Research Programs

The mission of the Department of Aquatic Health Sciences is to identify and detect toxicological, pathobiological, biochemical agents and other environmental and ecological stressors in aquatic systems, with a focus on the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed, which affect the health of aquatic organisms and surrounding human populations.

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Aquatic Toxicology

Research within this program focuses on the ecology, ecotoxicology, and chemistry of natural toxins synthesized by microorganisms in freshwater, estuarine and marine ecosystems.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Juliette Smith

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Crustacean Diseases

This program focuses on the epidemiology, etiology, ecology, and pathology of diseases affecting crustaceans, with an emphasis on crabs and lobsters

Principal Investigator: Dr. Jeffrey Shields

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Environmental Chemistry

Research in environmental chemistry addresses the sources, transport, fate, bioavailability, and impacts of contaminants in ecosystems.

Principal Investigators: Dr. Rob Hale, Dr. Drew Luellen, Dr. Michael Unger

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Evolutionary and Ecological Medicine

The Evolutionary and Ecological Medicine lab focuses on utilizing evolutionary and ecological theory to guide disease management.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Andrew Wargo

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Histopathology

Investigations into abnormalities in structure and function at the cellular and organismal level are conducted.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Wolfgang Vogelbein

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Marine and Aquaculture Molecular Genetics

Molecular ecology and genetic studies of aquaculture species, HABs, and aquatic pathogens.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Kimberly Reece

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Molluscan Health

The VIMS Shellfish Pathology Laboratory studies the pathology and parasitology of species like oysters and clams, with the management of shellfish health in aquaculture and the wild a core focus.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Ryan Carnegie