Latour Home Page

Robert J. Latour


Email: [[latour]]
Phone: (804) 684-7312
Office: Nunnally Hall 127
Section: Natural Resources

Curriculum Vitae
  • 1994 - B.A., Mathematics, Western New England College
  • 1996 - M.BMA, Biomathematics, North Carolina State University
  • 2000 - Ph.D., Biomathematics, North Carolina State University
Research Interests

Quantitative fisheries ecology with emphasis on understanding patterns and drivers of fish abundance, predator-prey interactions, and community structure. Population dynamics modeling, stock assessment, and fisheries ecosystem modeling in support of natural resource management.

Current Projects

Multispecies Research Group

Selected Publications

(2018 – present; *Indicates my graduate student; † Indicates graduate student collaboration)

  • ∗Schonfeld, A.J., G.M. Ralph, J. Gartland, P. St-Laurent, M.A.M Friedrichs, and R.J. Latour. In review. Hypoxia influences the extent and dynamics of suitable fish habitat in Chesapeake Bay. Marine Ecological Progress Series.
  • ∗O’Brien, K.A., E. Cort´es, W.B. Driggers III, B.S. Frazier, and R.J. Latour. In press. Niche structure and habitat shifts for coastal sharks of the US Southeast Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. Fisheries Oceanography.
  • Fournier, R.J., D.D. Colombano, R.J. Latour, S.M. Carlson, and A. Ruhi. In press. Long-term data reveal widespread phenological change across major U.S. estuaries. Ecology Letters.
  • †Marin Martinez, C.M., R.J. Latour, M.C. Fabrizio, E.D. Houde, and E.J. Hilton. In press. Larval fish assemblage dynamics in the York River Estuary, Virginia, U.S.A. NOAA Professional Papers.
  • Latour, R.J., J. Gartland, and A.M Schueller. 2023. The reproductive biology and fecundity of female Atlantic menhaden. Marine and Coastal Fisheries: Dynamics, Management, and Ecosystem Science 15:e10269
  • Latour, R.J., J. Gartland, and C.F. Bonzek. 2023. The design and redesign of a bottom trawl survey in Chesapeake Bay, USA. Frontiers in Marine Science 10:1217792
  • Gartland, J., S.K. Gaichas, and R.J. Latour. 2023. Spatiotemporal patterns in the ecological community of the nearshore Mid-Atlantic Bight. Marine Ecology Progress Series 704:15-33.
  • Zhang, Y., Y. Jiao, and R.J. Latour. 2023. Nonlinearity and spatial autocorrelation in species distribution modeling: an example based on weakfish (Cynoscion regalis) in the Mid-Atlantic Bight. Fishes 8, article 27.
  • Audemard, C., K.S. Reece, R.J. Latour, L.M Bienlein, and R.B. Carnegie. 2023. Influence of oyster genetic background on levels of human-pathogenic Vibrio spp. Aquaculture 562, article 738763.
  • ∗Peterson, C.D., M. Wilberg, E. Cort´es, D.L. Courtney, and R.J. Latour. 2022. Effects of altered stock assessment frequency on the management of a large coastal shark. Marine and Coastal Fish[1]eries: Dynamics, Management, and Ecosystem Science 14:e10221.
  • ∗Schonfeld, A.J., J. Gartland, and R.J. Latour. 2022. Spatial differences in estuarine utilization by seasonally resident species in Mid-Atlantic Bight, USA. Fisheries Oceanography 31:615-628.
  • ∗Peterson, C.D., M. Wilberg, E. Cort´es, D.L. Courtney, and R.J. Latour. 2022. Effects of unregulated international fishing on re[1]covery potential of the sandbar shark within the southeast United States. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 79:1497- 1513.
  • Latour, R.J., J. Gartland, and C.D. Peterson. 2022. Ontogenetic niche structure and partitioning of immature sandbar sharks within the Chesapeake Bay nursery. Marine Biology 169:76.
  • ∗Peterson, C.D., D.L. Courtney, E. Cort´es, and R.J. Latour. 2021. Reconciling conflicting survey indices of abundance prior to stock assessment. ICES Journal of Marine Science 78:3101-3120. doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsab179.
  • Anstead, K., K. Drew, D. Chagaris, M. Cieri, A.M. Schueller, J. Mcnamee, A. Buchheister, G. Nesslage, J.H. Uphoff, M. Wilberg, A. Sharov, M. Dean, J. Brust, M. Celestino, S. Madsen, S. Murray, M. Appelman, J. Ballenger, J. Brito, E. Cosby, C. Craig, C. Flora, K. Gottschall, R.J. Latour, E. Leonard, R. Mroch, J. Newhard, D. Orner, C. Swanson, J. Tinsman, E.D. Houde, T.J. Miller and H. Townsend. 2021. The past, present, and future of forage fish management: a case study of Atlantic menhaden. Frontiers in Marine Science 8:article 607657.
  • ∗Peterson, C.D., M.J. Wilberg, E. Cort´es, and R.J. Latour. 2021. Dynamic factor analysis to reconcile conflicting survey indices of abundance. ICES Journal of Marine Science 78:1711-1729.doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsab051.
  • Woodland, R., A. Buchheister, R.J. Latour, C. Lozano, E. Houde, ∗C. Sweetman, M.C. Fabrizio, and T. Tuckey. 2021. Environmental drivers of forage fishes and benthic invertebrates at multiple spatial scales in a large temperate estuary. Estuaries & Coasts 44:921-938.
  • †Crear, D.P., R.J. Latour, M.A.M Friedrichs, P. St-Laurent, and K.C. Weng. 2020. Sensitivity of a shark nursery habitat to a changing climate. Marine Ecology Progress Series 652:123-136.
