Hillary is a Ph.D. student in the University of Maryland’s Marine, Estuarine, and Environmental Sciences Program based in Dr. Tom Miller’s lab at the Chesapeake Biological Lab. Her research focuses on the impact of climate change on young blue crabs in the Chesapeake Bay. Hillary is examining how increases in water temperature and acidity may affect crab growth, feeding, shell composition, and metabolism. She will use these data to predict the population-level impacts of climate change on blue crab in the Chesapeake Bay. Before starting her Ph.D., Hillary worked on monitoring the health and growth of restored oyster populations in the Chesapeake Bay with Dr. Ken Paynter. While the oyster monitoring was interesting, Hillary is excited to now be working with a more active species! Hillary has a master’s degree in marine science from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Emory University. When she’s not getting crabby in the lab, Hillary can be found canoeing in southern Maryland and generally enjoying the outdoors with her husband and their dog, Spaghetti.
Fellowship Experiences Blog Posts
See Hillary's post to Fellowship Experiences, Maryland Sea Grant's blog written by and about graduate fellows and their research:
Smithville is a community on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, on the edge of the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. A century ago, Smithville had more than 100 residents. Today, it has four, in two homes: an elderly couple, and one elderly woman and her son, who cares for her.
Leone Yisrael is a cephalopod-loving scuba diver, cook, and loves to try new activities. She conducts genetic analysis and fieldwork at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center through the Coastal Disease Ecology Lab.
Oyster aquaculture is a rapidly growing industry in Maryland’s Chesapeake waters which stimulates economic activity and may provide a host of ecosystem benefits. A potential concern associated with the intensification of the oyster aquaculture is the local production and accumulation of oyster biodeposits, which can lead to a porewater sulfide accumulation and declining bioturbation, symptoms of declining ecosystem function. Sulfide is naturally removed from the seafloor by the interactions between bioturbating infauna and sulfide oxidizing bacteria.