Robert J.  Latour

Professor of Marine Science

Email: [[latour]]
Phone: (804) 684-7312
Interests: Fish population dynamics, management strategies for exploited marine resources, and community ecology.
Office: Nunnally Hall 127
Department: Fisheries Science

Curriculum Vitae

Robert Latour's CV

  • B.A., Mathematics, Western New England College

  • M.BMA, Biomathematics, North Carolina State University

  • Ph.D., Biomathematics, North Carolina State University

Research Interests

Quantitative fisheries ecology with particular emphasis on predator-prey interactions and ecosystem-based approaches to fisheries management. Population dynamics modeling and stock assessment of exploited marine resources.

Current Projects
Selected Publications

(2013 – present; *Indicates my graduate student; † Indicates graduate student collaboration)

  • *Parsons, K.T., J. Maisano, J. Gregg, C. Cotton, and R.J. Latour.  In press. 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.

  • Fabrizio, M.C., T.D. Tuckey, R.J. Latour, G.C. White, and A.J. Norris. In press. Tidal habitats support large numbers of invasive blue catfish in a Chesapeake Bay subestuary. Estuaries & Coasts.

  • †Colden, A.M., R.N. Lipcius, and R.J. Latour. 2017. Reef height drives threshold dynamics of restored oyster reefs. Marine Ecology Progress Series 582:1-13. Feature Article.

  • †Deary, A., R.J. Latour, and E.J. Hilton. 2017. Niche partitioning in early life history stage, estuarine-dependent fishes (Sciaenidae). Estuaries & Coasts 40:1757-1770.

  • *Peterson, C., K. Parsons, D. Bethea, W. Driggers III, and R.J. Latour. 2017. Community interactions and density dependence in Atlantic coastal sharks. Marine Ecology Progress Series 579:81-96.

  • Latour, R.J., J. Gartland, and C.F. Bonzek. 2017. Spatiotemporal trends and drivers of fish condition in Chesapeake Bay. Marine Ecology Progress Series 579:1-17. Feature Article.

  • *Peterson, C., J. Gartland, and R.J. Latour. 2017. Novel use of hook timers to quantify changing catchability over soak time in longline surveys. Fisheries Research 194:99-111.

  • *Peterson, C., C. Belcher, D. Bethea, W. Driggers III, B. Frazier, and R.J. Latour. 2017. Preliminary recovery of coastal sharks in the south-east United States. Fish and Fisheries 18:845-859.

  • Thanassekos, S., R.J. Latour, and M.C. Fabrizio. 2016. An individual-based approach to year-class strength estimation.  ICES Journal of Marine Science 73:2252-2266.

  • Buchheister, A., T.J. Miller, E.D. Houde, D.H. Secor, and R.J. Latour. 2016. Spatial and temporal dynamics of Atlantic menhaden (Brevoortia tyrannus) recruitment along the Northwest Atlantic Ocean.  ICES Journal of Marine Science 73:1147-1159.

  • †Schlenker, L.S., R.J. Latour, R.W. Brill, and J.E. Graves. 2016. Physiological stress and post-release mortality of White Marlin (Kajikia albida) caught in the United States recreational fishery. Conservation Physiology 4:doi:10.1093/conphys/cov066.

  • *Buchheister, A. and R.J. Latour. 2016. Dynamic trophic linkages in a large estuarine system - support for supply-driven dietary changes using delta generalized additive mixed models. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 73:5-17.

  • Latour, R.J. 2016. Explaining patterns of pelagic fish abundance in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Estuaries & Coasts 39:233-247.

  • *Buchheister, A., M.J. Wilberg, T.J. Miller, and R.J. Latour. 2015. Simulating bottom-up effects on predator productivity and consequences for the rebuilding timeline of a depleted population. Ecological Modelling 311:48-62.

  • *Sobocinski, K.L. and R.J. Latour. 2015. Trophic transfer in seagrass systems: Estimating seasonal production of an abundant seagrass fish, Bairdiella chrysoura, in lower Chesapeake Bay.  Marine Ecology Progress Series 523:157-174.

  • †Funkey, C.P., R.J. Latour, and D.A. Bronk. 2015. Abiotic effects on effluent dissolved organic nitrogen along an estuarine transect. Water Environment Research 87:258-265.

  • *Buchheister, A. and R.J. Latour. 2015. Diets and trophic guild structure of a diverse fish assemblage in Chesapeake Bay, USA.  Journal of Fish Biology 86:967-992.

  • †Hudson, J., D.K. Steinberg, T.T. Sutton, J.E. Graves, and R.J. Latour. 2014. Myctophid feeding ecology and carbon transport along the Northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Deep Sea Research I 93:104-116.

  • *Sweetman, C.J., T.T. Sutton, M. Vecchione, and R.J. Latour. 2014. Diet composition of Bathylagus euryops (Osmeriformes: Bathylagidae) along the Northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Deep Sea Research I 92:107-114.

  • †Lefcheck, J.S.,*A. Buchheister, †K.M. Laumann*M. Stratton, *K.L. Sobocinski, †S. Chak, †T.R. Clardy, P.L. Reynolds, R.J. Latour, J.E. Duffy. 2014. Dimensions of biodiversity in Chesapeake Bay demersal fishes: patterns and drivers through space and time.  Ecosphere 5:art14

  • †Balazik, M.T., B.B. Langford, G.C. Garman, M.L. Fine, J.K. Stewart, R.J. Latour, and S.P. McIninch. 2013. Comparison of MS222 and electronarcosis as anesthetics on cortisol levels in juvenile Atlantic sturgeon. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 142:1640-1643.

