Susan Ford
Professor Emeritus
(757) 645-3163
Mailing Address:
  Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory
  6959 Miller Avenue
  Port Norris, NJ 08349 USA


Ph.D. 1984 Duke University
B.A. 1978 Rutgers University 


Research Interests

My broad research interests are on the interactions of shellfish pathogens with their hosts and the environment. I have studied the temporal and spatial distribution of parasites, the effect of climate change on this distribution, the impact of disease on growth, survival and reproduction in natural populations, resistance in natural and selected populations of bivalves, and the interactions between bivalve hemocytes and pathogens. I have also been involved in projects focusing on identifying etiological agents of disease outbreaks, on molecular characterization of parasites and hosts, on mathematical modeling of host-parasite interactions and methods to minimize the deleterious impacts of disease on commercially important shellfish.  

Click here to download a copy of my Curriculum Vitae


Current Research Projects

• Genetic markers of resistance to oyster herpes virus infection in the Pacific Oyster, Crassostrea gigas (University of Caen, Lower Normandy, France)

• Abrupt phenotypic change in Perkinsus marinus on the east coast of the US (Virginia Institute of Marine Scienc)


Selected Publications

Ross, A.C., R.G. Najjar, M. Li, M.E. Mann, S.E. Ford and B. Katz. (2015) Influences on decadal-scale variations of salinity in a coastal plain estuary. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 157:79-92. doi:10.1016/j.ecss.2015.01.022

Munroe, D. M., Powell, E. N., Ford, S., Hofmann, E. E.  and Klinck, J. M. (2015) Consequences of asymmetric selection pressure and larval dispersal on the evolution of disease resistance; a metapopulation modeling study with oysters. Molecular Ecology. 531:221-239. doi: 10.3354/meps11349.

He, Y., Jouaux, A., Ford, S. Lelong, C., Sourdaine, P., Mathieu, M. and Guo, X. (2015) Transcriptome analysis reveals novel antiviral response in a mollusc.  Fish & Shellfish Immunol.

Burge, C.A., C.M.,Eakin, C.S. Friedman, B. Froelich, P.K. Hershberger, E.E. Hofmann, L.E. Petes, K.C. Prager, E. Weil, B.L. Willis, S.E. Ford and C.D. Harvell (2014) Climate Change Influences on Marine Infectious Diseases: Implications for Management and Society. Ann. Rev. Marine Science. Vol. 6, 249-277.

Paillard C., F. Jean, S.E. Ford, E.N. Powell, J.M. Klinck, E.E. Hofmann, J. Flye-Sainte-Marie. (2014) A Theoretical individual-based model of Brown Ring Disease in Manila clams, Venerupes philippinarum.   J. Sea Research 91:15-34. doi:10.1016/j.seares.2014.03.005

Ford, S. E. and D. Bushek (2012) Development of resistance to an introduced marine pathogen by a native host. J. Mar. Res. 70:205-223.

Ford, S. E., E. Scarpa, D. Bushek (2012) Spatial and temporal variability of disease refuges in an estuary: Implications for the development of resistance. J. Mar. Res. 70:253-277.

Wilbur, A., J. Gauthier, S. Ford and M. Gomez-Chiarri (2012) Use of a quantitative PCR assay to determine prevalence and intensity of MSX (Haplosporidium nelsoni) in North Carolina and Rhode Island oysters (Crassostrea virginica). Dis. Aquat. Org. 102:107–118.

Elston, R. A. and S.E. Ford (2010) Shellfish Diseases and Health Management. (2011) Chapt. 13 In “Shellfish Aquaculture and the Environment”, S. Shumway, Editor.  Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK, pp. 359-394

Ford, S. E., B. Allam and Z. Xu (2009) Using bivalves as particle collectors and PCR detection to investigate the environmental distribution of Haplosporidium nelsoni., Dis. Aquatic Org. 83:159-168.

Ford, S. E, V. M. Bricelj, C. Lambert and C. Paillard (2008) Deleterious effects of a non-PST bioactive compound(s) of Alexandrium tamarense on bivalve hemocytes. Mar. Biol. 154:241-253.

Maloy, A.P., S.E. Ford, R. Karney and K.J. Boettcher (2007) Roseovarius crassostreae, the etiological agent of Juvenile Oyster Disease in Crassostrea virginica. Aquaculture 269:71-83.

Ford, S.E. and M.M. Chintala (2006) Northward expansion of a marine parasite: Testing the role of cold adaptation. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 339:226-235.

Lafferty, K.D, J.A. Porter and S.E. Ford (2004) Are diseases increasing in the ocean? Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 35:31-54.

Ford, S.E., M.M. Chintala and D. Bushek (2002) Comparison of in vitro cultured and natural Perkinsus marinus I.  Pathogen virulence. Dis. Aquat. Org. 51:187-201.

Ford, S.E., Z. Xu and G. DeBrosse (2001) Use of particle filtration and UV irradiation to prevent infection by Haplosporidium nelsoni (MSX) and Perkinsus marinus (Dermo) in hatchery-reared larval and juvenile oysters. Aquaculture 194:37-49.

Ford, S.E., E.N. Powell, J.M. Klinck and E.E. Hofmann (1999) Modeling the MSX parasite in the eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica).  I. Model development, implementation and verification. J. Shellfish Res. 18 (2):475-500.

Ford, S.E.  (1996) Range extension by the oyster parasite Perkinsus marinus  into the northeastern United States: response to climate change?  J. Shellfish Res. 15:45-56.

[Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory]