David Bushek
Director & Professor
(856) 391-7653
Mailing Address:
  Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory
  6959 Miller Avenue
  Port Norris, NJ  08349 USA


Ph.D. 1994 Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
M.S. 1987 University of Houston
B.S. 1984 The Ohio State University

Research Interests

The predominant thrust of my research concerns host-parasite interactions in bivalve molluscs. A second focus aims to enhance our understanding of the ecological impact of bivalves, particularly the eastern oyster, at the population, community and ecosystem levels.

Current Research Projects

• Development of the Regional Shellfish Biosecurity Program (RSSBP), which includes a set of BMPs for shellfish hatcheries and a mechanism to demonstrate compliance, an interactive molluscan shellfish database that will ultimately cover shellfish from Maine to Texas, and a Shellfish Health Advisory Council that can be called upon to assist with shellfish biosecurity issues.

• DELSI = Delaware Estuary Living Shoreline Initiative (PDE, TNC, USFWS):

Delaware Bay New Jersey Oyster Stock Assessment and Long-term Monitoring of Disease and Mortality.

• Interactions between oyster farms, horseshoe crabs and red knots.

Recent and Selected Publications

Morris, R. L., M. K. La Peyre, B. M. Webb, D. A. Marshall, D. M. Bilkovic, J. Cebrian, G. McClenachan, K. M. Kibler, L. J. Walters, D. Bushek, E. L. Sparks, N. A. Temple, J. Moody, K. Angstadt, J. Goff, M. Boswell, P. Sacks, & S. E. Swearer. (2021). Large-scale variation in wave attenuation of oyster reef living shorelines and the influence of inundation duration. Ecological Applications. Advance online publication. DOI: 10.1002/eap.2382

Maslo, B., J. C. Burkhalter, D. Bushek, T. Yuhas, B. Schumm, J. Burger, & J. L. Lockwood. (2020). Assessing conservation conflict: Does intertidal oyster aquaculture inhibit foraging behavior of migratory shorebirds? Ecosphere, 11 (5): e03097. DOI: 10.1002/ecs2.3097 -or- Full article

Behringer, D. C., C. L. Wood, M. Krkosek, & D. Bushek. (2020). Disease in fisheries and aquaculture. In D. C. Behringer, B. R. Silliman, & K. D. Lafferty (Eds.), Marine Disease Ecology (pp. 183-212). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. 
Retrieved from

Yeh, H., S. A. Skubel, H. Patel, D. C. Shi, D. Bushek, & M. L. Chikindas. (2020). From farm to fingers: An exploration of probiotics for oysters, from production to human consumption. (2020). Probiotics and Antimicrobial Proteins Online First. DOI: 10.1007/s12602-019-09629-3 -or- Full article

Morris, R. L., D. M. Bilkovic, M. K. Boswell, D. Bushek, J. Cebrian, J. Goff, K. M. Kibler, M. K. La Peyre, G. McClenachan, J. Moody, P. Sacks, J. P. Shinn, E. L. Sparks, N. A. Temple, L. J. Walters, B. M. Webb, & S. E. Swearer. (2019). The application of oyster reefs in shoreline protection: Are we over‐engineering for an ecosystem engineer? Journal of Applied Ecology, 56 (7), 1703-1711. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.13390

Ben-Horin, T., C. A. Burge, D. Bushek, M. L. Groner, D. A. Proestou, L. I. Huey, G. Bidegain, & R. B. Carnegie. (2018). Intensive oyster aquaculture can reduce disease impacts on sympatric wild oysters. Aquaculture Environment Interactions, 10, 557–567. DOI: 10.3354/aei00290

Morson, J. M., D. M. Munroe, K. Ashton-Alcox, E. N. Powell, D. Bushek, & J. Gius. (2018). Density-dependent capture efficiency of a survey dredge and its influence on the stock assessment of eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica) in Delaware Bay. Fisheries Research, 205, 115-121. DOI: 10.1016/j.fishres.2018.04.012

Bushek, D., & S. E. Ford. (2016). Anthropogenic impacts on an oyster metapopulation: Pathogen introduction, climate change and responses to natural selection. Elementa Science of the Anthropocene, 4: 000119. DOI: 10.12952/journal.elementa.000119

Carnegie, R. B., I. Arzul, & D. Bushek. (2016). Managing marine mollusc diseases in the context of regional and international commerce: Policy issues and emerging concerns. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 371 (1689), 11pp. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2015.0215

Dungan, C. F., & D. Bushek. (2015). Development and applications of Ray's fluid thioglycollate media for detection and manipulation of Perkinsus spp. pathogens of marine molluscs. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology, 131, 68–82. DOI: 10.1016/j.jip.2015.05.004

Ben-Horin, T., G. Bidegain, L. Huey, D. A. Narváez, & D. Bushek. (2015). Parasite transmission through suspension feeding. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology, 131, 155–176. DOI: 10.1016/j.jip.2015.07.006

Baggett, L. P., S. P. Powers, R. D. Brumbaugh, L. D. Coen, B. M. DeAngelis, J. K. Greene, B. T. Hancock, S. M. Morlock, B. L. Allen, D. L. Breitburg, D. Bushek, J. H. Grabowski, R. E. Grizzle, E. D. Grosholz, M. K. La Peyre, M. W. Luckenbach, K. A. McGraw, M. F. Piehler, S. R. Westby, & P. S. E. zu Ermgassen. (2015). Guidelines for evaluating performance of oyster habitat restoration. Restoration Ecology, 23 (6), 737–745. DOI: 10.1111/rec.12262

