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Research

Virginia Sea Grant offers funding opportunities for researchers, graduate students, and undergraduate students.

Before applying for any Virginia Sea Grant funding, make sure your project fits within the goals of our 2010-2014 Strategic Plan.


Annual Research Portfolios


Featured Research Stories


Could State-of-the-Art Management Make Shellfish Disease Problems Worse?

Could State-of-the-Art Management Make Shellfish Disease Problems Worse?

Current shellfish disease management might let new diseases slip by.

Extension Leads Conversation on Whelk Management Toward Sustainability

Extension Leads Conversation on Whelk Management Toward Sustainability

Bob Fisher hopes that changing whelk management will take stress off both populations and fisheries.

Community-University Collaboration for Coastal Resilience

Community-University Collaboration for Coastal Resilience

During conference work sessions, participants will assess and prioritize community needs and develop service-learning activities which address coastal resilience and match community needs with university resources.

Tools & Training to Support Virginia’s Shellfish Aquaculture Industry

Tools & Training to Support Virginia’s Shellfish Aquaculture Industry

Virginia’s $55 Billion shellfish aquaculture industry relies on proper water quality, the effective management of shellfish pathogens to continue meeting rising demand. Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) and Virginia Tech will collaborate to translate existing research into support tools, manuals, web sites, and workshops for use by commercial shellfish hatcheries and nursery operations in […]

Studying Oysters Subjected to Red Tides in York River (SLIDESHOW)

Studying Oysters Subjected to Red Tides in York River (SLIDESHOW)

This summer, there were some big blooms of the rust-colored algae, Alexandrium monilatum, in Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Virginia Sea Grant Graduate Research Fellow Sarah Pease is studying this algae and whether the toxin it produces could affect oyster or human health.

Modeling Where to Find Blue Crab

Modeling Where to Find Blue Crab

The blue crab, a highly important species in the Chesapeake Bay, has suffered a decline in population over the past years. New regulations, such as reducing the female harvest by approximately one-third, have helped, but the population is still recovering slowly. Romuald Lipcius and Jian Shen of Virginia Institute of Marine Science will study whether […]

Good News for Chesapeake Bay Seagrass Facing Climate Change?

Good News for Chesapeake Bay Seagrass Facing Climate Change?

This summer, Virginia Sea Grant-funded researchers reported a surprising finding about climate change and seagrass in Chesapeake Bay.

Improving Success in Building Oyster Reefs for Restoration

Improving Success in Building Oyster Reefs for Restoration

With a declining oyster population in the Chesapeake Bay, there has been a large effort to rebuild reefs. Melissa Karp of Virginia Institute of Marine Science will analyze characteristics of habitats to determine how to best improve future oyster reef restoration. Her research will explore the effects of structural complexity and location on the species […]

Establishing Whether York River Sampling Could Predict Fish Populations in Chesapeake Bay

Establishing Whether York River Sampling Could Predict Fish Populations in Chesapeake Bay

Atlantic croaker, American eel, and Atlantic menhaden all use the Chesapeake Bay as a nursery area during their early life stages. However, fish tend to have high mortality rates in their early lives, making this a critical stage in influencing future populations. Cindy Marin Martinez of Virginia Institute of Marine Science will collect samples in […]

Investigating Whether Genes are Related to Mortality in Oysters Bred for Aquaculture

Investigating Whether Genes are Related to Mortality in Oysters Bred for Aquaculture

Oyster aquaculture, a quickly growing industry, creates jobs, a sustainable food source and relieves pressure on wild oyster populations. Now after growers across Virginia reported especially high mortality rates for the summer of 2014, Joseph Matt of Virginia Institute of Marine Science will investigate cross breeding as a possible cause for the mortality event. Some […]

Upstream Microbes: A Piece to the Nitrogen Puzzle for Chesapeake Bay

Upstream Microbes: A Piece to the Nitrogen Puzzle for Chesapeake Bay

Due to human activities, there has been an increase in the levels of nitrogen in bodies of water such as the Chesapeake Bay. Joseph Morina of Virginia Commonwealth University will explore the upstream systems that transport excess nutrient and sediments into the Bay. Specifically, he will be investigating how the tidal cycle affects microbial nitrogen […]

How Seagrass Affect Greenhouse Gases

How Seagrass Affect Greenhouse Gases

Greenhouse gas emissions constitute a major topic of discussion in environmental science. However, there is a lack of knowledge regarding how seagrass beds release gases such as methane and nitrous oxide. Matthew Oreska of the University of Virginia plans to study restored Zostera marina beds in Virginia and publish the first greenhouse gas release measurements […]

A Predator-Prey Relationship between Blue Catfish & Blue Crab?

A Predator-Prey Relationship between Blue Catfish & Blue Crab?

In recent years, certain Chesapeake Bay fisheries have suffered. One cause is the decline in the blue crab harvest. Joseph Schmitt of Virginia Tech plans to investigate the role blue catfish play in the decline of crab as well as in the Bay as a whole. Blue catfish, a non-native species, are believed to prey […]

Affect of Parasitic Nematode on American Eel

Affect of Parasitic Nematode on American Eel

The decreasing population and increasing demand for American eel, a data-poor species, creates a dilemma worth researching. Zoemma Warshafsky of Virginia Institute of Marine Science will investigate the parasitic nematode Anguillicoloides crassus as a possible culprit. Researchers in other parts of the world found the nematode to be harmful to eels native to their own […]

Investigating Wave Energy and Living Shoreline Plants

Investigating Wave Energy and Living Shoreline Plants

Natural disasters inflicting damage on coastal areas bring about the need to protect coasts in cost- and environmentally-friendly ways. One solution, living shorelines, is a method for stabilizing a shoreline with  plants or other natural materials as opposed to a hard structure like rock revetment, which can be costly. Additionally, living shorelines can provide a […]

Tracking Fish Mortality with a New Model and Historic Data

Tracking Fish Mortality with a New Model and Historic Data

When Todd Gedamke was a graduate student at VIMS, he and his advisor John Hoenig developed a new model to track fish mortality. Now, Hoenig and his current student are extending the model to include additional types of data.

Fellow Looks at Oyster Genes and Survival

Fellow Looks at Oyster Genes and Survival

Joseph Matt will examine whether there is a relationship between oyster brood stock origin and triploid mortality, which could help commercial growers make more informed decisions about the oysters they plant.

Fellow to Study Young Eel, Croaker, Menhaden

Fellow to Study Young Eel, Croaker, Menhaden

Cindy Marin Martinez’s research will focus on three important species in the Chesapeake Bay: Atlantic croaker, American eel, and Atlantic menhaden. She hopes to determine whether the population of larval fishes in the York River is a good proxy for the amount of larval fishes moving into the Bay.

Fellow Researches Nutrients in Coastal Virginia Wetlands

Fellow Researches Nutrients in Coastal Virginia Wetlands

Joseph Morina will research the nutrient cycling of wetlands and the effects this has on downstream coastal ecosystems. He will also study the response of these systems to increasing sea levels, saltwater intrusion, and other effects of climate change.

Fellow Studies Blue Catfish in Chesapeake Bay

Fellow Studies Blue Catfish in Chesapeake Bay

Since their introduction, blue catfish in the Chesapeake Bay have grown numerous and large. Joseph Schmitt will research blue catfish as a non-native species in Virginia.

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