David Bushek (cont'd)
Associate Professor
(856) 785-0074 ext. 4327
Mailing Address:
  Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory
  6959 Miller Avenue
  Port Norris, NJ  08349 USA

Research Interests Links


Many bivalves and other molluscan shellfish support important commercial fisheries or are commercially farmed and harvested for various forms of exploitation (e.g., food, medicine, jewelry). The natural populations of many species have declined dramatically due to decades, even centuries, of over fishing and habitat loss/degradation. Today, most of these species continue to face high fishing pressure and habitat loss. In addition, many also face increasing levels of parasitism and disease. Aquaculture has and continues to relieve some of the pressure on natural populations, but has its own set of environmental impacts, positive and negative.  Yet, parasites and disease plague many aquaculture and restoration efforts. Understanding host-parasite dynamics and disease processes at all levels (molecular, cellular, organism, population, community, and ecosystem) is crucial to the development of successful management strategies. Bivalves and their parasites do not exist in a vacuum, but within a complex ecosystem. (Back to Dave Bushek's First Page)

Bivalve molluscs often serve prominent roles in the ecology of estuarine and coastal ecosystems. For example, the eastern oyster Crassostrea virginica is a reef-forming, filter feeding bivalve that lives in estuaries along the east and gulf coasts of North America. Oyster reefs perform a variety of ecological roles that contribute significantly to the structure and function of the coastal ecosystems in which they exist. They form a unique habitat that supports an abundance of taxonomically diverse species. They stabilize banks and bottom sediments and serve as both active and passive filters as waters pass over them. Moreover, the metabolic activity of the oysters and other organisms associated with the reefs actively couple benthic and pelagic communities. In a broad sense, the ecological role of oyster reefs is gaining appreciation, but much remains to be learned. (Back to Dave Bushek's First Page)

[Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory]