Research underway at the MADL includes shellfish ecology, ecological physiology, shellfish adaptation to climate change (ocean acidification, change in temperature and salinity regimes), and pathology and immunology, and employs a wide range of techniques and approaches (field studies, genomics, cell and molecular biology). Please read carefully the information available on the various pages of this website and contact Bassem Allam for more information.
Sabrina is a senior Ph.D. Candidate in Marine Science. She received a B.S. with honors in Marine Vertebrate Biology from Stony Brook University and began her Ph.D. studies at SoMAS in Fall 2011 under the supervision of Dr. Jackie Collier. After working on various projects, including seagrass microbial communities and silica uptake in cyanobacteria, she now works under the joint advisement of Dr. Collier and Dr. Bassem Allam. Sabrina’s dissertation research focuses on the distribution and dynamics of pathogenic and nonpathogenic labyrinthulomycetes (fungus-like protists), using Quahog Parasite Unknown (QPX), which is a pathogen of the hard clam (Mercenaria mercenaria), as a model to investigate how virulence impacts ecology. In particular, she is using molecular diagnostic tools to perform a large scale survey of QPX disease in clams and the QPX organism in the environment across the marine district of New York to better understand the pathogenic nature (obligate v. opportunistic) and ecology of QPX. Her research also includes understanding QPX transmission and QPX within the context of the broader biology and ecology of the labyrinthulomycetes.
Michelle has been working with Allam throughout her undergraduate career (since Fall 2014) on various projects dealing with host-pathogen interactions in bivalves. These included research targeting the identification of genetic markers associated with clam resistance to QPX and molecular processes involved in the survival of intracellular parasites (Perkinsus marinus) in oyster blood cells. After completing her B.S. in spring 2017, she continued as an M.S. student where she is currently interested in understanding the mechanisms (energetic, epigenetic and genetic) underlying acclimation and adaptation processes to ocean acidification in oysters.
Caroline has just started her fourth year as a PhD student. She comes to the MADL with B.S. from Emory University and an MEM from Duke University. Caroline is interested in understanding how environmental stress in general, and ocean acidification in particular, affects bivalve physiological processes. She is particularly intrigued by trade-offs between different physiological functions (e.g. feeding physiology, immunity and resistance to infections, etc.) in clams and oysters in the face of ocean acidification. She has the Mid-Atlantic Ocean, Coastal, and Estuarine Acidification Graduate Research Fellowship for her current project focused on “Identifying Molecular Markers associated with Resilience to Ocean Acidification in the Eastern Oyster and the Northern Quahog.”
Chris is just starting his second year as a PhD student at SoMAS. He took a year off after getting his B.S. in ecology, evolution, and natural resources at Rutgers University-New Brunswick before joining our lab. During his undergrad, Chris studied how fish parasites are regulated by the ecology of their host’s environment and did his honors thesis on understanding how these parasites fit into the River Continuum Concept. Since joining MADL, he has begun to apply his ecological knowledge to QPX, a protozoan parasite of the hard clam. Chris is extremely interested in parasites and their roles in the environment, as well as disease dynamics in general.
Ray is beginning his first year as a PhD student at SoMAS. He joins MADL after finishing his M.S. at the University of West Florida, where he researched the effects of habitat fragmentation on seagrass associated fauna. Ray has broad interests in marine invertebrate ecology, with some specific interests including trophic interactions, larval behavior, and population structure. His dissertation research will involve analyzing the effects of climate change on the Atlantic surf clam (Spisula solidissima) and using scientific tools to assess population connectivity among bivalves. When Ray is not working in the lab, you can often find him freediving and photographing Long Island marine wildlife.
Madison is beginning her first year at MADL after receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Biology and minor in Chemistry from Alfred University. During her undergraduate career she researched novelty in microbial natural products as well as polar bear behavior. She is currently enrolled in the M.S. program researching bivalve microbial filtration. She has a broad interest in invertebrate-microbe interactions and how these relationships are influenced by environmental factors.
Undergraduate Students: Undergraduate internships are available. Contact Bassem Allam for more information.
Yuk-Ting (Joyce) Lau, 2017
Kailai Wang, 2016
Rachel Hartman, 2016
Soren Dahl, 2015
Ewelina Rubin, 2014
Mickael Perrigault, 2010
Margaret Mars, 2010
Sarah Winnicki, 2010
Qianqian Liu, 2010
Jesse Hornstein, 2010
Margaret Homerding, 2009
Wade Carden, 2007
Deenie Bugge, 2006
Hua Qian, 2004
Nancy Wei (Undergraduate intern, Northweastern University, Summer 2015)
Bianca Santos, SBU, 2012-2014
Anna Hollembeak, SBU, 2013-2014
Samantha Rogers, SBU, 2013
Laura Gambino, Gettysburg College, 2012
Lauren Sussman, SBU, 2010-2012
Ciera Rhodes, Wilson College, 2011-2012
Nashwa Khalil, SBU, 2007-2008
Brian Rosenstock, SBU, 2008
Ryan Maloney, SBU, 2006
Yuk-Ting Lau, SBU, 2004-2006
Monica Chu, MIT, 2006
Jason Havelin, SBU, 2005
High school interns
Julie Jones (Pembroke Hill high school, Kansas City, MO, summer 2017)
Peter Connors(The Harker School, Can Jose, CA, summer 2017)
Anya Pawar (Half Hollow Hills Central School, NY, Summer 2016)
Hannah Ritter (Half Hollow Hills Central School, NY, Summer 2016)
Brittany Ma (Great Neck High School, NY, 2014)
Sumi Varghese (Brentwood High School, NY, 2013)
Adrian Kim (Port Washington High School, NY, 2012)
Meghana Reddy (JFK Plainview High School, NY, 2012)
Laura Gambino (Miller Place High School, NY, 2010)
Richard Grove (Port Washington High School, NY, 2009)
Dahlia Hassan (Port Washington High School, NY, 2009)
Michael Loiacono (Ward Melville High School, East Setauket, NY, 2008)
Bryan Tan (SBU’s sponsored Simons fellowship program, East Islip High School, NY, 2008)
Chuan Hao Chen (SBU’s sponsored Simons fellowship program, Manhasset High School, NY, 2007)
Sophia Christides (JFK High School, Plainview, 2007)
Alexandra Hay (Jericho High School, Long Island, USA, 2006)
Brandon Moss (JFK High School, Plainview, NY, USA, 2004)
Students publications, including those of high school and undergraduate interns, can be viewed by visiting the PUBLICATIONS page.