Our trails and buildings are closed to the public due to COVID-19, but you can still experience SERC science virtually! Check the slideshow below for some of our latest offerings, including virtual field trips and Earth Optimism webinars.
Headwater streams in Alaska are rich in biodiversity, including juvenile salmon that eventually return to the ocean.
We are looking at the likelihood of invasion of organisms associated with the live baitworm trade from its source in Maine to its distribution in the United States and working with the industry to develop options to reduce introductions.
Understanding the acoustic qualities of different marine habitats can lead to new insights on biodiversity
Forest ecosystems directly support the livelihoods of millions of people across the globe, and provide key ecosystem services like carbon sequestration, timber production, soil stabilization, and watershed protection.
Blue carbon ecosystems—tidal marshes, mangroves and seagrasses—are hotspots of carbon sequestration in oceans.
Quantifying uncertainty in national estimates of coastal wetland carbon storage
This interdisciplinary project explores blue crab biology and ecology in support of sustainable fisheries management.
Though there is a great deal of interest in how rising CO2 and nitrogen impact ecosystems together, very few long-term field studies have manipulated both.
Building a DNA barcode library of the fish and invertebrate species of Chesapeake Bay.
The Chesapeake Bay Otter Alliance aims to understand the ecology and biology of local river otters and educate about these amazing creatures.
We are synthesizing data from the Chesapeake Bay region to understand how ecosystems have changed over time and informing efforts to manage and restore the region's biodiversity and ecosystem function.
One of only two tree climbing crabs, Aratus pisonii, feeds on mangrove leaves. This unique crab is an omnivore and also known to have cannibalistic tendencies.
Research to inform conservation of River Herring in Chesapeake Bay
We examine diseased corals across the Caribbean and explore the interactions between coral hosts and their microbial symbionts.
How cosmic events radiating Earth's atmosphere may destroy the ozone layer and how the resulting increase in UV will affect ocean productivity. (Image: NASA)
The goal of this project is to understand the effects of non-native fishes on estuarine food webs and ecosystems.
The first experiment on the marsh, and the longest-running of its kind in the world, began in 1987 under the guidance of plant physiologist Bert Drake.
The goal of eradication projects is to investigate techniques for removal of introduced species, currently targeting the removal of the colonial tunicate Didemnum vexillum on the seafloor of Sitka, Alaska.
We are investigating why saltmarshes in the Northeastern U.S. are collapsing after long-term exposure to elevated nutrients (Photo credit: Caitlyn Bauer).
We worked with the Maritime Environmental Resource Center to further the efficient and effective transition of ballast water treatment technologies from concept and prototype to certification and routine operational use.
This project explores how fungi contribute to speciation and diversification in the orchid genus Platanthera and investigates how preferences for fungal use are inherited by studying parent species and their hybrid offspring.
We are using a range of genomic tools to understand the molecular mechanisms involved in host-parasite interactions.
We are identifying the genes that are involved in the function of orchid mycorrhizas so we can better understand how plants and fungi interact to form functional mycorrhizal associations.
The Global Change Research Wetland is dedicated to unraveling the complex ecological processes that confer stability on coastal marshes as they respond to global environmental change.
This project aims to measure how tree growth responds to weather and climate throughout the world.
Non-human bones reveal past dietary patterns through the species they represent and the manner in which those species were butchered.
Examine the diversity and distribution of microorganisms (i.e., protists and bacteria) in coastal waters
The goal of this project is to understand and reduce the negative impacts of derelict fishing gear in the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay.
The project goal is to assess the degree to which leaf endophytes (fungi and bacteria that live in leaf tissues) mediate the effects of tree diversity on leaf chemistry (metabolome), herbivore communities, and tree productivity.
IPMs can be used to create forest growth and survival models to produce an understanding of forest populations and communities
The Smithsonian Interconnected Health Initiative aims to improve human and wildlife health by catalyzing research and action globally.
We’re looking for your help detecting mitten crabs – if you see this crab, please report it.
We are following the genetic trail left by invading Phragmites australis to understand what factors have promoted invasion by this non-native wetland plant.
To evaluate the role of floating plastic pollution in transporting species across oceans to non-native ranges.
Since the 1960s, a non-native lineage of the common reed, Phragmites australis (commonly called Phragmites), has been taking over wetlands across North America.
Non-native Phragmites australis is now a dominant species in much of the Chesapeake Bay. We are determining how land use has affected its spread.
We study how land use and shoreline armoring affect submerged aquatic vegetation. (Photo: NOAA)
We are detecting new invasions and tracking changes in communities through invertebrate surveys in marine and estuarine ecosystems and collecting data on the occurrence, distribution, and diversity of non-native species.
This project seeks to measure the structure of forest canopies throughout the world using a portable LIDAR instrument.
We are working to synthesize the large and sprawling literature to understand how changing biodiversity influences ecosystem processes and services to humanity
The goal of this project is to gain insight into population and community dynamics of fish and macro-invertebrates in a representative subestuary of the Chesapeake Bay
Spanning from Australia to New York City, this project looks at the dispersal of oyster shells as they traveled across the world to be made into buttons throughout the 20th century.
We study current and emerging technologies and management practices aimed at reducing biofouling on ships in order to develop risk assessments for various biofouling management scenarios.
Climate change is facilitating rapid encroachment of mangrove trees into herbaceous saltmarsh ecosystems.
