Welcome New Graduate Students!

We are excited to welcome Leah Reidenbach and Dylan Cottrell to the lab in fall 2017!

Leah completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Central Florida in 2013 where she worked with policy makers and educators to produce high school level education materials on the topic of sea level rise. This was followed by a marine lab internship at the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation where she researched the effects of eutrophication on seagrass and macroalgae, as well as macroalgal physiology. Next, she completed her Master’s degree at California State University, Northridge in 2017.  Her thesis was on the effects of ocean acidification and eutrophication on the green bloom-forming macroalga Ulva spp.

Dylan completed his undergraduate studies in 2013, whereupon he served in the Peace Corps for two years in Malawi. Since his return, he has been working on a program to commercially farm seaweed.

Benthic Ecology Meeting 2017

Our recent trip to the 2017 Benthic Ecology Meeting in Myrtle Beach, SC shows how big the Peterson Lab family is growing!  Brad, six current or recent graduate students, and four alumni attended to talk science with our fellow benthic marine ecologists.

You can tell which of us are experts at this.

Here’s a list of our posters and presentations from this year’s Benthics:

Carroll, J.; et al. Not a fun threesome: the prevalence, impact and interaction of boring sponges and pea crabs on oysters.

Chin, D.W.​; et al. The influence of chemosymbiotic clams (Lucinidae) on sediment in tropical seagrass beds.

Heck, S.; et al. Exploring the indirect effects of the presence of black sea bass (Centropristis striata) on the survival of bay scallops (Argopecten irradians).

Lowell, A.V.; et al. Modulating pCO2 in situ: a novel approach for a complex world.

Kulp, R.E​.; et al. Soft-vegetative and hard-bottomed biogenic habitats alter the foraging efficiency of predators in a species-dependent manner.

O’Toole, K.; et al. Development of a bio-optical model to optimize seagrass restoration within Long Island estuaries. (poster)

Stubler, A.D.; et al. With or without nutrients, sponges are boring: the effects of eutrophication on bioerosion.

Tinoco, A.I.; et al. Effects of Hurricane Sandy on Great South Bay, Long Island: assessing water quality, seagrass and nekton communities. (poster)

2017 Call for Summer Research Assistants

The Peterson Marine Community Ecology Lab is seeking to interview and select six to eight (6 – 8) highly motivated volunteer research assistants for summer 2017 to work on several dissertation and monitoring projects. Research hours can be used towards research credit hours with Dr. Bradley Peterson. (High school sudents, please take note: the minimum age to be considered for a volunteer position with us is 17).

Volunteers will be asked to commit at least two days per week from late May/June through August. Exact starting and end dates are negotiable.

***We are also seeking one person who would be able to work specifically on a predator-prey project between June 5th and July 28th.

We specifically look for people who are comfortable and enjoy being outdoors, especially in the field on boats and in the water. Volunteers should be in good physical shape and enjoy hands-on work. Ability to swim is a requirement.

If interested, please send your CV/resume and a list of available meeting times to Diana Chin, diana.chin@stonybrook.edu. Alternatively, feel free to contact a lab member regarding a specific topic below. (Please note that, with the exception of the predator-prey project, it is unlikely that you will work exclusively on one project. Our philosophy is that exploring a variety of research questions and methods is essential to your scientific development!)

Summer Research Topics:

Contact: Diana Chin, diana.chin@stonybrook.edu

chemosymbiotic clams and their interactions with sediment, seagrass, and predators

Contact: Steve Heck, heck.stephen@gmail.com

predator-prey interactions (fish, crabs, bay scallops) and seagrass community structure

Contact: Alyson Lowell, alyson.v.lowell@gmail.com

free ocean carbon enrichment (FOCE) systems and impacts of ocean acidification on seagrass communities

Contact: Kaitlyn O’Toole, kaitlynotoole@gmail.com

bio-optical models of potential seagrass habitat in Great South Bay and Peconic Bay from water quality data

Contact: Rebecca Kulp, rkulp1@gmail.com

predator-prey project: do shellfish habitats emit chemical cues that mask the presence of alternative prey for mesopredators?

