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Does Predation Affect The Life History Of FIU’s Eastern Mosquitofish

Worksheet 1 – Scientific Writing: Instructions

This worksheet is designed to help you practice finding, reading, and paraphrasing peer-reviewed scientific articles. Refer to your TA’s in-class lecture and the required reading (Turbek et al., 2016) for guidance. Remember that your TA’s office hours are also a valuable resource!

You must cite peer-reviewed scientific articles (primary and secondary literature). For this assignment, you are NOT permitted to cite books. While you may use Internet search engines (Google Scholar, Web of Science) to download research articles, you may NOT cite websites.

How to Format Your Citations

Once you have explained an idea, you should finish your sentence with an in-text citationExample: Seagrasses have been found growing at depths up to 90 meters (Duarte, 1990).

If you are citing more than one reference for an idea, then include all references in chronological order in the same in-text citation but separate them with a comma.

Example: Electric communication has evolved multiple times in teleost fish species (Alves-Gomez 2001; Maynard-Smith and Harper 2003, Bernal et al. 2007;).

When creating your “Literature Cited” list (i.e., “Bibliography), always list the articles in alphabetic order. Use a hanging indent (i.e., all lines after the first line should be indented.)


In-Text: (Last name Year)

Example: My sentence explaining this study’s major conclusion (Alves-Gomes 2001).

Literature Cited:

Last name, Initials. Year. Title. Journal name Volume number: Start page-Last page.


Alves-Gomes, J.A. 2001. The evolution of electroreception and bioelectrogenesis in teleost fish: a phylogenetic perspective. Journal of Fish Biology 58:1489-1511.


In-text 2 authors: (Author 1 last name 1 & author 2 last name, year)

Example: My sentence explaining this study (Rypel & Layman 2008).

In-text 3 authors: (Author 1 last name et al., year)

Example: My sentence explaining this study (Archer et al., 2012).

Literature Cited: Author 1 last name, Author 1 initials, author 2 initials author 2 last name, …, final author initials final author last name. Year. Title. Journal name Volume: start page-last page.

Example – two authors:

Rypel, A.L. and C.A. Layman. 2008. Degree of aquatic ecosystem fragmentation predicts population characteristics of gray snapper (Lutjanus griseus) in Caribbean tidal creeks. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 65:335-339.

Example – three or more authors: 

Archer, S.K., S.A. Heppell, B.X. Semmens, C.V. Pattengill-Semmens, P.G. Bush, C.M. McCoy, and B.C. Johnson. 2012. Patterns of color phase indicate spawn timing at a Nassau grouper (Epinephelus striatus) spawning aggregation. Current Zoology 58:70-80.

Worksheet 1 – Scientific Writing: Questions (100 points)

Reminder: Follow the correct formatting for all worksheets (12 pt font, double-spaced, do not include original questions BUT KEEP THE BULLET POINTS WITH THE QUESTION NUMBER). Incorrect formatting will result in a 5% penalty on this assignment.

Answer/address all of the following questions. You are creating an outline of your “Introduction” for your scientific paper. Include in-text citations after your bullet points. In all cases, we require that your work be typed. Plagiarism is unacceptable and will result in an automatic 0 on this assignment.

Over the next few weeks, your will be investigating this question: Does predation affect the life history of FIU’s Eastern Mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki)?

For each question, the required citations are the minimum and you can use more citations than listed (e.g., if the question is asking for 2 citations, you can cite more than 2 citations). HOWEVER, each question should have unique citations to meet the minimum reference requirement (i.e., find a new citation for Q#5 compared to Q#4); your “Literature Cited” section would thus have  at least 8 unique  references . However, you can still cite the same article multiple times across questions (e.g., after citing 2 unique articles for Q#5, you could also cite an article from Q#4 in the paragraph to strengthen your answer/content and thus have 3 citations total for Q#5). Peer-reviewed references can be from any year.

1. List a minimum of 3 bullet points explaining why the study’s question is important. Cite at least TWO peer-reviewed scientific article (primary or secondary). Include in-text citations and add the full reference to the “Literature Cited” in Q#7. (14 pts)

· Why is studying predation important in population ecology?

· You should also tie into why a reader should care about Eastern Mosquitofish in South Florida. Why is this fish species important to us?

2. List a minimum of 4 bullet points explaining what is already known about how predation affects the life history of animal populations. Cite at least TWO examples from peer-reviewed scientific articles, of which AT LEAST ONE MUST BE A PRIMARY SCIENTIFIC ARTICLE. Include in-text citations and add the full references to the “Literature Cited” in Q#7. Hint: You do NOT have to find articles on mosquitofish populations; you can find and explain papers on any animal! (20 pts)


3. List a minimum of 5 bullet points on our current knowledge about the normal life history of Eastern Mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki). Cite at least TWO peer-reviewed scientific articles, of which AT LEAST ONE MUST BE A PRIMARY SCIENTIFIC ARTICLE. Include in-text citations and add the full references to the “Literature Cited” in Q#7. (20 pts)

· Consider the following important life history traits: type of reproduction by mosquitofish, age of sexual maturity, number of offspring in a brood/clutch, number of times that females can reproduce in a lifetime, generation time, population size and/or growth rate

4. List a minimum of 4 bullet points explaining on how predation OF mosquitofish (genus: Gambusiaaffects their life history of mosquitofish (note: NOT predation BY Gambusia). Cite at least TWO PRIMARY peer-reviewed scientific article, of which AT LEAST ONE MUST BE A PRIMARY SCIENTIFIC ARTICLE. Include in-text citations and add the full references to the “Literature Cited” in Q#7. (20 pts)

5. Based on the study question, write an ecological hypothesis(3 pts)

6. Based on the readings that you completed to answer the above questions, write predictions for how predation (low vs. high) will affect Eastern Mosquitofish: (i) number of offspring, (ii) generation time, and (iii) population growth rate.(6 pts)

7. Write out your “Literature Cited” section here. Follow the formatting guidelines from the instructions section of this worksheet. (8 pts)

8. Your TA will use this space to assign you a grade and provide feedback on grammar and spelling(4 pts)

· 0 pts: Frequent grammar/spelling errors. Writing style is rough and hard-to-read.

· 2 pts: Occasional grammar/spelling errors. Generally readable with some rough spots.

· 4 pts: Very few grammar/spelling errors. The writing style is mature and readable.

9. Submit the IACUC certificate to Canvas by September 4. (5 pts)

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