Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)




S. Laurie Sanderson

Committee Members

Paul Heideman

William Buchser

Eric Hilton


Suspension-feeding fishes such as menhaden and tilapia use complex and poorly understood fluid dynamics to filter minute food particles from bulk flow using their gill arch and raker apparatus. Physical modeling of the gill raker apparatus allows for direct quantification of particle filtration mechanisms which cannot be analyzed in live specimens. Using the ram suspension-feeding fish the American shad (Alosa sapidissima) as a model organism, this Honors thesis created physical models of the gill raker filtration apparatus and used a recirculating flow tank to analyze particle interactions and mechanisms of retention. Intriguing trends in particle exit patterns within slots suggest directions for future research. Understanding the mechanism of particle filtration informs functional morphological hypotheses for gill raker structure, and has ecological relevance for determining types of particles these fish are able to retain during feeding, as well as industrial relevance for improving filtration techniques.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
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On-Campus Access Only