  • *Sweetman, C.J., T.T. Sutton, M. Vecchione, and R.J. Latour. 2013. Distribution of the biomass dominant pelagic fish, Bathylagus euryops (Argentiniformes: Microstomatidae), along the northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Deep-Sea Research I 78:16-23.

  • *Buchheister, A, C.F. Bonzek, J. Gartland, and R.J. Latour. 2013. Patterns and drivers of the demersal fish community of Chesapeake Bay. Marine Ecological Progress Series 481:161-180.

  • *Sobocinski, K.L., J.J. Orth, M.C. Fabrizio, and R.J. Latour. 2013. Historical comparison of fish community structure in lower Chesapeake Bay seagrass habitats. Estuaries & Coasts 36:775-794.

Current Students
  • James Gartland (Ph.D.)
  • Kaitlyn O’Brien (M.S.)
  • Cassidy Peterson (Ph.D.)
  • Adena Schonfeld (M.S.)
  • Christopher Sweetman (Ph.D.)
Former Students
Student Awards
  • 2017. Kaitlyn O’Brien, VIMS Foundation Fellowship
  • 2017. Adena Schonfeld, VIMS Foundation Fellowship
  • 2016. Zoemma Warshafsky, Mary Hedrick Causey Memorial Fellowship, VIMS Foundation
  • 2016. Mark Stratton, Dean's Fellowship, VIMS Foundation 
  • 2015. Mark Stratton, Nancy S. and Henry George Fellowship, VIMS Foundation
  • 2014. Carissa Gervasi, Best M.S. student presentation, 7th International Symposium on Aquatic Animal Health.
  • 2014. Carissa Gervasi, Snieszko Student Travel Award, AFS Fish Health Section 
  • 2014. Andre Buchheister, Thatcher Prize for Excellence in Graduate and Professional Study, College of William & Mary
  • 2014. Patrick Lynch, W.F. Thompson Best Student Paper Award published in 2012, American Institute of Fishery Research Biologists
  • 2013. Andre Buchheister, Eileen Setzler-Hamilton Memorial Scholarship, AFS Tidewater Chapter
  • 2013. Cassidy Peterson, Harry & Barbara Hager Fellowship, VIMS Foundation
  • 2013. Cassidy Peterson, Gloucester Point Rotary Club - Ernest J. Warriner  Fellowship, VIMS Foundation
  • 2013. Kathryn Sobocinski, The Matthew Fontaine Maury Society Student Fellowship Award, VIMS Foundation
  • 2013. Mark Stratton, SunTrust Fellowship, VIMS Foundation
  • 2013. C.J. Sweetman, VIMS Council Fellowship, VIMS Foundation
  • 2012. Andre Buchheister, Deans Fellowship, VIMS Foundation 
  • 2012. Carissa Gervasi, Grey Allison & H. Renwick Dunlap Fellowship, VIMS Foundation
  • 2012. Patrick Lynch, Best paper by a Ph.D. student, VIMS
  • 2011-2012. Mark Stratton, Edward Holland Fellowship, VIMS Foundation
  • 2011. Mark Stratton, William J. Hargis, Jr. Fellowship Award, VIMS Foundation
  • 2011. Catarina Wor, Perry Travel Award, VIMS Foundation
  • 2011. Patrick Lynch, Beazley Fellowship, VIMS Foundation
  • 2010.  Kathryn Sobocinski, QEA Anchor Scholarship
  • 2010.  Patrick Lynch, Best paper by an M.S. student, VIMS
  • 2008-2011. Kathryn Sobocinski, Hunter B. Andrews, Jr. Fellowship, VIMS Foundation
  • 2007.  Andrij Horodysky, The Matthew Fontaine Maury Society Student Fellowship Award, VIMS Foundation
  • 2006. Andre Buchheister, William J. Hargis, Jr. Fellowship Award, VIMS Foundation
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
  • Invited Expert, Panel discussion of management of forage fishes, MAFMC, Apr 2013
  • Member, NMFS Advisory Panel for Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (SEDAR Pool), 2012 - present
  • Member, ASMFC Analytical Committee for NEAMAP, 2012 - present
  • Member, MAFMC, Scientific and Statistical Committee, 2008 - present -Scientific Uncertainty Subcommittee, 2009 - present
  • Member, ASMFC Atlantic Menhaden Technical Committee, 2006 - present
    • Stock Assessment Subcommittee May 2007 - present
    • Chairman, May 2009 - May 2011
    • Vice-chairman, May 2008 - May 2009
  • 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
  • Member, ASMFC Multispecies Technical Committee, 2002 - present
  • MSVPA Subcommittee, 2005 - present
  • Invited Expert, ASMFC American Shad Technical Committee, Jun 2006
  • Invited Expert, Meeting of 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, Chesapeake Bay Ecosystem Modeling Advisory Panel, 2001 - 2007
  • Invited Expert, ASMFC Striped Bass Tagging Subcommittee, 2000 - 2004, 2012