Campus News

Fish urine helps create biodiversity, says study by UGA graduate

Fish urine, believe it or not, can play an important role in creating biodiversity in coral reefs, according to an article in National Geographic. And overfishing, particularly of the largest fish, can affect the health of reefs.

“It’s kind of a funny thing to say that we would conserve for fish pee,” said Jake Allgeier, who received his doctorate in ecology from UGA in 2013 and now is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Washington. “But it is hopefully setting a precedent to think about these reefs differently.”

Allgeier’s finding about coral reefs was recently published in the journal Nature Communications.

Amy Rosemond, an associate professor in the UGA Odum School of Ecology who was not associated with the study, told the magazine that accounting for fish size may be an important component to consider in fishery regulations.

“So many times, we see negative feedbacks of human modification of systems, where we lose ecosystem services,” Rosemond said. “In this case, we can get value added.”