Fish and Invertebrate Ecology
Scranton College, PA
An Assessment of Habitat Quality and Release Optimization
in the West River, Chesapeake Bay
My summer research focused on the feasibility of using Stock Enhancement to help increase the Blue Crab population in the Chesapeake Bay. Specifically, my research was a first-step attempt to optimize survival in our juvenile crab releases. I focused on the idea that "predation" is a potentially important factor in Blue Crab survivorship. I tethered crabs in two "good" sites and two "bad" sites in the West River, Chesapeake Bay in conjunction with a hatchery "crab release" in the coves of this subestuary. I monitored relative predation rates, as well as two microhabitat predation rates, to determine if predation and microhabitat of release were important factors in crab survival, and if so, to what extent. This research will help the Crab Lab refine their habitat suitability index for juvenile crab releases and it will also help them to get a better idea of what factors are most important for juvenile crab survival in the wild.
Quote: I had an amazing summer at SERC. I learned so much about the Chesapeake Bay and I further increased my desire to pursue marine/estuarine sciences. The members of my personal lab were some of the best people I have ever worked with. The interns were amazing and we grew together into a family over the course of the summer. I will never forget my wonderful experiences here at SERC. It was a dream comes true. After graduation, I will most likely head to graduate school to pursue MSc in Marine/ Estuarine Science.
Funding provided by the National Science Foundation - Research Experience for Undergraduates