THE MARINE & ESTUARINE ECOLOGY LAB AT SERC studies interactions among species and the ways that individual animals, communities and ecosystems respond to changes in the environment.

We are particularly interested in how responses of individual organisms and variation among species shape the patterns we see over large spatial scales and in complex biological assemblages. Our research addresses issues that are both theoretical in nature and have more immediate practical applications. Most or our studies center on Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.

We work with a wide range of organisms, from fish to jellyfish. Topics of current interest in our lab include the effects of low dissolved oxygen on interactions and distributions of Chesapeake Bay organisms, potential effects of oyster decline and restoration on the Chesapeake Bay food web, how multiple stressors related to human activities influence coastal systems, how the complexity of food webs influences responses of coastal systems to stress, how links among regions of the estuarine landscape influence gelatinous zooplankton population dynamics, and how to improve oyster restoration.





Dr. Denise Breitburg
Senior Scientist

Smithsonian Environmental
Research Center

PO Box 28
Edgewater, Maryland 21037
Phone: 443-482-2308
Fax: 443-482-2380
Curriculum Vitae

Behavioral and physiological responses of individual organisms to both the natural environment, and human alterations of the environment, can determine the ways that ecosystems are organized and function.