Amanda Wenczel
Graduate Student & Aquaculture Development Specialist
(609) 984-2502 or (609) 337-0045
Mailing Address:
  New Jersey Department of Agriculture
  Office of Aquaculture Coordination
  P.O. Box 330
  Trenton, NJ 08625-0330
amanda wenczel


2010-Present: Rutgers University, Graduate Program in Ecology & Evolution
M.M.P. 2007 University of Delaware
B.A. 2004 Smith College


Research Interests

Broadly, my research interests lie at the intersection of marine ecology and natural resources policy/management.  I am drawn to the study of ecosystem services provided by marine invertebrates, coupled with the restoration of coastal habitat and associated resources.  Increasingly, bivalve shellfish restoration projects are recognized and promoted for the beneficial services restored bivalves populations provide, such as biofiltration, habitat provision, and shore stabilization.  This has created an intriguing platform for the study of shellfish services and the management tools employed to promote movement towards a healthier ecosystem. 


Current Research

Currently, I am focusing my doctoral studies on the interactions of restored and existing populations of bivalve shellfish.  The goal of my research is to determine if the restoration of native bivalve populations has an effect on the feeding rates and food preferences of the bivalves already present at a restoration site.  This work stems from the Living Shorelines work in Delaware Bay where ribbed mussels (Geukensia demissa) are being used as a component of marsh restoration projects.  Although the seaward growth of the marsh is a visible sign of the positive effects of these projects, it is still unknown what underlying changes are taking place at the restored locations.  My research utilizes shellfish aquaculture methodology and particle imaging technology to obtain a better understanding of the potential changes to food resources in proximity to the restoration sites. 


[Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory]