Melissa L. Partyka

Gulf Coast Research Laboratory
The University of Southern Mississippi
703 East Beach Drive
Ocean Springs, MS 39564

PO Box 7000
Ocean Springs, MS 39566-7000

Phone: (228) 872-4251

Fax: (228) 872-4204




Research Interests:

PAST: Most recently I've been involved in studies of ecological modeling and predator/prey relationships in Bimini, Bahamas. The core of the studies centered on Negaprion brevirostris, the lemon shark, and it's trophic companions. The Bahamian government is in the process of developing fifty Marine Protected Areas throughout the banks, and modeling such as we're performing in Bimini has been used in determining boundaries and management needs.
I have also carried out work in the bioacoustics of prey species of Tursiops truncatus, the bottlenose dolphin, under the auspices of Duke University.

CURRENT: I am presently involved in a project that heavily incorporates the use of remote sensing and GIS:

  • Mapping of coastal habitat parameters in the Pascagoula River Estuary: tools to protect and preserve coastal habitat diversity and sustainability (Peterson, Ross).
  • In addition to this there are two other GIS related projects beginning this year that I am slated to assist on before becoming a full-time student next fall.
    • Maintaining responsible coastal and estuarine waterfront development in Mississippi: mapping and quantifying shoreline habitat types (M.S. Peterson and B.H. Comyns);
    • Present and future coastal wetlands and sustainable diversity: coast-wide mapping of the highly invasive common reed, Phragmites australis (Peterson)


I'm most interested in pursuing research that looks at the effects of anthropogenic disturbances (i.e. bulk-heading) on estuarine fish populations in order to determine future management strategies.