Melissa Pierce

B.S., Roger Williams University (Marine Biology)

I am interested in microbial ecology and public health issues as they relate to shellfish and coastal marine biology, especially their implications for the shellfish industry. My research will focus on the microbial communities of commercially important bivalves, and how capture and ingestion of marine aggregates might mediate these communities. Commensal bacteria in shellfish contribute to the overall health of the organism, and the ability of aggregates to influence these communities may be considerable. This work has the potential to be applied to bivalve aquaculture and the incorporation of probiotic bacteria into bioflocs.