Larval transport in a coupled-estuary-shelf system: a modeling study

Grant awarded to:
Elizabeth North (UMCES)
William Boicourt (UMCES)
Shenn-Yu Chao (UMCES)
Charles Epifanio (UDEL)
Michael Roman (UMCES)

Team includes:
Ginger Jahn
(UMCES Masters student)
Zachary Schlag
Jeffery Biermann
(UMCES Masters student)

Funded by:
National Science Foundation Biological Oceanography Program*

back to E. North
research pages



*Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

We are investigating the interactive effects of advection, mixing, organism behavior and environmental variability on larval transport in a coupled-estuary-shelf system using a theoretical approach and the blue crab, Callinectes sapidus, as the model organism. We are developing a 3D bio-physical model that includes the latest understanding of sub-grid scale turbulent processes, vertically resolved blue crab larval behavior, multiple larval life stages, and the ability to examine exchange between estuarine systems. This research will address fundamental, universal questions about factors that control population variability of fisheries resources as well as large-scale transport of planktonic larvae on continental shelves, their return to estuarine nursery areas, and potential for exchange between estuarine systems.


  • Ginger Jahn, a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) student participated in this research program in summer 2005. She presented her research at the American Society for Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) in February 2006. She will continue to be involved in this program as she starts her Masters degree studies in fall 2006.
  • Jeffery Biermann, a Masters student, is participating in this research program.