Prospective graduate students may contact this person about availability as a faculty advisor.
The west coast of the United States supports several major decapod crustacean fisheries and those for crab and shrimp are the focus of my program in the School of Aquatic & Fishery Sciences. Much of the research done by myself and graduate students is in conjunction with programs designed to predict possible deleterious effects of development such as dredging, oil exploration, and materials disposal on crustacean populations. To this end we study population dynamics and production, spatial and temporal distribution, habitat requirements, reproductive cycles, feeding strategies, energetic requirements, and toxicant effects as gauged by some of these factors. Along the Washington coast and in Puget Sound, we have studied the importance of major coastal estuaries to early juvenile stages of Dungeness crab, Cancer magister, that enter as megalopae and metamorphose on a variety of substrates. The high degree of association between small juveniles and refuge habitat supports hypotheses that the species is dependent upon summer recruitment to and growth in estuaries for strength of the subsequent offshore fishery.
Other active research topics within my program include energetic requirements of entire crab populations in estuaries and offshore as a possible explanation for interannual variability in the strength of 0 and 1+ age classes of Dungeness crab, timing and dynamics of megalopal arrival into estuaries, effects of insecticides used in estuaries, invertebrate community and substrate relationships as a basis for predicting distribution of juvenile stages of commercial crab in the Bering Sea, and crab feeding behavior and other mechanisms that facilitate sympatric distribution in closely related species. We are also very interested in predator-prey interactions of crab and bivalves, bivalves as a source of refuge habitat for juvenile crab, and fish impacts on newly settled juveniles of several species of decapods. Many aspects of these programs have application in controversial environmental and societal issues including mitigation of crab loss caused by Army Corps dredging, and Native American Treaty rights pertaining to shellfish resources in Puget Sound.