Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Research Topics

Follow your interests to learn about VIMS research and its impacts

Here's a one-stop shop to learn about the impacts of VIMS research. Choose a topic  to access related Top Stories, Advisory Service reports,  journal articles, theses and dissertations, and a listing of affiliated labs, projects, and centers.

Blue Crabs

VIMS provides the science to help sustainably manage this Chesapeake Bay icon.


VIMS leads efforts to restore the native oyster and develop oyster aquaculture.


Submerged aquatic vegetation provides refuge and food for many Bay organisms but is under threat from cloudy waters and rising temperatures.

Aquatic Diseases & Immunity

Traditional and modern techniques help identify disease organisms and the genetic basis of immunity.

Coastal Economies & Recreation

Sustainable management of marine resources helps build strong and vibrant coastal communities. 

Coastal Research

Wise management of coastal resources requires a clear understanding of wetlands, dunes, and shoreline erosion.


VIMS researchers pursue efforts to monitor, restore, and manage wild fisheries.

Global Change

Climate change, sea-level rise, and nutrient pollution threaten coastal and estuarine ecosystems.

Marine Life & Processes

VIMS research illuminates the biology of marine organisms and the biogeochemical and food-web processes that connect them.

Observing & Modelling

Computer models plus real-time data help predict storm surge, sediment transport, and food-web dynamics.


Toxicologists at VIMS detect, identify, and assess the risks of marine pollutants.

By Region

Map VIMS research activities in Chesapeake Bay and around the globe.

Dead Zones

VIMS research shows that the number of "dead zones"—areas of seafloor with too little oxygen for most marine life— increased by a third between 1995 and 2007.


VIMS research plays a key role in efforts to restore Atlantic sturgeon to Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.


VIMS researchers pursue efforts to guide aquaculture development.