Date of Award

Spring 5-7-2022

Document Type

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Dr. Jeff Wesner

Second Advisor

Dr. Meghann Jarchow

Third Advisor

Dr. Daniel Soluk


Freshwater, diet, trophic, fish, database

Subject Categories

Aquaculture and Fisheries | Biodiversity | Data Science | Entomology | Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology


Freshwater management and research frequently use the trophic data of freshwater fishes. Despite this fact, it is difficult to perform a simple search of dietary information for any one fish species. FishBase represents, to our knowledge, the largest compilation of freshwater dietary information to date. However, it excludes a large portion of the ecological literature due to its development taking place prior to the creation of most modern scientific search engines. Our project (TroPhish) is building upon FishBase by digitizing approximately 130 years of data from the fish predation literature. Data from the primary and grey (e.g. theses, dissertations, reports) literature were extracted, automatically scanned in through third-party software (Able2Extract), and then reorganized into a universally usable format. A total of 1123 papers were filtered, processed, and compiled to form a database with 19,893 observations of 51 variables. These observations contain data on 2808 unique dietary samples, representing 532 different species across 118 freshwater fish families from every continent fish occur. After the incorporation of FishBase’s data, TroPhish will be submitted for publication in Scientific Data.

The TroPhish database can be accessed through its GitHub page:



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