Ph.D. University of Rhode Island
- Professor of Biological Sciences
Finfish reproductive processes, aquaculture
I am primarily interested in improving culture of commercially important finfish species by understanding and ultimately controlling physiological processes. Much of my research has focused on understanding reproductive processes, as this is requisite for successful propagation of aquatic species and often limits production. Fishes exhibit an astonishing array of reproductive strategies and each species' unique strategy must be unraveled before successful culture can be realized. Some of the specific topics, which are of interest to me, include the endocrine control of sex differentiation, factors that influence sex change (sequential hermaphroditism), role of pheromones in reproductive success and environmental control of reproductive cycles. Study of the life cycles of wild fish is often necessary to understand these processes. My students and I are also studying environmental conditions that minimize stress and optimize growth of cultured fish, such as salinity levels, light intensity, tank densities and temperature. We utilize applied aspects of aquaculture, such as hormonal induction of spawning, as well as modern laboratory techniques to address these questions. Some of the species I have worked with in the past include striped bass, white bass, summer flounder, southern flounder and haddock. Currently, my colleagues and I are investigating the aquaculture potential of black sea bass, a highly sought species in the upscale restaurant trade. As this fish is a protogynous hermaphrodite, changing from female to male, and is extremely fragile during its larval stage, we have many interesting problems to address before widespread commercial production is realized.
Principles of Aquaculture ZOOL 610/611; Principles of Biology BIO 411/412; Fish Physiology ZOOL 773/873