UNC CSI to Host Oyster Reef Research Lecture

Posted By on December 1, 2016

The UNC Coastal Studies Institute (UNC CSI) is hosting a lecture on oyster reef function research as part of its  “Science on the Sound” lecture series.  This series, held monthly, highlights research on coastal topics and issues in northeast North Carolina.  This month, the program will feature Dr. Michael Piehler, UNC CSI Estuarine Ecology and Human Health program head and Associate Professor at UNC Chapel Hill’s Institute of Marine Sciences. 

Dr. Piehler’s presentation, entitled “On a Highway to Shell: Assessing Oyster Reef Function Throughout the Southeastern United States”, will cover some of his recent research on oyster reefs and the methods used to assess their function. 

Oyster reefs are important contributors to the function of coastal ecosystems and also provide tremendous value to people.  Examining their function throughout a broad geographic area improves our understanding of the degree to which their function is generalizable.  Dr. Piehler and his research program assessed the structure and function of sub-tidal oyster reefs from Cape Hatteras though the Gulf of Mexico.  Reef function (impacts on fish communities, nutrient cycling and reef morphology) was found to vary in several ways, including being closely linked to tidal range.

The program will be held at 6:00PM on Monday, December 12 at the UNC Coastal Studies Institute located at 850 NC 345 in Wanchese, NC.  The presentation is free and the public is welcomed and encouraged to attend.

This program will be streamed live at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/unc-coastal-studies-institute, and the online viewing audience will be able to ask the presenter questions via an online chat room.


Dr. Michael Piehler obtaining samples from a North Carolina oyster reef.

Dr. Michael Piehler obtaining samples from a North Carolina oyster reef.

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Posted by Matt Artz

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