Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
University of New England
Shallow coastal waters provide nursery habitat for larval and juvenile stages of fish and invertebrates. These early life stages are the most vulnerable, and environmental conditions must be just right for the young animals to survive. Less is known about the nursery function of Saco Bay compared to other Maine estuaries. Sulikowski and Charles Tilburg and their students plan to study how Saco Bay's complicated physical conditions, such as a distinct plume of fresh river water flowing through the bay, influence the distribution and diversity of planktonic larvae. The results may allow scientists to predict how changes in the physical environment will affect marine species, including commercially valuable fish and shellfish.
1-year project, 2008