Ford, S. E., & D. Bushek. (2012). Development of resistance to an introduced marine pathogen by a native host. Journal of Marine Research 70 (2-3), 205-223. DOI: 10.1357/002224012802851922

Bushek, D., S. E. Ford, & I. Burt. (2012). Long-term patterns of an estuarine pathogen along a salinity gradient. Journal of Marine Research, 70 (2-3), 225-251. DOI: 10.1357/002224012802851968

Ford, S. E., E. Scarpa, & D. Bushek. (2012). Spatial and temporal variability of disease refuges in an estuary: Implications for the development of resistance. Journal of Marine Research 70 (2-3), 253-277. DOI: 10.1357/002224012802851850

Ford, S. E., J. Paterno, E. Scarpa, N. A. Stokes, Y. Kim, E. N. Powell, & D. Bushek. (2011). Widespread survey finds no evidence of Haplosporidium nelsoni (MSX) in Gulf of Mexico oysters. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, 93 (3), 251-256. DOI: 10.3354/dao02306

Taylor, J., & D. Bushek. (2008). Intertidal oyster reefs can persist and function in a temperate North American Atlantic estuary. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 361, 301-306. DOI: 10.3354/meps07429

Coen L. D., R. D. Brumbaugh, D. Bushek, R. Grizzle, M. W. Luckenbach, M. H. Posey, S. P. Powers, & G. S. Tolley. (2007). AS WE SEE IT: Ecosystem services related to oyster restoration. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 341, 303-307. DOI: 10.3354/meps341303

Bushek, D., M. Heidenreich, & D. Porter. (2007). The effects of several common anthropogenic contaminants on proliferation of the parasitic oyster pathogen Perkinsus marinus. Marine Environmental Research, 64 (4), 535-540. DOI: 10.1016/j.marenvres.2007.03.004

Allen, D. M., S. S. Haertel-Borer, B. J. Milan, D. Bushek, & R. D. Dame. (2007). Geomorphological determinants of nekton use of intertidal salt marsh creeks. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 329, 57-71. DOI: 10.3354/meps329057

Ellin, R., & D. Bushek. (2006). Adaptation of Ray's fluid thioglycollate medium assay to detect and quantify planktonic stages of Perkinsus spp. parasites. Journal of Shellfish Research, 25 (3), 1037-1042. DOI: 10.2983/0730-8000(2006)25[1037:AORFTM]2.0.CO;2

Bushek, D., & S. Boyd. (2006). Seasonal abundance and occurrence of the Asian isopod Synidotea laevidorsalis in Delaware Bay, USA. Biological Invasions, 8 (4), 697-702. DOI: 10.1007/s10530-005-2890-5

Bushek, D., D. Richardson, M. Y. Bobo, & L. D. Coen. (2004). Quarantine of oyster shell cultch reduces the abundance of Perkinsus marinus. Journal of Shellfish Research, 23 (2), 369-373.

Bushek, D., S. E. Ford, & M. M. Chintala. (2002). Comparison of in vitro cultured and wild-type Perkinsus marinus III. Fecal elimination and its role in transmission. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, 51 (3), 217-225. DOI: 10.3354/dao051217

Reece, K. S., D. Bushek, K. L. Hudson, & J. E. Graves. (2001). Geographic distribution of Perkinsus marinus genetic strains along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the USA. Marine Biology, 139, 1047-1055. DOI: 10.1007/s002270100657

Bushek, D., & S. K. Allen, Jr. (1996). Host-parasite interactions among broadly distributed populations of the eastern oyster Crassostrea virginica and the protozoan Perkinsus marinus. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 139, 127-141. DOI: 10.3354/meps139127

Bushek, D., & G. N. Cameron. (1992). Recruitment and reproduction of the Asiatic clam (Corbicula fluminea) in southeastern Texas. The Texas Journal of Science, 44 (1), 123-127.

Bushek, D. (1988). Settlement as a major determinant of intertidal oyster and barnacle distributions along a horizontal gradient. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 122 (1), 1-18. DOI: 10.1016/0022-0981(88)90208-0

Courses Taught




Oceanographic Methods & Data Analysis

Current Post-Doctoral Researchers

Past Post-Doctoral Researchers

Tal Ben-Horin

Host pathogen interactions in marine and estuarine systems

Paola Lopez-Duarte

Can elemental signatures from larval shells reveal source populations of settling oyster larvae?

Current Students

Heidi Yeh Ph.D.

Oyster microbiome dynamics

Elizabeth Bouchard M.S.

Horseshoe crab egg distributions in relation to intertidal oyster aquaculture

Emma Huntzinger B.S.

GH Cook Senior Thesis: Oyster recruitment to a novel cement

Past Students

Grace Jackson RIOS Intern

Creating fevers in oysters to control dermo disease

Rachel Eggleston RIOS Intern

Long-term shifts in timing of oyster reproduction in Delaware Bay

Casey Jones RIOS Intern

Sea level rise impacts on horseshoe crabs and red knots

Amanda Wenczel Ph.D. (2018)

Filter feeder impacts in estuarine ecosystems

Mike DiLorenzo B.S. (2017)

Summer Intern - shellfish hatchery phytoplankton cultivation

Bree Cerione B.S. (2016)

Summer Intern - Living shoreline nekton use and oyster monitoring

Jenny Paterno M.S. (2015)

Assessment of fish utilization on an oyster restoration area in the Delaware Bay

Emily Scarpa M.S. (2013)

Cilliate Xenomas in Crassostrea virginica from Great Bay, New Hampshire

Joshua Moody M.S. (2012)

The relationship of the ribbed mussel, Geukensia demissa, to shoreline erosion in Delaware Bay


President 2007-2009, National Shellfisheries Association

[Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory]