The Marine Conservation Laboratory’s primary mission is dedicated to the preservation of global marine biodiversity. In addition, we offer information and services to aquaculture and other commercially important industries in all aquatic realms. Our team is multidisciplinary with expertise in ecosystem services, bioenergetics, ecological physiology, molecular biology, conservation biology, and ocean sustainability/climate modeling. Specific goals of the laboratory are to 1) develop quantitative tools to measure the response of marine organisms (e.g. fishes) to anthropogenic stresses, such as those resulting from climate change; 2) to use these tools to develop predictive models at the individual, population and ecosystem levels; and 3) to use these techniques and models to serve pure and applied interests in order to manage aquatic resources, minimizing ecosystem degradation.
Our current and prospective research activities focus on study systems across several countries and many different habitats, allowing us to conduct empirical research and address questions and find solutions important to the applied aspect of fish biology. We are presently focusing on Arctic and boreal fishes (codfishes) in the North Atlantic, large top-level predators important to the sport-fishing industry in Bermuda (e.g. marlins, wahoo etc.) and commercially important food-fishes (e.g. red drum) in the Gulf of Mexico. While these systems are diverse, the common thread that ties them together is the ability of these animals to be successful in the face of environmental change. These characteristics will be important in the face of rising temperatures and increased acidification as a function of climate change. Given the fish systems under study, results and data gathered will directly inform important commercial fisheries and aquaculture industries.