Downeast Institute welcomed our inaugural pair of Downeast Institute (DEI) Fellows in May.

The Fellowship allows PhD student Raymond Czaja from Stony Brook University and graduate student Alexandria Ambrose from Rutgers University to conduct summer research at Downeast Institute’s world-class marine research facility.

Downeast Fellow Alexandria Ambrose

Alexandria Ambrose

Evaluating Mussel Farms as Marine Habitat
Alex’s research observes and documents the ecosystem services that Maine’s long-line mussel farms create vertically in the water column. She uses underwater video to record how species interact with the mussel lines.

Her research is part of a larger regional project led by the NOAA Milford Lab and will help to create tools that can be used in farm permitting decision-making.




Raymond Czaja

Understanding How Sea Scallop and Atlantic Surfclams Respond to Climate Change Impacts
Raymond will continue to investigate how high value commercial shellfisheries will be effected by climate change. This year he will use DEI’s expanded ocean acidification laboratory to see how Atlantic surfclam and sea scallop larvae grow and survive under different temperatures and food (phytoplankton) levels.

The results of his lab experiments will be used to model larval development from the Gulf of Maine through the Middle Atlantic Bight at hindcasted and present-day conditions to assess if habitat suitability has shifted through time.

Alex and Ray will complete their projects over the summer at Downeast Institute. Learn more about their research at the upcoming Downeast Institute Climate Change Seminars taking place July 12 and July 19 at noon. Learn more here. RSVP by contacting Sara Randall ( or 259-5092).

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