We have built 25-year data sets on the population dynamics and variation in species composition of infaunal and epibenthic invertebrates and fish of the Rhode River, a model subestuary of Chesapeake Bay. Much of our work focuses on blue crabs as dominant predators regulating benthic community structure, as a valuable fishery, and as a model estuarine species with a complex migratory life cycle. We determine the factors regulating habitat use of near-shore fish and invertebrates. We collaborate closely with the SERC Invasions Biology Program to analyze ecological patterns and impacts of introduced marine species of North America. We conduct comparative studies within Chesapeake Bay and along a latitudinal gradient of North American sites using the Smithsonian Marine Science Network, as well as other study sites around the world.
Watch a video of one of our long-term fish and crab sampling programs.