Seagrass Ecology


Seagrass ecology research at the Marine School emphasizes the functional role and ecology of macroscopic marine algae (seaweeds) in nearshore coastal and estuarine habitats. Recent projects have involved synoptic surveys (censuses) of native and introduced seaweed populations in diverse open coastal and estuarine habitats such as the Great Bay and Hampton/Seabrook Estuarine Systems, plus Cobscook, Casco and Penobscot Bays and Boston Harbor. Our involvement in several rapid assessment surveys, from Down East, Maine to Staten Island, New York, has also documented invasive species patterns and anthropogenic impacts.  Other studies have dealt with physiological ecology and population genetics of seaweeds plus enhanced utilization and cultivation of seaweeds.  Several research projects have focused on interpretive autecological investigations of seaweed populations, particularly economically significant species.