Matthew B. Ogburn, Ph.D.


B.S. Biology, Duke University, 2001

M.S. Marine Sciences, University of Georgia, 2004

Ph.D. Environment, Duke University Marine Laboratory, 2008

Research Interests

Marine and estuarine ecology. Fisheries ecology and population dynamics. Larval dispersal and recruitment. Animal behavior and physiology. Habitat restoration. Ecosystem-based fisheries management. Evolution of life history strategies. Adaptation of marine animals to freshwater and land.

Blog: Blue Crab Blog:

An information exchange for scientists, managers, fishermen, and crab lovers.

Selected Current Projects

(1) Characterizing the blue crab spawning stock. Although much is known about the iconic blue crab, Callinectes sapidus, we know surprisingly little about the location and composition of the female spawning stock in most states. With this interdisciplinary project, I am working with a variety of colleagues to define what constitutes "spawning habitat", identifying spawning locations, characterizing the composition of the spawning stock, determining where spawners migrated from, and developing models to determine how the stock might respond to changes in management or environmental conditions.

(2) Establishing run counts for river herring in Chesapeake Bay. River herring, including the alewife Alosa pseudoharengus and blueback herring Alosa aestivalis, have declined dramatically in the last decade and are the focus of extensive conservation efforts. Spending much of their time in the ocean, they migrate back to freshwater streams on the Atlantic coast of North America to spawn. We are addressing a significant data gap, the lack of scientific spawning run counts in Chesapeake Bay, by developing methods to conduct counts using multi-beam imaging sonar.

(3) Use of acoustic telemetry to study fish behavior. With colleagues at NOAA's Gray's Reef National Marine Sactuary and Savannah State University, I am studying the behavior of gag grouper, scamp, and red snapper using acoustic telemetry. An important focus of this project is distinguishing behavior from the effects of the environment on sound transmission.


Google Scholar publication list

Ogburn MB, Criales MM, Thompson RT, Browder JA. 2013. Endogenous swimming activity rhythms of postlarvae and juveniles of the penaeid shrimp Farfantepenaeus aztecus, Farfantepenaeus duorarum, and Litopenaeus setiferus. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 440:149-155.
Ogburn MB, Forward RB Jr. 2012. Effect of sampling interval on estimates of larval supply. Fishery Bulletin 110:451-457.
Chung JS, Mauer L, Bratcher M, Ogburn MB, Pitula JS. 2012. Cloning of aquaporin-1 of the blue crab, Callinectes sapidus: its expression during the larval development in hyposalinity. Aquatic Biosystems 8:21.
Ogburn MB, Hall M, Forward RB Jr. 2012. Blue crab larval supply in North Carolina:                           Environmental forcing, recruit-stock relationships, and numerical modeling.                                    Fisheries Oceanography 21:20-32.
Ogburn MB, Stuck KC, Heard RW, Wang SY, Forward RB Jr. 2011. Seasonal variability in the morphology of blue crab Callinectes sapidus megalopae and early juvenile stage crabs and distinguishing characteristics among co-occurring Portunidae. Journal of Crustacean Biology 31:106-113.
Rittschof D, Darnell MZ, Darnell KM, Goldman M, Ogburn MB, McDowell R. 2010. Estimating relative abundance of the female blue crab spawning stock in North Carolina. In: GH Kruse, GL Eckert, RJ Foy, RN Lipcius, B Sainte-Marie, DL Stram, and D Woodby (eds.). Biology and Management of Exploited Crab Populations under Climate Change. Alaska Sea Grant, University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Ogburn MB, Diaz H, Forward RB Jr. 2009. Mechanisms of shoreward transport and estuarine ingress of blue crab Callinectes sapidus megalopae. Marine Ecology Progress Series389:181-192.
Ogburn MB, Forward RB Jr. 2009. Ingress of brachyuran crab post-larvae to the Newport River estuary. Estuaries and Coasts 32:309-318.
Crowder LB, Hazen EL, Avissar N, Bjorkland R, Latanich K, Ogburn MB. 2008. The impacts of fisheries on marine food webs and the transition to ecosystem-based management. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 39:259-278.
Darnell MZ, Ogburn MB, Diaz H. 2008. A novel running wheel apparatus to monitor locomotor rhythms in land crabs. Marine and Freshwater Behaviour and Physiology 41(3):205-210.
Ogburn MB, Jackson JL, Forward RB Jr. 2007. Comparison of low salinity
tolerance in Callinectes sapidus Rathbun and Callinectes similis Williams postlarvae upon entry into an estuary. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 352:343-350.
Forward RB Jr., Diaz H, Ogburn MB. 2007. The ontogeny of endogenous rhythm
in vertical migration of the blue crab Callinectes sapidus at metamorphosis. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 348:154-161.
Ogburn MB, Alber M. 2006. An investigation of salt marsh dieback in Georgia using field transplants. Estuaries and Coasts 29(1):54-62.