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Emma Deily-Swearingen

Emma Deily-Swearingen
Project Title: 
Does Larval Dispersal Limit Sesarma Range?
Program Year: 
Natural Resource Conservation
Brian Cheng

Last summer, I interned as a research assistant in a study aimed at finding out how Sesarma reticulatum expand their range. The study was conducted by Ph.D. candidate Jordanna Barley, in Dr. Brain Cheng’s lab here at UMass. Sesarma pose significant herbivorous pressure on Spartina alterniflora which is vital to salt marsh ecosystems. Therefore, knowing what might affect their dispersal could be critical to managing these habitats.
Specifically, we were looking to see if Sesarma larvae use Selective Tidal-Stream Transport. If they do, this could have large implications on their ability to shift their range. To study this we collected and spawned Sesarma larvae from West Dennis Beach and Provincetown in Cape Cod. Then we observed their behavior back at the lab at UMass. My internship ended in August, but the data are still being analyzed. I’m excited to see what we find.