A major emphasis of research in my lab is better understanding the influences of predator cues, biogeography and abiotic factors on foraging decisions, induced defenses and reproduction in the whelk, Nucella lapillus.


I have been working with colleagues on additional projects investigating interactions between native and invasive mud crabs (Eurypanopeus sp. and Hemigrapsus sp), and the influences of contaminated sediments, pesticides and rhizocephalan parasites. (Clockwise from right: Hemigrapsus sanguineus, Eurypanopeus depressus displaying the parasite Loxothylacus panopaei recently discovered in Long Island, and caging experiment.) 

photo by E. Dernbach

photo by E. Dernbach

Induced morphological defenses in mussels (Mytilus edulis) and whelks (Nucella lapillus) have received a good deal of attention.  I would like to better understand the relationship between behavioral and defenses induced by various predators.

If you are interested in pursuing a Master’s degree and conducting research on one of these topics, please contact me.

Whelks often lay egg cases that vary in size and number of  developing embryos and nurse eggs.  I am interested in factors that influence local and regional reproductive investment in these whelks.