I became a Vision Fellow in 2007 and worked with the Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group, Inc. MVSG produces shellfish seed to augment the natural populations of bay scallop, oysters and quahogs on the island. The great deal of time, effort and love we put into those millions of juvenile shellfish have helped to continue the traditions of family and commercial shellfish harvest. I believe strongly in the economic, ecological and cultural value of shellfish and I enjoy every aspect of aquaculture and restoration.
With the help of the Fellowship, I obtained a Masters degree in Ecology and Evolution from Rutgers University, where I studied the natural oyster populations on the Island, their genetic differences and disease patterns in the different ponds. I wanted to learn as much as possible about shellfish and shellfish habitat restoration so that I can help to restore our coastal ponds to a healthy state that will allow them to support shellfish populations at sustainable levels. I currently work at the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole, MA as research assistant and hatchery manager. I am also assisting MVSG with the Shellfish Recovery Project on the Vineyard, which aims to save thousands of pounds of oyster and other shells from landfill and place them back in our ponds, where they can provide habitat for burgeoning oysters and mitigate ocean calcification.