2023 OA Fellow Alyssa Goncalves with some of the juvenile soft-shell clams that are part of her experiment.

Downeast Institute is pleased to announce our Fall 2023 Fellow, Alyssa Goncalves. Alyssa is a master’s student at UMass Boston in the Poynton Lab, which studies toxicology.

While at Downeast Institute she is collaborating on an experiment taking place in our Ocean Acidification Laboratory which looks at the effects of sediment buffering with shell hash and its effect on gene expression in soft-shell clams. The State of Maine’s Coastal Program is a partner in this research and the shell hash for this experiment was collected by their Oyster Shell Recycling Program of 2019. Alyssa’s fellowship continues throughout the Fall 2023 semester.
This work builds off previous field research done by Downeast Institute about the effects of adding shell hash to mudflats in efforts to create a more favorable environment for recruiting juvenile shellfish to survive and grow. See details about the utility of sediment buffering in our 2019 experiment, and our 2014, 2015, and 2016 field experiments, the results of which were published in the Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. Also see our 2018 field experiments looking at how sediment and seawater chemistry affect clam survival, growth, and recruitment.
Originally from New York, she is enjoying her stay in Beals.
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