PDF 
Facendola, J.J. and F.S. Scharf. 2012. Seasonal and ontogenetic variation in the diet and daily ration of estuarine red drum as derived from field-based estimates of gastric evacuation and consumption. 
Marine and Coastal Fisheries: Dynamics, Management, and Ecosystem Science 4:546-559.  PDF
Gillum, Z.D., J.J. Facendola, and F.S. Scharf. 2012. Consumption and gastric evacuation in juvenile red drum Sciaenops ocellatus (Linnaeus): Estimation of prey type effects and validation of field-based 
daily ration estimates. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 413:21-29.  PDF
Smith, W.E. and F.S. Scharf. 2011. Postrelease survival of sublegal southern flounder captured in a commercial gill-net fishery. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 31:445-454.  PDF
Goshe, L.R., L. Avens, F.S. Scharf, and A.L. Southwood. 2010. Estimation of age at maturation and growth of Atlantic green turtles (Chelonia mydas) using skeletochronology.  Marine Biology
157:1725-1740.  PDF

Smith, W.E. and F.S. Scharf. 2010. Demographic characteristics of southern flounder, Paralichthys lethostigma, harvested by an estuarine gill net fishery.  Fisheries Management and Ecology 17:532-543.  PDF

Smith, W.E., F.S. Scharf, and J.E. Hightower. 2009. Fishing mortality in North Carolina’s southern flounder fishery: Direct estimates of F from a tag-return experiment.  Marine and Coastal Fisheries: Dynamics, Management, and Ecosystem Science 1:283-299.  PDF

Scharf, F.S., J.A. Buckel, and F. Juanes. 2009. Contrasting patterns of resource utilization between juvenile estuarine predators: the influence of relative prey size and foraging ability on the ontogeny of piscivory. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 66:790-801.  PDF

Balmer, B.C., R.S. Wells, S.M. Nowacek, D.P. Nowacek, L.H. Schwacke, W.A. McLellan, F.S. Scharf, T.K. Rowles, L.J. Hansen, T.R. Spradlin, and D.A. Pabst. 2008. Seasonal abundance and distribution patterns of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) near St. Joseph Bay, Florida, USA. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 10:157-167.  PDF

Bacheler, N.M., L.M. Paramore, J.A. Buckel, and F.S. Scharf. 2008. Recruitment of juvenile red drum in North Carolina: spatiotemporal patterns of year-class strength and validation of a seine survey. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 28:1086-1098.  PDF

Stewart, C.B., and F.S. Scharf. 2008. Estuarine recruitment, growth, and first-year survival of juvenile red drum in North Carolina. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 137:1089-1103.  PDF

Fabrizio, M.P., F.S. Scharf, G.R. Shepherd, J.E. Rosendale. 2008. Factors affecting catch-and-release mortality of bluefish. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 28:533-546.  PDF

Barnes, C., D. M. Bethea, R. D. Brodeur, J. Spitz, V. Ridoux, C. Pusineri, B. C. Chase, M. E. Hunsicker, F. Juanes, A. Kellermann, J. Lancaster, F. Menard, F.-X. Bard, P. Munk, J. K. Pinnegar, F. S. Scharf, R. A. Rountree, K. I. Stergiou, C. Sassa, A. Sabates, and S. Jennings. 2008. Predator and prey body sizes in marine food webs. Ecology 89:881.  PDF  (link to Ecological Archives E089-051).

Lanier, J.M. and F.S. Scharf. 2007. Experimental investigation of spatial and temporal variation in estuarine growth of age-0 juvenile red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus). Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 349:131-141.  PDF

Scharf, F.S., J.A. Buckel, K.A. Rose, F. Juanes, J.H. Cowan, Jr. 2006. Effects of variable prey and cohort dynamics on growth of young-of-the-year estuarine bluefish: Evidence for interactions between spring- and summer-spawned cohorts. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 135:1266-1289.  PDF

Scharf, F.S., J.P. Manderson, and M.P. Fabrizio. 2006. The effects of seafloor habitat complexity on survival of juvenile fishes: Species-specific interactions with structural refuge. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 335(2):167-176.  PDF

Scharf, F.S., J.P. Manderson, M.P. Fabrizio, J.P. Pessutti, J.E. Rosendale, R.J. Chant, and A.J. Bejda. 2004. Seasonal and interannual patterns of distribution and diet of bluefish within a Middle Atlantic Bight estuary in relation to abiotic and biotic factors.  Estuaries 27(3):426-436.  PDF

Scharf, F.S., J.A. Buckel, P.A. McGinn, and F. Juanes. 2003. Vulnerability of marine forage fishes to piscivory: effects of prey behavior on susceptibility to attack and capture. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 294(1):41-59.  PDF

Scharf, F.S., J.A. Buckel, and F. Juanes. 2002. Size-dependent vulnerability of juvenile bay anchovy (Anchoa mitchilli) to bluefish predation: does large body size always provide a refuge? Marine Ecology Progress Series 233:241-252.  PDF

Juanes, F. J.A. Buckel, and F.S. Scharf. 2002. Feeding ecology of piscivorous fishes. Chapter 12 in The Handbook of Fish and Fisheries: The Biology, Conservation, and Management of Exploited Species, Vol. 1-Biology of Fishes, edited by P.J.B. Hart and J.D. Reynolds.  Blackwell Scientific, London, pp. 267-283.  PDF

Juanes, F. J.A. Buckel, and F.S. Scharf. 2001. Predatory behaviour and selectivity of a primary piscivore: comparing fish and non-fish prey. Marine Ecology Progress Series 217:157-165.  PDF

Scharf, F.S., F. Juanes, and R.A. Rountree. 2000. Predator size - prey size relationships of marine fish predators: interspecific variation and the effects of ontogeny and body size on trophic niche breadth.  Marine Ecology Progress Series 208:229-248.  PDF

Scharf, F.S. 2000. Patterns in abundance, growth, and mortality of juvenile red drum across estuaries on the Texas coast and implications for recruitment and stock enhancement.  Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 129(6):1207-1222.  PDF

Scharf, F.S. and K.K. Schlicht. 2000. Feeding habits of red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) in Galveston Bay, Texas: seasonal diet variation and predator-prey size relationships.  Estuaries 23(1):128-139.  PDF

Scharf, F.S., J.A. Buckel, F. Juanes, and D.O. Conover. 1998. Predation by juvenile piscivorous bluefish: the influence of prey to predator size ratio and prey type on predator capture success and prey profitability.  Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 55:1695-1703.  PDF

Scharf, F.S., R.M. Yetter, A.P. Summers, and F. Juanes. 1998. Enhancing diet analyses of piscivorous fishes in the Northwest Atlantic through identification and reconstruction of original prey sizes from ingested remains.  Fishery Bulletin 96(3):575-588.  PDF

Scharf, F.S., F. Juanes, and M. Sutherland. 1998. Inferring ecological relationships from the edges of scatter diagrams: a comparison of regression techniques.  Ecology 79(2):448-460.  PDF

Scharf, F.S., J.A. Buckel, F. Juanes, and D.O. Conover. 1997. Estimating piscine prey size from  partial remains: testing for shifts in foraging mode by juvenile bluefish.  Environmental Biology of Fishes 49:377-388.  PDF


Department of Biological Sciences,  University of North Carolina at Wilmington