Research Foci

Spawning Biology and Reproductive Output of Female Blue Crabs in Barnegat Bay

    This project, led by Paul Jivoff of Rider University, examines the influence of various factors (e.g., female size, season, diet) on brood production, fecundity and egg viability in Barnegat Bay blue crabs using both field sampling and a field experiment. The field experiment has shown for the first time that Barnegat Bay blue crabs produce multiple broods of eggs within one spawning season.

Ecological Assessment of Sedge Island Marine Conservation Zone in Barnegat Bay

    Conservation zones are important for maintaining the sustainability of ecosystems and populations of economically important species. This project assesses the relative ecological value, especially for economically important species, of the Sedge Island Marine Conservation Zone (SIMCZ) in Barnegat Bay, NJ by comparing the following inside the SIMCZ with areas outside the conservation zone: (1) population structure of adult blue crabs, (2) reproductive potential of both sexes and brood production of adult female blue crabs, and (3) species diversity and abundance of fish and select decapod crustaceans, particularly blue crabs, in three habitats (seagrass, macroalgae, and unvegetated). Because of the timing of this project relative to Hurricane Sandy, this project also provides the unique opportunity to examine the relative role of the SIMCZ on the impact of Hurricane Sandy on fish and selected decapods.

The Influence of Urbanization and Heated Effluent from the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating facility on Blue Crabs in Barnegat Bay

    • Barnegat Bay is one of many temperate estuaries in the northeastern U.S. that are influenced by their densely human‐populated watersheds. However, it is not clear how this urbanization influences estuarine organisms. This project examines how blue crabs (juveniles and adults) respond to urbanization of Barnegat Bay by comparing the temporal (annual, seasonal) and spatial (along the gradient of urbanization) variation in four major estuarine habitats in the Bay. Because of the timing of this project relative to Hurricane Sandy, this project also provides the unique opportunity to examine the impact of Hurricane Sandy on blue crabs.
    This project also provides the opportunity to examine the influence of heated effluent from the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating facility on blue crabs.