Benthic Marine Ecology Lab

Coral on rocksDr. Nicole Price on boat with snorkle and scuba mask

The benthic marine laboratory studies population and community dynamics of bottom-dwelling macro-organisms in tropical, subtropical, and temperature marine environments. We also explore a wide range of ecosystems services offered by naturally occurring and cultivated macrophytes using novel techniques, including carbon dioxide removal and avoidance strategies via innovative seaweed products.

Current Funded Projects and Collaborators

BurpBusters: Exploring algae-based solutions to suppressing enteric methane emissions. Supported by the Shelby Davis Cullom Charitable Fund. CoPIs: Steve Archer, David Emerson, and Jose Antonio Fernandez Robledo and numerous project participants from partnering institutions like the Universities of New Hampshire and Vermont, Colby College, and Wolfe’s Neck Center.

Maine eDNA: Larval Black Box. RII Track-1: Molecule to Ecosystem: Environmental DNA as a Nexus of Coastal Ecosystem Sustainability for Maine (Maine-eDNA) is supported by National Science Foundation award #OIA-1849227 to Maine EPSCoR at the University of Maine. Price is Theme 1 co-lead with Michael Kinnison for Sustainable Fisheries, and her focus is on developing eDNA tools to advance detection of the larval phases of commercially important shellfish and macroalgae species in the Gulf of Maine.

Ecosystem Services of Farmed Kelp: Supported by several funding sources for different aspects. The World Wildlife Fund with support from the Bezos Earth Fund, the DOE ARPA-E MARINER program, Oceans2050, and the Horizon Foundation are all contributing to understanding how farmed kelp can remove and store carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and phosphorous, thus mitigating ocean acidification, nutrient loading, and climate change. CoPIs: Aurora Ricart, Doug Rasher and Steve Archer at Bigelow Laboratory, and Susie Arnold (Island Institute), Shane Rogers (Clarkson University), and Ole Jacob (SINTEF) at partnering institutions.