To 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 participate in multiple long-term surveys of communities in the Rhode River conducted by researchers at SERC. These include surveys of benthic and nearshore habitats and oyster beds. We screen animals (i.e., hosts) collected from these surveys (e.g., grass shrimp, mummichogs, blue crabs, clams) and record the prevalence, diversity, and abundance of parasites found in each animal. Additionally, we conduct lab and field experiments to understand the various impacts these parasites have on the Rhode River ecosystem.
Interns and volunteers interested in working with the Marine Disease Ecology Lab will have the opportunity to participate in these surveys. The fieldwork involves collecting hosts through seining, trawling, sediment cores, and water samples. Laboratory techniques typically include microscopic dissections and genetic methods. If you are interested in a summer internship to work on this project, please apply here. If you are interested in volunteering to work on this project, please apply here.