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Staff member Andy Kough stands in front of the Chicago skyline for a photo.

Andrew Kough, Ph.D.

Research Biologist

Andy Kough leads fieldwork in the Bahamas to study populations and management strategies for queen conch, an iconic species that is declining due to overfishing.

Education

Ph.D., Marine Biology and Fisheries, University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science
B.Sc., Biology, Gettysburg College

“My favorite exhibit is Wild Reef. The diversity we see in the adult fishes and invertebrates on display was also present when these animals started life as planktonic larvae. The larvae of each species are just as unique as the adults, and their fascinating adaptations and journeys complement the beauty found throughout coral reefs.”

Andrew Kough joined Shedd Aquarium’s Daniel P. Haerther Center for Conservation and Research in 2015. Kough will lead fieldwork in the Bahamas to describe the larval journeys of queen conch (Lobatus gigas), an iconic but threatened species. His research focuses on the connectivity of declining conch populations and aims to uncover how otherwise separate habitats are linked by larval exchange. In partnership with a team of community scientists, Kough will survey previously undescribed conch populations throughout the Bahamas, taking measurements of adult population size and structure. These data will inform virtual models of queen conch larval dispersal that predict which populations exchange larvae and identify pathways of natural replenishment to better guide conservation planning.

Kough earned his doctorate in marine biology and fisheries from the University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. His dissertation research was on the larval connectivity of the Caribbean spiny lobster.

See Publications


Queen Conch Lobatus gigas population estimates and age structure suggest a potential natural refuge on the Cay Sal Bank, The Bahamas

Souza, P. M., & Kough, A. S. (2020). Queen Conch Lobatus gigas population estimates and age structure suggest a potential natural refuge on the Cay Sal Bank, The Bahamas. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 2020, 1–15. https://doi.org/10.1002/aqc.3348

Climate and season are associated with prevalence and distribution of trans-hemispheric blue crab reovirus (Callinectes sapidus reovirus 1)

Zhao M., Behringer, D.C., Bojko, J., Kough A. S., Plough, L., [13 others], & Schott , E. J. (2020) Climate and season are associated with prevalence and distribution of trans-hemispheric blue crab reovirus (Callinectes sapidus reovirus 1) Marine Ecology Progress Series, 647, 123–133. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps13405

Rapid Genetic Identification of the Blue Crab Callinectes sapidus and Other Callinectes spp. Using Restriction Enzyme Digestion and High Resolution Melt (HRM) Assays

Lee, B.B., Schott, E.J., Behringer, D.C., Boko, J., Kough, A.S., & Plough, L.V. (2020) Rapid Genetic Identification of the Blue Crab Callinectes sapidus and Other Callinectes spp. Using Restriction Enzyme Digestion and High Resolution Melt (HRM) Assays. Frontiers in Marine Science, 7, 633. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2020.00633

Ecological spillover from a marine protected area replenishes an over‐exploited population across an island chain

Kough, A. S., Belak, C. A., Paris, C. B., Lundy, A., Cronin, H., Gnanalingam, G., ... & Stoner, A. W. (2019). Ecological spillover from a marine protected area replenishes an over‐exploited population across an island chain. Conservation Science and Practice, 1(3), e17.https://doi.org/10.1111/csp2.17

Relationships between fishing pressure and stock structure in queen conch (Lobatus gigas) populations: synthesis of long-term surveys and evidence for overfishing in the Bahamas

Stoner, A. W., Davis, M. H., & Kough, A. S. (2019). Relationships between fishing pressure and stock structure in queen conch (Lobatus gigas) populations: synthesis of long-term surveys and evidence for overfishing in the Bahamas. Reviews in Fisheries Science & Aquaculture, 27(1), 51– 71. https://doi.org/10.1080/23308249.2018.1480008

Biophysical connectivity of snapper spawning aggregations and marine protected area management alternatives in Cuba

Claro, R., Lindeman, K. C., Kough, A. S., & Paris, C. B. (2019). Biophysical connectivity of snapper spawning aggregations and marine protected area management alternatives in Cuba. Fisheries Oceanography, 28(1), 33–42. https://doi.org/10.1111/fog.12384

Isolation by oceanic distance and spatial genetic structure in an overharvested international fishery

Truelove, N. K., Box, S. J., Aiken, K. A., Blythe‐Mallett, A., Boman, E. M., Booker, C. J.,…Kough, A. S., …... & Glazer, B. A. (2017). Isolation by oceanic distance and spatial genetic structure in an overharvested international fishery. Diversity and Distributions, 23(11), 1292-1300. https://doi.org/10.1111/ddi.12626

Efficacy of an established marine protected area at sustaining a queen conch Lobatus gigas population during three decades of monitoring

Kough, A. S., Cronin, H., Skubel, R., Belak, C. A., & Stoner, A. W. (2017). Efficacy of an established marine protected area at sustaining a queen conch Lobatus gigas population during three decades of monitoring. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 573, 177-189. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps12163

Biophysical connectivity explains population genetic structure in a highly dispersive marine species

Truelove, N. K., Kough, A. S., Behringer, D. C., Paris, C. B., Box, S. J., Preziosi, R. F., & Butler, M. J. (2017). Biophysical connectivity explains population genetic structure in a highly dispersive marine species. Coral Reefs, 36(1), 233-244. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00338-016-1516-y

Decadal analysis of larval connectivity from Cuban snapper (Lutjanidae) spawning aggregations based on biophysical modeling

Kough, A. S., Claro, R., Lindeman, K. C., & Paris, C. B. (2016). Decadal analysis of larval connectivity from Cuban snapper (Lutjanidae) spawning aggregations based on biophysical modeling. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 550, 175-190. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps11714