Back to top

Gillian Nichols

Gillian Nichols
Project Title: 
The Range Expansion of Minuca pugnax into the Gulf of Maine
Program Year: 
Environmental Sciences
Brian Cheng

This summer, I had the opportunity to learn more about the range expansion of the Mud Fiddler crab Minuca pugnax into the Gulf of Maine. I was able to collect female crabs with eggs from 2 Massachusetts marshes and bring them back to the lab to culture their larvae with 2 additional populations from Virginia. After a little over a month of water changes and feedings, the larvae metamorphosed into megalopa, and we were able to determine how long it took each population to develop. The goal of this project was to determine if the Massachusetts populations developed faster than the southern populations to increase their chances of survival in colder water temperatures. With the help of my amazing mentor Jori, I also did my own research on Minuca larval development and how their anatomy changed throughout each stage.