Press Herald reports Wahle, graduate student collaborating on lobster ‘time travel’ research
The Portland Press Herald reported Rick Wahle, a professor in the School of Marine Sciences at the University of Maine, and UMaine graduate student Maura Niemisto, are collaborating on research with senior research scientist David Fields at the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in East Boothbay. The lab houses a “time machine” device that allows researchers to simulate projected future ocean conditions, including increased temperature and acidity, and study the responses of marine creatures to the changes in their environment. Wahle’s research at Bigelow focuses on baby lobsters and how they develop, feed and survive in the Gulf of Maine. Wahle has been placing lobster settlement traps in the same locations for about 30 years, but recently the baby lobsters have not been settling in them, according to the article. The findings of the research are still in early stages, but the researchers agree that lobster larvae physiology is affected by changes in temperature and carbon dioxide levels in the water.