Monster Seminar Jam: Melissa Ward
The NWFSC's science seminar series features weekly presentations from our scientists and colleagues.
Melissa Ward, PhD, Postdoctoral Researcher (San Diego State University) is presenting a talk, "Adapting to environmental change: Strategies for West Coast shellfish growers."
The shellfish aquaculture industry along the West Coast is particularly vulnerable to OA, given the negative effects of low pH on shellfish survival and growth. The social-ecological system exemplified by this industry serves as an opportunity to identify and address strategies for local adaptation. Through interviews conducted with West Coast shellfish growers, we find that growers are concerned about OA, among many other environmental stressors such as marine pathogens and water temperature. However, growers are often unable to attribute changes in shellfish survival or health to these environmental factors due to a lack of data and the resources and network required to acquire and interpret these data. From these interviews, we identify a list of adaptive strategies growers employ or would like to employ to improve their overall adaptive capacity to multiple stressors (environmental, economic, political), which together, allow farms to weather periods of OA-induced stress more effectively. In particular we explore the challenges, potential benefits, and science surrounding one adaptive strategy – co-locating shellfish aquaculture with eelgrass. We present recent work suggesting that eelgrass can elevate local pH, positively impacting co-located shellfish. However, implementing such a strategy comes with environmental and management challenges, which we explore here.
Melissa Ward received her PhD from the University of California, Davis and is currently a postdoctoral researcher at San Diego State University. Her research explores natural climate solutions, focusing on the biogeochemical processes associated with coastal carbon cycling and on understanding how human communities can adapt to climate change. Specifically, Melissa’s current work investigates the ways in which shellfish aquaculture growers can adapt to ocean acidification, and how eelgrass might facilitate or challenge this adaptation.
JOIN VIA WEBINAR
Meeting number (access code): 904 620 457
Meeting password: JRjC7axBx86
JOIN BY PHONE
+1-415-527-5035 US Toll
Can't join the meeting? Contact support.
For more information on the current schedule and how subscribe to our weekly announcements, see the NWFSC Monster Seminar Jam page.