Other Monitoring and Research:

Beyond the above, the lab will be deploying eelgrass- and shellfish-based restoration projects and conducting assessments of water quality, seagrass, and fauna in Great South Bay and Shinnecock Bay.

Call for Summer Research Assistants

The Peterson Marine Community Ecology Lab is seeking to interview and select six to eight (6 – 8) highly motivated volunteer research assistants this summer to work on several dissertation and monitoring projects (for a partial list of projects, see below). Research hours can be used towards research credit hours with Dr. Bradley Peterson.

Volunteers will be asked to commit at least two days per week (preferably consecutive days) from June through August. Exact starting and end dates are negotiable.

***We are also seeking one person who would be able to work intensively with Amanda Tinoco on a specific project (examining the effects of predator acoustic cues on mud crab consumption of blue mussels) five days per week for the month of June.

We specifically look for people who are comfortable and enjoy being outdoors, especially in the field on boats and in the water. Volunteers should be in good physical shape and enjoy hands-on work. Ability to swim is a requirement.

If interested, please send your CV/resume, research interests, and a list of available meeting times to Diana Chin, diana.chin@stonybrook.edu. Alternatively, feel free to contact a lab member regarding a specific project listed below. (Please note that with the exception of Amanda’s experiments in June, it is unlikely that you will work exclusively on one project. Our philosophy is that exploring a variety of research questions and methods is essential to your scientific development!)

Summer Projects:

Contact: Rebecca Kulp, rkulp1@gmail.com

I will be looking at how prey mobility affects foraging efficiency of crustacean mesopredators across varying habitat types and densities. Prey preference between mobile and sessile prey will also be evaluated using consumption rate, handling time, and encounter rate.

Contact: Diana Chin, diana.chin@stonybrook.edu

This summer’s research will involve a field experiment to evaluate whether the commensal relationship between seagrass and a species of chemosymbiotic clam (which “eats” sulfide in sediment) changes across a gradient of light exposure to the seagrass. I will also be using field tethering experiments to look at whether seagrass can provide a predation refuge for the clam.

In addition, I’m looking for someone who wants to come to Panama in fall 2016 to do tropical clam and seagrass research!

Contact: Steve Heck, heck.stephen@gmail.com

This summer, I plan on looking into how several species of larger fish predators influence community structure in seagrass ecosystems. More specifically, I aim to look at how larger fish predators govern the feeding activity and abundance of crustacean mesopredators that prey on bay scallops and how this influences the survival of these bivalves. This will involve a combination of field and mesocosm experiments.

Contact: Amanda Tinoco, amandaisabeltinoco@gmail.com

My research will focus on the effects of predator acoustic cues on the foraging behavior of mud crabs on blue mussels. Work will consist of helping set up and break down mesocosm experiments as well as going out in the field to collect organisms for my experiments. This work will be primarily completed during the month of June.

Other Monitoring and Research:

Beyond the projects above, the lab will be conducting water quality assessments in Jamaica Bay, Great South Bay, Shinnecock Bay, and Peconic Bay; hard clam condition assessments for Great South Bay; and a shellfish-based restoration project in Great South Bay.

Spring 2016 Update

It’s that time of year! The Peterson Lab (Brad, four current graduate students, three lab alumni, and three current or former undergraduates) recently attended the 2016 Benthic Ecology Meeting in Portland, ME. As always, there was much science, dancing, and general merriment as we reconnected with old friends and dove into the latest news from our colleagues in all areas of benthic marine ecology.

The Peterson Lab at Benthics 2016 + our newest lab member, Rosie Furman!

The Peterson Lab at Benthics 2016 + our newest lab member, Rosie Furman!

A special feature this year was a session of talks organized by Brad and given by scientists who have all been mentored as interns, master’s students, PhD students, or postdocs by Dr. Ken Heck of Dauphin Island Sea Lab, who was Brad’s PhD advisor.

Here’s a list of our posters and presentations from this year’s Benthics:

Cashin M.J.; Kulp, R.E.; Peterson, B.J. Preference in prey type and size of C​repidula fornicata​and ​Mytilus edulis ​by the mesopredator ​Dyspanopeus sayi​. (poster)

Chin, D.W.​; Peterson, B.J. A commensalism between awning clams (S​olemya velum​) and eelgrass (Z​ostera marina​) mediated by sulfide­oxidizing bacteria.

