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Joel Fodrie, Ph.D. - UNC-Chapel Hill. Morehead City, NC, US

Joel Fodrie, Ph.D. Joel Fodrie, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Institute of Marine Sciences | UNC-Chapel Hill

Morehead City, NC, UNITED STATES

F. Joel Fodrie is a fisheries ecologist at the UNC Chapel Hill Institute of Marine Science.






2015 Seminar - Dr. Joel Fodrie




F. Joel Fodrie is a fisheries ecologist at the UNC-Chapel Hill Institute of Marine Sciences. He studies coastal organisms and the environments they live in, with the aim of conserving these environments for healthy populations of fish, shellfish, and other organisms important to the ecosystem. His lab conducts basic and applied research emphasizing connectivity of marine populations and ecosystems, trophic interactions involving bivalves and fishes in estuarine communities, and ecosystem service delivery of biogenic habitats. These themes are directly related to the maintenance of coastal ecosystems, and provide key data for management strategies of nearshore fisheries.

Additionally, Fodrie conducts experiments related to recruitment processes and mechanisms, oyster reef restoration ecology, and oil-spill impacts. Research tools include manipulative field experiments, intensive field surveys, historical reconstructions, GIS simulations, ROVs, stable isotope analyses, population projection matrix models, geochemical tagging, and acoustic tagging.

Fodrie has worked along all three major U.S. coastlines, examining: 1) linkages between coastal habitat quality and fishery production; 2) landscape ecology; 3) novel approaches for habitat restoration; 4) marine population connectivity; and 5) effects of harvest pressure and climate variability on long-term population trends of fishery species (using multi-decade data sets).

Industry Expertise (3)




Areas of Expertise (13)

Coastal Ecology



Oil Spills

Habitat Restoration

Coastal Ecosystems


Oyster Reefs

Marine Biology

Acoustic Tagging

Ecosystem services



Education (2)

University of California: Ph.D., Biological Oceanography 2006

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: B.A., Biology and History 1999

Media Appearances (5)

Should we be afraid of sharks?

UNC-Chapel Hill Well Said podcast  online


On this episode of Well Said, UNC Institute of Marine Sciences' Joel Fodrie discusses the ongoing shark survey performed by IMS researchers and shares what any beachgoer should understand about sharing the water with sharks this summer.

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Session Ahead: Oysters, Storm Damage, PFAS

Coastal Review Online  online


“These are leaders in terms of how much shellfish product they’re putting out. We know that. We’ve been asked to in some ways model our growth after Virginia,” Fodrie told legislators. “However, one thing we found is that they produce this shellfish using a huge amount of leased habitat, and this infringes on public trust resources. They produce at an incredibly low rate of per unit-acre.”

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The Research Behind Restoring Scallops to NC Waters

UNC TV  tv


“We can build big continuous sea grasses or small patchy sea grasses but first we need to see what works best,” said Joel Fodrie, Ph.D., associate professor of Marine Sciences at the UNC-IMS. “The scallop is a great model for understanding how these systems work because it’s a nice fairly sedentary species that we can tag and tether to determine the fate of the individuals we put in the landscape."

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Stingrays stung 4 people in 5 days at one NC beach. Here’s what to do to avoid them.

Raleigh News & Observer  print


Rays that most often sting people spend their time buried flat in the mud and sand where they dig “ray pits,” Fodrie said. In their pits, they sift for food such as crustaceans, bivalves and worms. They’ll also scavenge for their meals. But since they’re in shallow water where people wade, and because they’re often covered in sand or difficult to see, they can be stepped on.

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Shark Attack Insights With Dr. Joel Fodrie

UNC TV  tv


Dr. F. Joel Fodrie, Joint Assistant Professor of Marine Sciences at the UNC Institute of Marine Sciences talked with North Carolina Science Now about the recent shark bites along the North Carolina coast and how swimmers can stay safe.

