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A Tale of Three Estuaries: An Emerging Story of Lobsters and Range-Expanding Species in the Gulf of Maine

Monday, December 11, 2023, 12:00pm – 1:00pm

Join Helen Cheng to learn about her research studying lobsters, blue crabs, and black sea bass in the Gulf of Maine.


Not Required


  • Suggested Donation: $5.00


Mather Auditorium

This event is handicap accessible

The American lobster is iconic to the Gulf of Maine region. However, range-expanding species such as blue crabs and black sea bass are becoming more common in this region, and this is likely to impact food-webs, ecosystem function, and local economies that rely on the American lobster fishery. Several studies have been conducted to look at the distribution of lobsters and range-expanding species throughout the Gulf of Maine estuaries, and the interactions and effects of these novel species on lobster. This presentation will introduce preliminary findings of a multi-state trap survey looking at the distribution of lobsters and novel species and a laboratory experiment examining the interactions between lobsters, blue crabs, and black sea bass. Unearthing the story of lobsters with novel range-expanding species provides a glimpse of a rapidly changing Gulf of Maine ecosystem.

About the Presenter

Helen Cheng is a Ph.D. Candidate at Northeastern University and a Margaret A. Davidson Graduate Fellow hosted at Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve. Her research focuses on the ecological and socio-economic impacts of range-expanding species on the American lobster fishery. Prior to Northeastern University, Helen worked at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Sea Grant Office as a John A. Knauss Fellow, where she was introduced to marine policy at the federal level, and at New York Sea Grant as the Coastal Resilience Extension Specialist based in New York City, working on the translation and communication of relevant science and local knowledge of climate and urban ecological issues to inform decision-making and research. In her free time, Helen enjoys paddleboarding, traveling, and cooking and baking.

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