Floros, N.J.​; Kulp, R.E.; Peterson, B.J. Evaluating effects of habitat type on foraging efficiency.

Furman, B.T.; Hall, M.O.; Merello, M.; Durako, M.J. Field notes on the recurrence of ​Thalassia testudinum ​die­off in Florida Bay.

Heck, S.M.​; Tinoco​, A.I.; Peterson, B.J. Exploring how a suite of predators influences the vertical spatial distribution & survival of bay scallops.

Kulp, R.E​; Peterson, B.J. Comparing functional response curves across a structural density gradient with increasing intraspecific competition.

Peterson, B.J. “All I want to do is HIDE around, Sally”: Ken’s evolving thoughts on habitat complexity and species diversity.

Stubler, A.D.; Peterson, B.J. Ocean acidification accelerates dissolution and bioerosion in a coral rubble community.

Tinoco, A.I.; Heck, S.M; Peterson, B.J. Effects of Hurricane Sandy on Great South Bay, Long Island: Assessing water quality, seagrass and nekton communities.

Vlasak, T.J.; Kulp, R.E.; Peterson, B.J. Comparing the survivorship of ​Dyspanopeus sayi ​in slipper snail and seagrass beds in Shinnecock Bay, New York. (poster)

 

Summer 2015 Update

The Peterson Lab has been pretty busy this summer season, here is an update on all of the different projects that we have been working on!

Diana Chin continues to run experiments looking at a potential mutualism between eelgrass and Solemya velum (a clam with symbiotic sulfur-oxidizing bacteria in its gills). She would be really happy if she could figure out who their predators are in the field and if she could get them to spawn successfully in the lab. She has also been running the Long Island branch of the ZEN (Zostera Experimental Network) collaboration, which this summer included a large caging experiment, blue carbon sediment cores, and mesopredator surveys.

 

This picture was taken by Diana Chin from a GoPro camera used during the mesopredator surveys.

 

Rebecca Kulp has spent her summer hard at work understanding relationships between habitat complexity and predator-prey interactions using mud crabs and mussels. She focused on predator foraging efficiency by changing both the habitat structure density and level of competition.

Rebecca after a long and rainy field day with Mike and Tracey, some of her summer helpers.

Rebecca (left) after a long and rainy field day with Mike and Tracey, some of her summer helpers.

 

 

Stephen Heck has been researching the effects of the presence of porgy on the consumptive rates of mud crabs on bay scallops as well as how the presence of the two predators influence the vertical distribution of bay scallops in the eelgrass canopy.

Stephen’s mesocosm set-up, and his team of helpers

 

 

Amanda Tinoco has been working on some of the NPS projects in Great South Bay, helping runt he water quality and nekton monitoring programs. She also has been setting up a mesocosom experiment to study the effect of acoustic signals on predator consumptions, particularly examining how the sound of a predator (blue crab) eating it’s prey (mud crab) can affect the foraging behavior of mud crabs in different habitats.

Amanda during one of the nekton surveys in Great South Bay

Amanda during one of the nekton surveys in Great South Bay

 

Amber Stubler has been leading nekton survey dives on artificial off-shore reefs and keeping the lab healthy.

Brad Peterson has been working with all the students and making sure the Peterson lab is producing awesome research. He even prepared for his Hollywood career debut when the NPS came out to Great South Bay to check out what the lab does and interview the Peterson himself.

Brad explains the lab's work and the importance of it during an NPS interview

Brad explains the lab’s work in Great Sotuh Bay and the importance of this work during an NPS interview

Jamie Brisbin looking for Nepal downed helicopter

Professor Bradley Peterson’s past graduate students, Jamie Brisbin, is now an Air Force Pararescue looking for the downed helicopter in Nepal.

Best of luck to Jamie!

Jamie Brisbin

 

 

 

https://www.dvidshub.net/image/1929963/search-and-rescue-find-missing-aircraft-nepal#.VVTBa_lVhBc