MarineGEO is a global partnership tracking the vital signs of nearshore marine life to understand how and why it’s changing, and to better manage for resilient marine ecosystems
The goal of the Movement of Life Initiative is to develop the science, technology, and analytical tools and models to conserve and manage movement as a critical process for maintaining biodiversity and healthy ecosystems.
To evaluate the long term interactions between host and parasite. The hosts are two species of mud Crab (Rhithropanopeus harrisii and Eurypanopeus depressus), the parasite is Loxothylacus panopaei.
The Muddy Creek Restoration project is working to restore two streams in the SERC woods and neighboring Annapolis, and track the restorations in real time to understand what impact a restoration project can have on the surroundings.
Non-native earthworms dominate the soil of many mid-Atlantic forests. We are investigating how they affect they mycorrhizal associations that plants depend on.
We are investigating how the identity of the mycorrhizal fungi associated with the orchid Corallorhiza odontorhiza affect its ability to tolerate climate variation.
We are working to identify bacteria that live within orchid mycorrhizal fungi and to determine how they affect mycorrhizal function.
We collect and analyze ballast water management reporting forms submitted to the United States Coast Guard.
The National Exotic Marine and Estuarine Species Information System - Records of Marine Introductions in the United States.
We have been conducting annual surveys of the shallow water nearshore community of the Rhode River since 1991 to study predator-prey dynamics between native grass shrimp species and common fish and crab predators.
In North America, more than 60% of the approximately 210 known species are threatened or endangered in some part of their range of distribution and a number of species have been extirpated in some states.
Nutrient over-enrichment increases the productivity of scrub mangroves, but also decreases their resistance and resilience to hurricane damage.
This global-scale project assesses the transfer risks of nonnative marine species associated with commercial ships sailing between oceans.
Promoting healthy oyster reef ecosystems through sustainable harvest and restoration.
Investigating how multiple stressors associated with climate change will affect the Bay’s oysters
The goal of the Palau Orchid Conservation Initiative is to determine how ecological and environmental variables influence orchid diversity and distributions so that effective conservation strategies can be developed.
We identify parasites that reside in the Rhode River, track yearly changes in diversity and abundance, and determine their impacts on ecosystem function, population dynamics, and trophic interactions.
We use genetic methods combined with field sampling and lab and field experiments to understand the role of parasites across trophic interactions in coastal waters.
We aim to understand the impact of parasites and disease on bivalves.
There are two plantation mansions on the SERC campus: Sellman House and Java. Their differences represent the attitudes, education—even the philosophies—of their respective owners.
We are examining predation and competition rates in fouling communities on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to determine if tropical communities resist invasion to a greater extent than temperate communities.
We are working to determine the effect of prescribed burns on Helonias bullata (swamp pink).
Our research is aimed at understanding how propagule pressure affects the probability of invasion success across species, habitats, ecological communities and environmental conditions.
Recreational vessels are an important vector for the transport of marine non-native species providing connectivity between bays with large commercial ports and smaller bays without commercial ports.
We study the ability of stream side forests and wetlands (“riparian buffers”) to remove pollutants in the water draining from farms and developed land.
SERC scientists want to learn how land uses affect habitat for migratory herring in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Warming and elevated CO2 experiment in the Global Change Research Wetland. Heat lamps warm the plants from above, while cables heat the soil.
We study the interaction between seagrass hosts and their parasites, Labyrinthula spp., which cause seagrass wasting disease.
SERC archaeologists are working in an historic houselot, where the SERC Environmental Archaeology Laboratory now resides.
Archaeologists are studying the historic land behind the Sellman House (called Shaw's Folly) to determine how the land was used before the Sellman's occupation.
Assessment of the role of commercial shipping in the transport of aquatic organisms
This project maps the spatial distribution of more than 33,000 live and dead woody stems with diameters of at least 1.0 cm in the SERC Forest Dynamics Plot.
The objectives of this study are to characterize commercial shipping networks and develop epidemiology-based models for invasive species spread, with an emphasis on the Panama Canal and Caribbean basin.
We study how watershed characteristics affect the health and biodiversity of stream communities.
We study the quality of habitats for Striped Bass in the Chesapeake Bay and identify their key prey species
Investigating the upper Chesapeake Bay as a nursery and foraging habitat for Summer Flounder (Paralichthys dentatus)
Tree growth can be difficult to measure, but it is imperative to understanding forest stability and function. We measure trees in a variety of ways to better understand forest function and stability.
We are working to model rare mortality events to better understand this aspect of forest dynamics
We are studying the timing of growth to understand the importance of seasonal patterns and how they are adjusting to a changing climate
Methane (CH4) is a powerful greenhouse gas. Wetlands rank among the world’s largest methane emitters.
Protecting orchids means also protecting the mycorrhizal fungi they need to grow. We are working to understand the role mycorrhizal fungi play in orchid conservation.
Quantifying the impact of normal and enhanced UV on Antarctic phytoplankton productivity based on experiments and mathematical modeling
We study the water, sediment, nitrogen, and phosphorus discharged from watersheds in stream water. We want to understand how they are controlled by weather, watershed inputs, and watershed characteristics.
ZEN is a partnership using coordinated experiments to understand drivers and consequences of change in eelgrass ecosystems throughout the northern hemisphere