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Articles (8)

Trait sensitivities to seagrass fragmentation across spatial scales shape benthic community structure

Journal of Animal Ecology

Lauren A. Yeager, Julie K. Geyer, Fredrick Joel Fodrie


We present quantitative evidence supporting hierarchal models of community assembly which predict that interactions between species traits and environmental variation across scales ultimately drive local community composition.

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Quantifying estuarine‐scale invertebrate larval connectivity: Methodological and ecological insights

Limnology and Oceanography

Ian R. Kroll, Abigail K. Poray, Brandon J. Puckett, David B. Eggleston, F. Joel Fodrie


Here, we applied geochemical tagging to assess estuarine‐scale larval connectivity among subpopulations of the commercially and ecologically important eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica. To generate an “atlas” of geochemical signatures associated with spawning sites and potential dispersal pathways from spawning sites, we outplanted recently spawned oyster larvae to stationary moorings and surface drifters, respectively.

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Movement ecology of a mobile predatory fish reveals limited habitat linkages within a temperate estuarine seascape

Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences

Matthew D. Kenworthy, Jonathan H. Grabowski, Craig A. Layman, Graham D. Sherwood, Sean P. Powers, Charles H. Peterson, Rachel K. Gittman, Danielle A. Keller, F. Joel Fodrie


Large predatory fishes, capable of traveling great distances, can facilitate energy flow linkages among spatially separated habitat patches via extended foraging behaviors over expansive areas. Here, we tested this concept by tracking the movement of a large mobile estuarine fish, red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus).

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Effects of habitat fragmentation on Zostera marina seed distribution

Aquatic Botany

Mariah C. Livernois, Jonathan H. Grabowski, Abigail K. Poray, Tarik C.Gouhier, A. Randall Hughes, Kathleen F. O’Brien, Lauren A.Yeager, F. Joel Fodrie


We investigated whether the proportion and density of flowering Z. marina shoots, and subsequently the density and distribution of seeds, differed between fragmented and continuous beds. Our results revealed that while flowering effort did not differ between the two bed types, seed density was significantly reduced in fragmented versus continuous beds.

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Living on the Edge: Increasing Patch Size Enhances the Resilience and Community Development of a Restored Salt Marsh

Estuaries and Coasts

Rachel K. Gittman, F. Joel Fodrie, Christopher J. Baillie, Michelle C. Brodeur, Carolyn A. Currin, Danielle A. Keller, Matthew D. Kenworthy, Joseph P. Morton, Justin T. Ridge, Y. Stacy Zhang


Here, we identified and tested whether inundation/exposure stress and spatial scale (patch size) can interactively determine (1) survival and growth of a foundation species, Spartina alterniflora and (2) recruitment of supported fauna.

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Oyster reefs as carbon sources and sinks

Proceedings of the Royal Society B

F. Joel Fodrie, Antonio B. Rodriguez, Rachel K. Gittman, Jonathan H. Grabowski, Niels. L. Lindquist, Charles H. Peterson, Michael F. Piehler, Justin T. Ridge


We provide a framework to account for the dual burial of inorganic and organic carbon, and demonstrate that decade-old experimental reefs on intertidal sandflats were net sources of CO2 resulting from predominantly carbonate deposition, whereas shallow subtidal reefs and saltmarsh-fringing reefs were dominated by organic-carbon-rich sediments and functioned as net carbon sinks (on par with vegetated coastal habitats).

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Threshold effects of habitat fragmentation on fish diversity at landscapes scales


Lauren A. Yeager, Danielle A. Keller, Taylor R. Burns, Alexia S. Pool, F. Joel Fodrie


To separate the effects of habitat area and configuration on biodiversity, we surveyed fish communities in seagrass landscapes spanning a range of total seagrass area and spatial configurations.

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Environmental effects on elemental signatures in eastern oyster Crassostrea virginica shells: using geochemical tagging to assess population connectivity

Marine Ecology Progress Series

Ian R. Kroll, Abigail K. Poray, Brandon J. Puckett, David B. Eggleston, F. Joel Fodrie


We evaluated the utility of geochemical tagging methods to discern larval connectivity among an invertebrate metapopulation within a large (~5000 km2) temperate estuary.

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