DV-15-12 Linking ocean acidification factors to the development of American lobster

Jesica Waller
School of Marine Sciences
University of Maine

The input of carbon into the atmosphere from human activities has caused ocean warming and acidification on a global scale. The Gulf of Maine is warming at an alarming rate, with the warmest year on record having occurred in 2012. It is not certain how these changes will affect important commercial fisheries, such as that of the American lobster, which currently supports Maine’s biggest fishery.

Graduate student Jessica Waller is studying the development of lobster larvae under predicted changes in the underwater climate of the Gulf of Maine. The results will aid in the creation of models to predict the geographic shift of the American lobster in response to different climate change scenarios, information that will help policy makers and harvesters better prepare for the future of this fishery.

She will observe lobster larvae under ambient (current) and high carbon dioxide (CO2) conditions, to determine how higher CO2 will affect larval survival, behavior, growth, development, and metabolism. Analysis of gene expression will occur at University of Prince Edward Island.

Total Sea Grant funds: $4,000