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Science Speaker Series

July 14, 2021 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Maria Mitchell Association:

Closing ‘Vacationland’ to Green Crabs: Research, Monitoring, and Collaborative Initiatives for a Prolific Invasive Species in the Gulf of Maine


Concerns from fishers and shellfish farmers are growing over historical and recent impacts of the invasive green crab (Carcinas maenas) in coastal and estuarine systems. In Maine, green crabs feed on economically important bivalve species and compete with other native crustacean species, reducing overall ecosystem stability. Challenges in farming green crabs include an inability to identify and adequately target soft-shelled crabs, coupled with a lack of knowledge of where and when molting crabs aggregate, in order to maximize a large and consistent supply of soft-shelled crab product. Dr. Goldstein and his team at the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve are currently engaged in complementary approaches, including the determination of molt stage and timing, traditional trapping, and acoustic telemetry to evaluate crab use of estuaries within the context of their molting cycle. Collectively, the Wells Reserve’s efforts may allow harvesters the potential to access an underutilized species and help to inform management and mitigation of this invasive species in vulnerable estuarine and coastal ecosystems.

Dr. Jason Goldstein is the Director of Research at the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve. He is developing, and actively participating in, ecological research and monitoring programs that advance knowledge and understanding of coastal ecosystems, habitats, and natural resources in the Gulf of Maine. Dr. Goldstein’s area of research expertise focuses on crustacean ecology and fisheries, with particular emphasis on clawed lobster, and the effects of climate change on reproduction, physiology, and movement ecology. Dr. Goldstein holds a Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of New Hampshire, a MS in Marine Ecology from Old Dominion University, and a BS in Biology from UMass Dartmouth. Jason also served as a Fulbright Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Haifa in Israel. Dr. Goldstein currently holds research and teaching affiliations at the University of New Hampshire School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering, The University of New England, and York County Community College in Maine.


July 14, 2021
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm