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Dr. Nathan P. Brennan

Staff Scientist

Fisheries Ecology & Enhancement Program

Today's Research for Tomorrow's Oceans


Dr. Nathan Brennan has a Ph.D. in Fisheries Ecology, from the University of Florida. His primary research focus is in stock enhancement, where hatchery-produced animals are released into the wild as a supplemental stock management tool. Much of his work has centered around understanding wild ecology of juvenile stages of key species (e.g. common snook, red drum, red snapper, striped mullet) and applying these findings towards improving post-release performance of the stocked fish. Logistical field work has typically involved post-release sampling of local estuaries using seines, deployment and use of PIT-antenna tag systems that monitor in-situ movement and survival, and tracking of acoustic tags. 

Dr. Brennan is also involved in land-based marine aquaculture research, based at Mote’s Aquaculture Facility in Sarasota, FL. Dr. Brennan is involved in larval rearing, juvenile production and growth to maturation of marine species. Another area of study is identifying how aquaculture rearing environment and technology can influence animal morphology and behavior and how this can improve post-release performance. Dr. Brennan is also focused in applying biological and ecological insight towards improving commercial production potential of high-value marine species, such as Florida pompano through refinements in feeding strategies, and developing integrated aquaculture systems involving native shoreline plants and other valuable synergistic species.


Ph.D., Fisheries Ecology, University of Florida  

M.S., Biology, Tennessee Technological University, Cooperative Fisheries Research Unit, Cookeville, Tennessee

B.A., Zoology, University of Hawaii

Additional Publications

Leber, K.M., N.P. Brennan, and S.M. Arce. 1995. Marine enhancement with striped mullet: are hatchery releases replenishing or displacing wild stocks? In: H.L.Schramm Jr. and R.G.Piper (editors), Uses and effects of cultured fishes in aquatic ecosystems, pp.376-387. American Fisheries Society Symposium 15.

Leber, K.M., S.M. Arce, D.A. Sterritt, and N.P. Brennan. 1996. Marine enhancement potential in nursery habitats of striped mullet, Mugil cephalus, in Hawaii. Fishery Bulletin 94(3): 452-471.

Leber, K.M., H.L. Blankenship, S.M. Arce, and N.P. Brennan. 1997. Influence of release season on size-dependant survival of cultured striped mullet, Mugil cephalus, in an Hawaiian estuary. Fishery Bulletin 95(2):267-279.

Leber, K. M., N. P. Brennan and S. M. Arce. 1998. Recruitment patterns of juvenile, cultured Pacific threadfin, Polydactylus sexfilis (Polynemidae), released along sandy marine shores in Hawaii. Bulletin of Marine Science 62(2):389-408.

Brennan, N.P., K.M. Leber, H.L. Blankenship, J. Ransier, and R.DeBruler Jr.. 2005. An evaluation of coded-wire and elastomer tag performance in juvenile snook under field and laboratory conditions. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 25:437-445.

Brennan, N.P., M.C. Darcy, and K.M. Leber. 2006. Predator-free enclosures improve post-release survival of stocked common snook. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 335 (2): 302-311.

Brennan, N.P., K.M. Leber, and B.R. Blackburn. 2007. Use of coded-wire and visible implant elastomer tags for marine stock enhancement of juvenile red snapper Lutjanus campechanus. Fisheries Research 83: 90-97.

Brennan, N.P., C.J. Walters, and K.M. Leber. 2008. Manipulations of stocking magnitude: addressing density dependence in a juvenile cohort of Common snook (Centropomus undecimalis). Reviews in Fisheries Science, 16(1-3): 215-227.

Baron-Aguilar, C., N.R. Rhody, N.P. Brennan, K. L. Main, E.B. Peebles, and F.E. Muller-Karger. 2013. Influence of temperature on yolk resorption in common snook Centropomus undecimalis (Bloch, 1792) larvae. Aquaculture Research 2013: 1-9.   DOI: 10.111/are.12323

Holzer, A.S., H. Pecková, S. Patra, N.P. Brennan, C. Yanes-Roca, K.L. Main. 2013. Severe glomerular disease in juvenile grey snapper Lutjanus griseus L. in the Gulf of Mexico caused by the myxozoan Sphaerospora motemarini n. sp. International Journal for Parasitology: Parasites and Wildlife 12/2013; 2:124–130. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijppaw.2013.03.003

Taylor, M.D., N.P. Brennan, K. Lorenzen, K.M. Leber. 2013. A generalized numerical approach for controlling the ecological risk of hatchery-releases and assessing stocking scenarios in open systems. Reviews in Fisheries Science 21(3-4): 341-353. DOI: 10.1080/10641262.2013.796815

Leber, K.M., Lee, C-S., Brennan, N.P., Arce, S.M., Tamaru, C., Blankenship, H.L., and Nishimoto, R.T. In Press. Introduction to Mullet Culture-Based Stock Enhancements and a Case Study in Hawaii (USA)