Erin  Shields

Lead Scientist

Email: eshields@vims.edu
Phone: (804) 684-7702
Office: Andrews Hall 334A
Department: Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

Education

M.S. Marine Science. College of William and Mary, School of Marine Science, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, 2008.

B.A. Biology. Connecticut College, 2004.

Research Interests

My research focuses on the ecology of estuarine environments of the Chesapeake Bay. In particular, I am interested in submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) communities.  My current projects include monitoring of eelgrass abundance in the York River, and relating monthly and yearly changes to changes in water quality, particularly light availability and water temperature. We have tracked multiple large-scale declines in eelgrass abundance in the lower Chesapeake Bay that are related in part to increased summer water temperatures, and are now monitoring the recovery from these events. I also manage our SeagrassNet monitoring site in Chincoteague Bay, MD. I am involved in the collection and synthesis of data for the Virginia Estuarine and Coastal Observing System (VECOS) http://web2.vims.edu/vecos/.

Publications:

Shields, E.C., D.B. Parrish, K.A. Moore. 2019. Short-Term Temperature Stress Results in Seagrass Community Shift in a Temperate Estuary. Estuaries and Coasts doi:10.1007/s12237-019-00517-1

Shields, E.C., K.A. Moore, D.B. Parrish. 2018. Adaptations by Zostera marina dominated seagrass meadows in response to water quality and climate forcing. Diversity 10, 125.

Jul Hammer, K., J. Borum, H. Hasler-Sheetal, E.C. Shields, K. Sand-Jensen, K.A. Moore. 2018. High temperatures cause reduced growth, plant death and metabolic changes in eelgrass, Zostera marina L. Marine Ecology Progress Series 604: 121-132.

Shields, E.C., K.A. Moore. 2016. Effects of sediment and salinity on the growth and competitive abilities of three submersed macrophytes. Aquatic Botany 132: 24-29.

Moore, K.A., E.C. Shields, D.B. Parrish. 2014. Impacts of varying estuarine temperature and light conditions on Zostera marina (Eelgrass) and its interactions with Ruppia maritima (Widgeongrass). Estuaries and Coasts 37: 20-30.

Shields, E.C., K.A. Moore, D.B. Parrish. 2012. Influences of salinity and light availability on abundance and distribution of tidal freshwater and oligohaline submersed aquatic vegetation. Estuaries and Coasts 35: 515-526.

Moore, K.A., E.C.  Shields, D.B. Parrish, R.J. Orth. 2012. Eelgrass survival in two contrasting systems: role of turbidity and summer water temperatures.  Marine Ecology Progress Series 448: 247-258.

Moore, K.A., B. Neikirk, E. Shields, D. Parrish. 2010. Water Quality Conditions and Restoration of Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAV) in the Tidal Freshwater James River 2009. Special Report No. 426 in Applied Marine Science and Ocean Engineering. Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Gloucester Point, Va 39p. 

Moore, K.A., E.C. Shields, J.C. Jarvis. 2010. The role of habitat and herbivory on the restoration of tidal freshwater submerged aquatic vegetation populations. Restoration Ecology 18(4): 596-604.

Moore, K.A., B. Neikirk, E.Shields, D. Parrish. 2009. Water Quality Conditions and Restoration of Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAV) in the Tidal Freshwater James River 2008. Special Report No. 413 in Applied Marine Science and Ocean Engineering.  Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Gloucester Point, Va 65p. 

Moore, K.A., B. Neikirk, E. Shields, J. Jarvis, D. Parrish. 2008. Water Quality Conditions and Restoration of Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAV) in the Tidal Freshwater James River 2007. Special Report No. 401 in Applied Marine Science and Ocean Engineering. Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Gloucester Point, Va 63p.                

Shields, E. and C. Weidman. 2008.  A quantitative approach to characterizing hypoxic events. Journal of Coastal Research 55: 50-58.