Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Northeastern Grad Student Using Mass Oysters Recycled Shell for Research in Ipswich

We were pleased to provide recycled shell to support oyster research by Northeastern's Chris Baillie who is a grad student in the Grabowski Lab.

Here is his summary of his project.

I am a doctoral student at Northeastern University's Marine Science Center in my third year. My research interests include invasive species ecology, restoration ecology,and predator-prey interactions. One of the projects which will be included in my dissertation focuses on the dynamics of intertidal oyster reef evolution in the Northeast U.S. and the impacts of invasive species on the processes regulating success. I am conducting this research in Ipswich, using oyster mats (oysters zip-tied to vexar mats) places across different depths in the intertidal to investigate the effects of intertidal elevation, which influences the time oysters spend submerged throughout the tidal cycle, on mortality and growth of naturally recruited oysters.

Mass Oyster Recycled Shell for Oyster Restoration
Recycled Shell in Ipswich to collect oyster spat.

I am also including predator exclusion treatments to investigate the amount of mortality attributable to predation events. I am particularly interested in how invasive species, such as the green crab and Asian shore crab, influence oyster mortality. 

Aged recycled shell for oyster restoration
Mass Oyster's 2014 crop of recycled shell for oyster restoration

Hopefully my results will provide information that will inform restoration efforts in the Northeast and potentially help identify potential depth hotspots for restoration efforts in the Northeast. The oyster shell used provided by Massachusetts Oyster Project, which has been sun-weathered to eliminate any invasive species or detrimental encrusting organisms, has been very helpful for the construction of these oyster mats. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to Massachusetts Oyster Project for contributing this shell and their continued efforts to make sure that oyster shell, a valuable substrate for experiments and restoration, is put to good use and does not end up in the garbage.
Recycled Shell User
Chris Baillie  Oyster Researcher and Northeastern Grad Student

You can see his bio here.

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