  • Latour, R.J. and J. Gartland. 2020. Dynamics of the shark community in the Mid-Atlantic Bight. Marine Biology 167 (100). 
  • Bangley, C.W., T.H. Curtis, D.H. Secor, R.J. Latour, and M.B. Ogburn. 2020. Identifying important juvenile Dusky Shark habitat in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean using acoustic telemetry and spatial modeling. Marine and Coastal Fisheries: Dynamics, Management, and Ecosystem Science 12:348-363. doi:10.1002/mcf2.101.20.
  • ∗Warshafsky, Z.T, T.D. Tuckey, W.K. Vogelbein, R.J. Latour, and A.R. Wargo. 2019. Temporal, spatial, and biological variation of nematode epidemiology in American eels. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 76:1808-1818.
  • †Crear, D., R. Brill, P. Bushnell, R.J. Latour, †G. Schwieterman, R. Steffen, and K. Weng. 2019. The impacts of warming and hypoxia on the performance of an obligate ram ventilator. Conservation Physiology
  • ∗Stratton, M.A., G. Nesslage, and R.J. Latour. 2019. Multidecadal climate and fishing predictors of abundance for U.S. South Atlantic coastal fishes and invertebrates. Fisheries Oceanography 28:487-504. doi:10.1111/fog.12426.
  • ∗Gervasi, C.L., S.K. Lowerre-Barbieri, W.K. Vogelbein, J. Gartland, and R.J. Latour. 2019. The reproductive biology of Chesapeake Bay striped bass with consideration of the effects of mycobacteriosis. Bulletin of Marine Science 95:117-137.
  • †Ivory, J.A., D.K. Steinberg, and R.J. Latour. 2019. Diel, seasonal, and interannual patterns in mesozooplankton abundance in the Sargasso Sea. ICES Journal of Marine Science 76:217-231.
  • Morley, J.W., R.L. Selden, R.J. Latour, T.L Frölicher R.J. Seagraves, and M.L. Pinsky. 2018. Projecting shifts in thermal habitat for 686 species on the North American continental shelf. PLoS ONE 13(5):e0196127. Feature Research: PLoS Responding to Climate Change.
  • *Lynch, P.D., K.W. Shertzer, E. Cortès, and R.J. Latour. 2018. Abundance trends of highly migratory species in the Atlantic Ocean: accounting for water temperature profiles. ICES Journal of Marine Science 75:1427-1438.
  • *Parsons, K.T., J. Maisano, J. Gregg, C. Cotton, and R.J. Latour.  2018. Age and growth assessment of western North Atlantic Spiny Butterfly Ray Gymnura altavela (L. 1758) using micro-CT reconstructed vertebral centra. Environmental Biology of Fishes 101:137-151.
  • Fabrizio, M.C., T.D. Tuckey, R.J. Latour, G.C. White, and A.J. Norris. 2018. Tidal habitats support large numbers of invasive blue catfish in a Chesapeake Bay subestuary. Estuaries & Coasts 41:827-840.
Current Students
Former Students
Courses Taught/Teaching
  • MSCI 504 Fundamentals of Statistical Methods and Data Analysis (Instructor)
  • MSCI 528 Marine Fisheries Science (co-Instructor)
  • MSCI 548 Marine Fisheries Science and Management (Lecturer, Summer course for high school teachers)
  • MSCI 649 Modeling Biological and Ecological Systems (co-Instructor)
  • MSCI 671 Fisheries Population Dynamics (Instructor)
Professional / Advisory Service
  • Member, NMFS Advisory Panel for Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (SEDAR
    Pool), 2012 - present
  • Member, MAFMC, Scientific and Statistical Committee, 2008 - present
  • Member, ASMFC Atlantic Menhaden Technical Committee, 2006 - 2020
    • Stock Assessment Subcommittee May 2007 - 2020
    • Chairman, May 2009 - May 2011
    • Vice-chairman, May 2008 - May 2009
  • Chairman, 66th Northeast Regional Stock Assessment Review Committee (SARC 66), Nov 2018,    NEFSC
  • Member, Organizing Committee, Virginia Academy of Science, Engineering, and Medicine Annual Summit, 2018
  • Invited Expert, Briefing for Virginia House Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural Resources, 2018
  • Associate Editor, Estuaries & Coasts, 2012 - 2014
  • Chairman, 58th Northeast Regional Stock Assessment Review Committee (SARC 58), Jan 2014, NEFSC
  • Invited Expert, Panel discussion of management of forage fishes, MAFMC, Apr 2013
  • Invited Expert, Briefing for the ad-hoc committee to evaluate the status of Atlantic menhaden, Virginia General Assembly, 2011
  • Chairman, 49th Northeast Regional Stock Assessment Review Committee (SARC 49), Dec 2009, NEFSC
  • Member, external panel to review the NEFSC Foodweb Dynamics Program, Jul 2009, NEFSC
  • Invited Expert, ASMFC American Shad Technical Committee, Jun 2006
  • Invited Expert, Briefing for the Virginia Senate Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources, Nov 2006
  • Member, VIMS panel to advise Virginia Marine Resources Commission on permitting for King William Reservoir, 2004
  • Member, ASMFC Assessment Science Committee, 2003 - 2008
  • Member, ASMFC Multispecies Technical Committee, 2002 - 2012
  • MSVPA Subcommittee, 2005 - 2012
  • Member, Chesapeake Bay Ecosystem Modeling Advisory Panel, 2001 - 2007
  • Invited Expert, ASMFC Striped Bass Tagging Subcommittee, 2000 - 2004, 2012